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Jûsan-nin no shikaku
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Reviews & Ratings for
13 Assassins More at IMDbPro »Jûsan-nin no shikaku (original title)

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Blood and guts for everyone

8/10
Author: wandereramor from Canada
24 March 2012

I found myself struggling to get through the first hour of 13 Assassins. Through that point the film appears to be a workmanlike Seven Samurai retread, well-constructed but not especially interesting. And then the other part of the movie strikes: an hour-long siege battle that's both an orgy of violence and a cinematic masterwork, ebbing and flowing with the kinetic, creative energy that Miike has become known for. It's a breathtaking sequence that manages to capture the thrill of battle as well as the horror of it, a line few films have managed to walk.

In the end, I'm not sure if I can describe 13 Assassins as a good film. The characters are paper-thin and the plot isn't much better, but at least the first half of the movie expects us to care deeply about these things. It's only once it plunges into full-on spectacle that it becomes great. But that final battle is more striking than anything a lot of films with deeper stories. I wish Miike would have dispatched with the pretenses a little earlier, because as bloody fun 13 Assassins is thoroughly satisfying.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A movie with many contrasts and some memorable scenes

7/10
Author: kluseba from Gatineau, Canada
21 January 2012

13 assassins is a typical Takashi Miike movie with some hints at Japanese history and mythology. The movie has many stunning scenes that will stay on your mind for a while. Already the harakiri opening sequence is quite intense but there is also the scene of a young and crippled woman begging for vengeance and the scene of a family massacre that are really touching and maybe hard to watch for some people. On the other side, there are also some humorous scenes that lighten this movie up in a good way. The filming, the music and the locations are also always well chosen.

The movie is clearly divided into two very distinctive parts. The first half introduces a lot of characters and features many dialogues. As in many other Miike movies, it's not always easy to follow what happens to whom and why but it's less difficult than in movies such as "Family" or "Gozu". I watched this movie with a friend from Asia and I'm relieved to see that it wasn't only me as someone who has grown up in a occidental culture who struggled with some parts of the plot. The movie gives some interesting insights at some characters but should have been more precise at some points.

The second half of the movie is a total massacre in a small Japanese village. The movie features many great sword fights, explosions and original traps. For about forty minutes, the movie gives you no time to breathe but it ends on a rather smooth note after all.

In the end, I think that the transition between the two parts of the movie happens too fast and both are redundant at some points. In the first half, there are too many dialogues and it takes some time to get into the movie. The second half starts with a lot of action but doesn't vary very much and get's a little bit redundant as well. The fighting scenes and choreographs are amazing but forty minutes non stop violence gets a little bit boring after a while. I also think that the final scenes of the movie are not touching or intense enough. I might also add that some parts of the original version had been cut for an international release and I would have liked to see them to understand the characters (for example the bandit that seems to represent an immortal ghost spirit as I read later) a little bit better.

On the positive side, the movie has many memorable scenes, a couple of intriguing characters and great images and words directed by one of the Asian's best directors. Any fan of samurai movies should check this film out. It's far away from being a masterpiece but an interesting release you could loan or buy at a cheap price.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A grand, old-fashioned slice of entertainment

10/10
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
9 December 2011

Takashi Miike's new samurai film is very much like the classics of old – and, in particular, Kurosawa's SEVEN SAMURAI. There's a slow and gradual build-up, during which time we're introduced to the titular characters and one very unpleasant villain, and then one extended, rip-roaring climax in which an entire village becomes a battleground for the heroes and the army opposing them.

Viewers expecting more depth than that will be disappointed, as 13 Assassins is very much a straightforward film. There are elements of Miike's perversity in the hideous crimes carried out by his bad guy, Lord Naritsugu, and in a sub-plot involving a forest-dwelling spirit which has been excised for international viewers, but viewers expecting a bloodbath will be disappointed. This is a surprisingly restrained film, at least on a visceral level; there's little focus on blood and guts action, although the sound effects more than makes up for that. Still, the film doesn't need it either: the choreography of the climatic battle is excellent, stylishly putting across the heroism of those involved and the frenetic nature of the running conflict and keeping the momentum and excitement going at all times.

Both script and cast are understated in the best Japanese tradition, and it's rare for one of the good guys to betray emotion. Koji Yakusho, as the elder who forms the team of assassins, holds the film together with a performance of genuine gravitas. Goru Inagaki's villain is truly a man who deserves to die, thus setting up a story in which the suspense never dies down, instead building until the fittingly epic-feeling climax. There's a danger of 13 ASSASSINS getting lost amid the dozens of similar historical adventure films coming out of Asia at the moment, but that would be a shame as it's a rousing, old-fashioned film in the best sense.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great action drizzled with blood of a confusion!

7/10
Author: jjnoahjames (jjnoahjames@hotmail.com) from United States
25 September 2011

13 Assassins is about a group of unneeded Samurai, due to the arrival of guns from the west, that are put on a special mission and rise to the occasion despite their inexperience.

What Slices; 1) The acting swings well 2) The story chops sharply 3) The directing is a stab through the heart.

What Decapitates; 1) Confusion.

For me 13 was enjoyable overall. If you enjoying a good Japanese fighting flick, that you will like this but it takes effort to get over the beginning. Have no fear though you will be well rewarded in the end. To enjoy it more I recommend watching it on as big and bright and high quality a TV as possible, since the dark colors are part of the reason I was confused (every character wore similar outfits and I couldn't tell the actors apart).

