Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (2011)
"Ichimei" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  20 July 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,965 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 21 user | 121 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

An tale of revenge, honor and disgrace, centering on a poverty-stricken samurai who discovers the fate of his ronin son-in-law, setting in motion a tense showdown of vengeance against the house of a feudal lord.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview:
Munetaka Aoki ...
Hikokuro Omodaka
Hikari Mitsushima ...
Motome Chijiiwa
Hanshirô Tsugumo
Hirofumi Arai ...
Hayatonosho Matsuzaki
Kazuki Namioka ...
Umanosuke Kawabe
Takashi Sasano ...
Ayumu Saitô
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Naotaka Ii
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Jinnai Chijiiwa
Yoshihisa Amano ...
Ippei Takahashi


An tale of revenge, honor and disgrace, centering on a poverty-stricken samurai who discovers the fate of his ronin son-in-law, setting in motion a tense showdown of vengeance against the house of a feudal lord.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 July 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,920 (USA) (20 July 2012)


$60,201 (USA) (31 August 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (3D Stereoscopic)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The first 3D title ever to be shown in official selection at the Cannes Film Festival. See more »


As the wooden wakizashi is pushed into the stomach (after the tip snapped off), you can see that the blade is sliding into the handle. See more »


Kageyu: A warrior's word is his bond.
See more »


Featured in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2011 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Compared to the original this film is shallow and meaningless
12 August 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Compared to the original 1962 Masaki Kobayashi film this movie is shallow and meaningless. But even taken on its own merits it's still pretty flawed.

An extremely powerful first act gives way to a ponderous middle, where the Ryuichi Sakamoto score over-dresses dreary long-winded sequences. Then it all culminates in a last act that is exciting both visually and intellectually... but completely unearned.

Miike has rarely been able to close in on a theme in his work with much accuracy (the two big differences that come to mind are Audition and Visitor Q, respectively being powerful explorations of misogyny in Japanese society and the collapse of the Japanese family), but when his films are crazed and breezy and fun that's rarely a criticism worth voicing. This time the subject matter demands something more and whatever Miike has to say about the Ruling Class or misplaced tradition or the role of the noble and ethical warrior in a time of peace comes out hopelessly convoluted.

Also, the 3D sucks and gives nothing to the experience except for muddling some gorgeous images with that dark uninspired light that those stupid glasses impose on even the best shot 3D films.

So what's good about it? Well, the projected lighting issues aside, it's a beautiful looking movie. Miike always knows where to place his camera, is never afraid of silence (sabotaged repeatedly by the uninspired score) and the movie has a wonderful seasons motif. Some of the acting is wonderful to watch and when it's being a powerful act of filmmaking, it's mighty powerful.

But here Miike doesn't quite have the right touch. And the lack of dedication to a deeper exploration of theme made the film seem little more than a sequence of events with little cohesion.

18 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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