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Reviews & Ratings for
Death Note More at IMDbPro »Desu nôto (original title)

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Index 82 reviews in total 

21 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Death note.

8/10
Author: helmutty from Singapore
17 November 2006

Well, I am new to death note, I decided to watch it in cinema and it was great. There was a twist in the plot. It made me want to know what was going to happen soon. It did not waste my two hours, but although it was a bit slow but still it was a great movie. I did not read the comics but guessing from the poster, it look great. Although, the characters from the comics did not really fit the actors, the acting was okay. The story was simple, Light received the death note and killed bad guys....L was tracking him down. Dead simple but there were twists in the plot, the ending was a big twist. I would decide what would happen. I hope Death note 2 is better than this when watching Death note 2 trailer.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

An Almost Perfect Adaptation

9/10
Author: chongchuanmun from Malaysia
11 November 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a fan of the manga (and anime) and as always with movie adaptations, I have my reservations about the integrity of the adaptation. I understand there are mixed reactions about this movie, so as with my usual reviews, I will be objective and review the strengths and weaknesses of this movie. Before I begin, let me stress that this movie is not about power corruption. This movie is about convictions of what is right and wrong (hence the controversial debate of moral values), and the battle of intelligence between two of the smartest characters (in the manga world, at least).

Story: To say it stayed true to the manga, it did not. To say it strayed a lot from the manga, it did not. Suffice to say that the authors created a parallel story that made the movie stands on its own, but also gave manga readers a good enough adaptation to satisfy their obsession, but did not arouse any anger. The opening sequence was definitely a good idea (except for the part where Light used the Death Note in public, which in the manga would have been a fatal error). Also, the subplot that showed us Light's conviction was simply brilliant. And I have to say that the creation of the new ending sequence was excellent (even though I figured it out halfway through the movie).

Unlike The Fellowship of the Ring that gave the movie an incomplete ending that leaves audience unsatisfied, the authors created a new plot that not only breathes new life to the entire premise, but also made a great ending to the movie, yet at the same time, left a major cliffhanger on the audience. Can't wait for the sequel! Directing: A very good adaptation to the manga in every way, except for two items. First: L uses a Mac Powerbook to communicate with the police. Even the manga authors/artists knew about Macs' trademark sphere speakers. Yet, the director (or art director) chose to use a cheap non-branded speaker. Second: final scene flaw. If everything was planned by Light from the start, why did he fell so ecstatic in learning Naomi's name? He should feign ignorance! Also, what's with the pen? Acting: Ken'ichi Matsuyama is brilliant as L. He captured every single habit of L perfectly, from his blank stares to his odd behaviors. However, I think the make-up artists put too much powder on his face. He almost looked scary at first glance. Having seen Tatsuya Fujiwara in Battle Royale II: Requiem, I was convinced that he wouldn't pass as Yagami Light (although he was good in Battle Royale). And I was right. Light is an insanely calm but ultimately ruthless person who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal (you can tell by looking at his eyes), even more so in this movie than in the manga because of the ending. Yet, he is that great actor who could fool anybody, even L.

However, Tatsuya couldn't project any ruthless aura, at all. In many scenes, he almost looked too forceful to be Light. Maybe it's because he has a little too much weight on him. Maybe it's the hair. But mostly, it's his eyes. It just couldn't give you that Look of Evil. Oh, and he couldn't grin wickedly either.

Ryuuk: Well, I was disappointed. With CGI technologies that created the Final Fantasy movies, Ryuuk looked utterly unrealistic and totally un-intimidating. Sure, they got all the details, actions and facial expressions, and the voice-over is incredible, but he just didn't fit in the picture. Somehow, he couldn't blend into the movie. He should have been real, but only visible to Light, which was what made the character so incredible in the manga.

Art Direction: Art direction was sparse but gave just the perfect feel for the movie, though I didn't know L was such a big eater.

If this movie is so great, why did I give it a 9 and not a 10? The production crew made one fatal flaw in the movie.

In such a story where intelligence and logic is centered, explanation is overwhelmingly important. One of the, if not the most crucial factor that made the manga so powerful, is explanation, or rather, how the story was explained.