Also drink an energy drink and take a nap before hand because you will need to be super focused to catch the wave in the beginning.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Seven Samurai Plus Six

7/10
Author: ThreeGuysOneMovie from United States
22 September 2011

So those of you familiar with Takashi Miike probably know of him for some of his more over the top movies like Ichi the Killer and Audition. This was the first movie of his I have seen that takes on a more traditional story line and he does a excellent job.

If you have seen, Kurosowa's Seven Samurai, or the American remake, The Magnificent Seven then you already know what goings on here. 13 Assassins come together to face off against an evil Lord and impossible odds.

This movie is not really bringing anything new to the table but it is still a really enjoyable watch, and filled with lots of action. If you are fan of this genre then don't miss this film.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Holy Crap!

7/10
Author: Jeff Heimbrock (heimbrockj@gmail.com) from United States
28 August 2011

It should just be said right now that there is a 40 minute long action sequence that closes Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins, and if you can just sit through the film for that alone, it's totally worth it. Luckily, there are still more reasons than just that to catch this samurai epic.

The whole film is greatly directed; the action sequences are both comprehensible and thrilling and the work before that is equally as impressive. The cinematography by Nobuyasu Kita captures the sweeping grandness of the story and it's certainly clear why these assassins are so passionate to kill this villain. It's full of typical samurai thematics such as honor and bravery, while also accenting the struggle to respect the declining samurai genre directly through the characters who also try to honor the brethren with who they once stood with. It manages that, to a point, though it lacks the depth of a Kurosawa film and might have too many characters to ever get invested in any of them. But as a purely enjoyable action film, those last 40 minutes and the final denouement sequence will leave you breathless. B-

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The best Japanese Samarai movie I have seen

8/10
Author: jmichael614 from United States
17 February 2012

I'm a girl and the only reason I bought this movie is because my husband has been dying to watch it. I've been looking for it everywhere to rent to no avail and finally gave in to buying it. The guy at the video store said he didn't understand why it had such great reviews, only 1/2 the movie had fighting in it, blah, blah blah. My husband and I would completely disagree. The first part of the movie is an incredible story (though sometimes hard to follow because everyone wears the same thing and you have a hard time telling them apart). A Shogun's brother is destroying families and becoming an embarrassment because he uses people like they are trash (maiming a servant, raping another, killing an entire family). He's brutal and without remorse. The Assassins step in and decide they need to do something. The fight scenes and brutality scenes can be quite bloody but everything feels very authentic- it's not a cheesy Japanese movie, it's a real, thoughtful and thought-provoking movie not for the faint of heart.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good but a bit overrated.

6/10
Author: Ucare from Germany
1 May 2014

I have found the film just OK. For my tastes it is really too old school. Directing/filming fights in this way, is for me prehistory. I do not like either films where all is special effects. But here all is just confused and flat. So many people fighting, no breaks, no special angles, direction is really straight and old school. There are moments that in my opinion are even ridiculous. I cannot understand how this film got to get 7,6 rating here and 96% in Rottentomatoes! That's just extremely exager-rated. Anyway, the acting is OK, and in the fights (which are concentrated in the last third of the movie) there are some good moments. But honestly I felt absolutely nothing watching this film. No tension, no emotion, no excitement, no epic feeling. And the characters gave me also absolutely nothing. The film is written and directed and shooted in a way that I felt just a distant observer of a flat scene.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

great flick and a fight scene that goes on and on

7/10
Author: trashgang from Midian
28 February 2012

Be warned, if you aren't into samurai flicks then don't watch it, if you don't understand the Japanese lifestyle, leave it. If you think that this is another typical gory Takashi flick (imprint for example), leave it.

If you want to see a great flick about samurai and the way the system went back in those days then this is surely one to watch. The acting is sublime and even as it clocks in at two hours it never bored me. This isn't just about slaying and murdering, there is actually a story going on.

The way it was directed was excellent, a thing we could expect from Miike. Naturally he's getting older and moves away from ultra gore but the red stuff do flows. The movie starts rather slowly but you have to get into the 13 assassins to get involved with the characters. Of course it isn't that simple because we aren't used to those names. Further on you need to know a bit about the classes in the Japanese lifestyle to understand why and who everybody is reacting to. The last 45 minutes the battle begins and it really never stops. There is use of CGI for the running of burning cows and some blood is CGI but overall everybody got really messy with the red stuff.

This is a perfect example that Samurai flicks are watchable as they are made by Japanese directors. Again, great acting and perfect directing. The master is back.

Gore 2/5 Nudity 0,5/5 Effects 3/5 Story 3/5 Comedy 0/5

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

not bad at all

Author: random4ever from New York City, United State
13 July 2011

a very decent samurai/shogun/old world japan type movie. it looks like old japan near the end of the samurai era and before tom cruise went to japan to fight the samurai. back to the movie, its in Japanese and that is cool bad thing is the subtitles that seemed to be missing parts here and there which was not cool. the ending scene is a big fight that took a long time to finish. a bit to long for me and a bit over the top. if your into swords slashing non stop then this is a film for you. good story line, cast seemed good. i had fun watching this and you should watch this to if your OK with swords killing people and blood. time to get the popcorn out and kick back and read the subs, this films worth it

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