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Nine convicts escape from prison; most are convicted murders. They commandeer a van from a strip club. Their plan is to find a stash of counterfeit money that a deranged cell mate told them about, divide it, then part ways. They make it to the site where the money is supposed to be hidden, and then one by one, each seeks out the place he wants to be, a version of home, somewhere to connect. Will it end well for any of them? Written by
The third film I got to watch at the philly film fest was this outstanding drama from Japan. After breaking out of prison nine escaped convicts plan to find the "key to the universe" that a tenth convict who didn't break out told them about. Along the way we get to know each of these men fairly well. Each has their own dreams. For much of the movie it seems to be mostly a comedy, but a shift takes place that the film ends up a tragedy. All of the actors give great performances. I can't say much more without spoiling the film, but suffice it to say that you end up feeling for some of these individuals. At 2 hours, this film is a tad to long, but good none the less. I have no qualms recommending it with the warning that it does have a bit unsettling violence for the tender-hearted. Toshiaki Toyoda hit a home-run this time out, and it makes me want to search out his prior films as well as look forward eagerly to his future ones.
My Grade: A
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