What happened, why it happened, and most importantly, how it happened. I doze at such long-winded explanations, normally, but when reading the manga, it is the explanations that gave me goosebumps. It's like reading into the minds of the characters. Thus is the flaw of the movie. By way of explanation, it leaves viewers who did not read the manga lost and unable to appreciate the intricacies of how the events were planned, carried out, and discovered.

Although the ending scene was perfectly explained (probably because it was written especially for the movie), the rest of the movie were not, hence the mixed reviews. Take the FBI Agent scene for example. The anime did a better job than the movie. What a let-down. The director (probably in his obsession to stay true to the manga) has forgotten the existence of Ryuuk. He is the best premise a director can have in communicating to the audience the crucial explanations of the movie, as Ryuuk can act like the audience, asking the most important questions to Light. Alas, the two's interactions were minimal and that was the downfall of the movie.

All in all, I enjoyed the movie immensely. I was shouting (almost), getting goosebumps, and having intellectual orgasms from the complexity and intricacies of the story. Of course, I am very familiar with the manga. However, for those who are not, I believe they will not enjoy the movie as much, which is a very sad fact. This is not some dumb brainless Hollywood gore fest. Anyone who has half a brain of intelligence would watch this movie, and should know how to appreciate it.

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Read the manga, skip the movie

2/10
Author: kaimono2001 from Japan
30 September 2007

I've never read the manga, but since Death Note was so hyped in Japan I thought I'd give it a chance. After all the concept of the movie is quite interesting. However, I was completely disappointed. Maybe I should have read the manga after all, because after reading other reviews I think a lot of blame for this poor film goes to the director and screen writer of the film. There is lack of character development in many of the minor yet important characters. The main characters don't provoke much feeling as well. Luke (aka death) is an annoying character created to be comic relief (doesn't work) and an excuse for adding computer graphics, but instead becomes an eye sore. After having read that the girlfriend doesn't exist in the manga I don't really see the need to have added her to the movie since her character is completely insipid. The climax scene in which she is in would have been more engaging if I actually cared for her character. Furthermore, the scenes are predictable and cliché as well, which is frustrating. The acting was mediocre, but I place blame on the director for that since the directing is just plain bad. There is a lot that happens in this movie that has little or poorly thought out explanation (like the climax), making most of it unbelievable. The biggest disappointment is that there was so much potential for this movie. However, just wanting to make a quick buck off the manga is the obvious purpose for making the film.

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17 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

A 10/10 movie...

10/10
Author: (ateeqimran@yahoo.com) from India
25 August 2007

OK, let me get it right out of my chest that I don't know a lot about Manga or Anime...

And may be that was the reason I was spell bound for 2 n so hours..

It's an amazing movie with a script that can make you go craaaaaaaaaaazy! What a fantastic idea.. A death note, Gods Of Death, Kiera, L, Light Yagami... WOW! I found Tatsuya Fujiwara very cool n in fact every one of the characters have done a commendable job..

I was taking a break from Hollywood movies and what a break it has been.. I have discovered such gems from Korean, Chinese and now Japanese Cinema.

This definitely points to our lack of ability to project Asian Cinema around the world. Hollywood does it with aplomb. Of course it helps them that they are promised a ready audience, however films so beautiful as this must have been a phenomenal success all around..

Anyways, I regret the fact that I did not see these movies before but Hey! I am excited as hell to watch more...

Casshern and Dororo are on my immediate search list.. Who knows where these would lead me..

I would love to talk to someone who knows about movies based on Manga or Anime... mail me! If u love thrillers or beautiful cinema, either way this one will not disappoint u.. It's a Must Must must watch....

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

An Entry for Me

Author: tedg (tedg@filmsfolded.com) from Virginia Beach
13 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am at a disadvantage. I don't know the comic or the cartoon. I'm not satisfied with a film that merely sets up a series. And finally, I am not a preteen, for whom this likely appears deep.

The setup is simple: genius teen gets supernatural power and abuses it. A perhaps greater genius teen battles him. This one is immature and addicted to sweets. The thing ends with an encounter between the two teens them where each appreciates the gifts of and threat from the other. There is an animated demon. Along the way, you find writing, acting and general production values (other than the unimaginative demon) are lower than for your average TeeVee show.

If you want to get value out of this, you have to pay attention to the rules, see how the villain plays them and imagine what you would do, how clever you could be.

The rules are that you have to have someone's face in your mind and write his/her name in a certain book. In 40 seconds they die, unless you specify otherwise. In this case, you can manipulate the time and manner of death. You apparently can get others to do the face recall and writing of names. This allows for rather detailed scripts to be written in advance and if future episodes have promise it will be in how we are conned by events we see that are pre-determined by the script in the book.

Some other rules: if you touch the book, you can see the demon, who harvests the years "left over," from the time of death to the time the person was supposed to die. The demon is otherwise invisible and is there storywise so that these rules can be explained. If the owner of the book passes it on, then his entire memory of it and his actions is erased.

A tantalizing plot development is in the last few minutes. An equally immature girlie girl — a TeeVee celebrity because of this coy silliness — may have been given a book.

A real writer, working for a mature, demanding audience could actually do something clever and worthwhile with this. But I doubt that will happen.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Not as exciting as the manga...so manga fans,don't expect much from this movie.

7/10
Author: deathangel666 from Hong Kong
24 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

{MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS} I am a DN fan,but this movie was disappointing.I have to say,the manga was much much better than this.

I was like "What the hell?" throughout the movie,though 60% of the movie was the same as the manga,but the director just changed the genre of DN from a psychological thriller/detective story to a romantic film.

Below were the changes in the movie:(marked by * *) * I bet those who have read the manga will know Light doesn't have a real girlfriend. Shiori in the manga,was asked by Light to be his temporary girlfriend,who only appeared in the bus scene. But in the movie, Shiori was like a major role and sorta like the climax of the movie. She and Light have many scenes together, and they were dating all the time. Because of that, Light in the movie was wrongly portrayed in the movie. Light was supposedly to be those who don't like dating girls and stuff.....

Talking about Light,Light in the movie was a bit too evil. I think Tatsuya Fujiwara's acting was okay, but he just got Light wrong(a bit),he made him TOO evil. Light at first wasn't evil, but had a mind full of justice, he started to be evil later,but not this early. And Light was supposedly to be handsome and have the "cooless" and will not overreacted or stuff, Tatsuya Fujiwara was just, nothing but evil in the movie.

Naomi was also a major role in the movie, but again, the movie changed a bit of her personality from the manga, she was so straightforward and aggressive,and directly told Light that she suspected him as Kira,instead of calm and quiet in the manga.

misa only appeared in a few scenes,and was a really minor role,i think that was a waste and should have mentioned her more instead of Shiori. *

Okay,so Ryuk,god of death, was CG figure, id to admit that i LMAO when i saw him, he was not scary at all. L in the movie was totally adorable, he got most of the L-style moves right, i think Ken'ichi Matsuyama was perfect for the role of L. I want to scream when i saw him! so cute! So this movie ended when L and Light met,personally i think the ending was quite good,L holding the same brand of chips light used to hide the portable TV,that scene wasn't in the manga and was the only scene i like.

Overall,this was not really an exciting movie DN fans would have expected,but oh wells,i hope the next two movies will do better than this.

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12 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Terrible premiere in a big screen

1/10
Author: Thiago dos Santos Moyses from Brasília, Brasil
6 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Light or Raitsu looks dumb here. Totally. We can say the same about "L". Only these simple and deep mistakes are sufficient to kill the essence of Death Note original conception. It's ridiculous how the things happen in the movie, it makes no sense! The actors are terrible and stereotype. The dialogs and actions always sound stupid. The narrative of the screenplay is incoherent and lazy. They didn't try work it to look reasonable or believable. The special effects are horrible. But the CGI of Raikku is not the worst thing. When the criminal dies hit by a car is worser! They didn't stop to think that they would need to change somethings of the manga to fit the screen, like people did in X-MEN. Movies are different than graphic novels. The actions and movements of "L" made me laugh, a lot! In the anime, or manga, it looks just weirdo. The "easy -way" explanations are, definitely, the worst sh... And, please, anybody answer me: Why did he kill his girlfriend??! To enter in the investigation team?!! Why?! He is so careless. I prefer the cold Raitsu from manga, he does not love anyone, but he would never kill his girlfriend or do unnecessary things like this idiot from the movie. I am tired of this piece of ... It is a waste of a good manga and anime.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The most engaging Manga/comic to Film Adaptation

9/10
Author: David Bush from United Kingdom
23 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*Possible spoiler (if you have never seen the Anime or Manga)in Paragraph four*

I have been an Otaku for many years now, Having grown up with The Incredible Hulk on TV, Superman and Batman at the Movies I can say with out a shadow of a doubt that this adaptation of the Death Note tale is quite simply the most engaging I have ever seen.

The problem with taking Comic or indeed Manga to the big screen is that they have to rely on the fan base to make up the budget of a movie but still be able to allow growth by introducing a wider audience to it. But when you consider over 25 million copies of Death note have been sold the world over, budget was never going to be a problem.

Fujiwara Tatsuya was clearly a good choice for this film in my point of view having seen him in Battle Royale I & II, Sabu and Kamen Gakuen he is my second favourite Japanese actor ("Beat" Takeshi Kitano being number one). I can't really blame Ken'ichi Matsuyama for His depiction of L in the film, I blame myself. I couldn't help thinking of the Anime version of L. In all fairness though, He put in a good performance right down to the way that he would pick up the phone or sitting awkwardly exactly in the manner of the Manga "L".

The Adaptation for this although not a strict adherence to the Manga is still top notch throwing in little extra's to swing our way of thinking such as Light reading Nietzsche's book Beyond Good & Evil or that Shidori had been his girlfriend for longer than just the bus ride to the amusement park or even the way that Misa-Misa was subliminally placed through out the film to keep us fan-boys hooked for the next film instalment. The CGI Ryuk was a little on the rough side but when you consider how well Tatsuya had dealt with talking in to thin air, you tend to forget such things.

They could have gone one better for my review if on the credits at the end they had made a joke about "the names have been changed in order to protect the innocent from Kira".

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Boring when compared to manga/anime.

5/10
Author: Daniel Moreira from Portugal
18 September 2007

Light is to small, sensitive and because of that he looks much more stupid. I would say less clever but it wouldn't fit. There's a bit lack of insanity on him but also the cold blood we (fans) are all used to. Bad choice from the producer giving him feelings.

L is much better but they could have taken more from him, explore his personality and show us what he's real capable of.

Dialogues can't be compared to manga/anime, where they are much more elaborated. The way L comes up with his conclusions made me laugh.

This seems to be like a summary of the real story; not finished of course but still; There are many relevant parts cutted off, which is a shame :/ This is a lazy work only for those who have seen some of the real thing, don't see this if you don't know what death note is.

3/10 for the story (not) related 6/10 for the characters 7/10 for being a fan..LOL

Do yourself a favour and read the manga or if you are just to lazy for that then watch the anime.

Cheers.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Don't bother if you're not already a fan of the manga....

3/10
Author: innocuous from Raleigh, NC, USA
25 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I might have given DN a few extra stars if it could stand on its own, but it can't. In spite of what anyone else says, this movie will only appeal to those who are already fans of the manga. Unlike most reviewers, I was completely unfamiliar with the source material and simply thought that the plot sounded interesting. About 30 minutes into the movie, I turned to the person watching with me and said, "This has GOT to be based on a comic, anime, or manga of some sort. The technique and the poor story make it obvious." And that continued to be true throughout the rest of the film. It's simply a film version of a manga, and the film suffers because of it.

I went ahead and took a look at the manga after I watched the film. Given the choice, stick to the manga.

One of the most disappointing things about the film is that there is little or no room for any sympathy for the main character, Light. I was hoping that there would be some moral ambivalence, that he might question what he's doing and the methods he's using. Nope. He's evil, right from 10 minutes into the film. This makes him a much less interesting character.

Overall, skip this film unless you just have to see the live-actor version of the manga.

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