Death Note (2006) Poster

(2006)

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8/10
"L, do you know shinigami's love apples?"
seansamurai17 June 2006
Just returned from debut of Death Note, and surprisingly I enjoyed it. Manga to big screen adaptations don't always do so well, so I wasn't getting my hopes up over this. All the main characters are portrayed very well by the cast. Yes, even Tatsuya Fujiwara did a great job as the stories protagonist, Yagami Light. However, his rival, played by Ken'ichi Matsuyama was amazing. Completely captured the world's greatest detective's every mannerism with ease. But the true star of this 2 part story is definitely Light's shinigami, Ryuuk. Outstanding job by the CGI crew, and Ryuuk's voice was just as would be imagined in the manga. Can't really give too much away because I'd hate to spoil it for anybody who hasn't read the manga (that being said, definitely read the manga to see what was changed, in my opinion, the changes were overall good, not great, but it won't make you angry) . I guess the main question on everybody's mind would be is the movie better than the manga? No, but in a (about) 2 hour film you couldn't do much better with story. Well worth checking out.
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8/10
A Nutshell Review: Death Note
DICK STEEL14 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, so goes the saying.

What happens if you have the power to bring about death to any individual with just the mighty stroke of the pen? How would you use your new found ability? Would you decide to inflict capital punishment and take away lives of criminals, convicted, suspected or otherwise? Would you be the grim reaper, transfixed in your own branding of right and wrong, backed by the power of mortality?

Based on a popular Japanese manga written by Takeshi Obata, Death Note tells the story of the god of death, bored with life, making available his Death Note(book) to the human world. Picked up by aspiring lawyer Light (Tatsuya Fujiwara), he soon finds that the rules written in both English (yes) and Kanji on the inside front cover, actually work - whosoever has his name written inside the book, will meet death via a heart attack. That's just scratching the surface, as Light continues to experiment with the capabilities of the book, as well as to internalize all the rules to call upon some serious manipulation of the rules to work to his advantage.

Why does the book operate with that set of rules, well, that's something you have to accept at face value if you want to enjoy the movie. Starting off with the deaths of criminals as Light experiments, soon the authorities take notice of these mysterious deaths, and launch a nationwide dragnet to hunt down the perpetrator. Foreign help is also called in, and L (Ken'ichi Matsuyama), an unseen and only heard police investigator, gets roped in.

It's a battle of wits as Light tries to keep his Kira persona (given by the press) alive while avoiding being caught by an ever zealous L, as both boys (yes, boys) engage and challenge each other. One to continue utilizing the notebook in more creative ways, while the other trying his best to second guess, and to see through guises and red herrings. Things become more interesting when family ties are involved, and relationships get put to the test in an interesting run up to the final scene. I thought Light's character development was crucial to the movie, and Fujiwara brought that through his role quite effortlessly with his impish looks.

The god of death, a frequent companion of Light, master of the book and actually is the voice of rational thought, is totally CG rendered, which allows for its supernatural movement to be as natural as possible. However, the design does resemble Brian Bolland's Joker with its patsy white face and permanent teeth showing grin, except for its extremely huge spanned wings, and punk like hairdo.

Death Note succeeds in making you sit up on the edge of your seat for the most parts - it does have certain slow moments in the movie which plods the pace down a tad too much. While it presents differing views on capital punishment, the movie itself doesn't suggest which is right or wrong, but is almost adamant in bringing forth the notion of the corruption of power. I haven't read the original manga to do a comparison, but as a movie in itself, it works, given its relatively high production values.

Part 2 is already signed, sealed and soon to be delivered. I can't wait to see how the movie takes off from where it ended. Intriguing, interesting and entertaining stuff!
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8/10
Review, only very minor spoilers
hydra1208 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Plot: the plot of the movie is relatively straightforward, and follows the same basic premise as the manga: Yagami Light finds a "Death Note" dropped by Ryuk, a shinigami (god of death) and decides to use it to purge the world of criminals. Subsequently, the police and mysterious detective L begin to track him down. However, it doesn't really get very far despite its length (over two hours) because it bulks itself out with an original plot thread - in fact, the movie only gets as far as Light and L meeting for the first time.

Plot Changes: Chronologically, it's much the same as the manga - but a massive plot alteration comes in the form of original character Shiori. I'm still not entirely sure why they chose to give Light a girlfriend - but she has a major role (along with Naomi, who now has a much bigger role than in the manga) - and an event involving her, Naomi and Light is the climax of the movie.

Misa has a very minor role, although given how little of the manga timeline was covered, it's not really surprising. She only has a couple of scenes, but it's nice to see her. Rem makes no appearance.

I was a little disappointed that they changed one of my favourite scenes - I won't say how in case you haven't read the manga, but Light and L meet in a completely different way. :( There were also a number of weird, irrelevant-seeming changes, as you always get with movie adaptations. :p Such as changing Raye Pember's surname to 'Iwatari', and altering the NPA Kira team to include a woman. Unimportant, but odd to note. :p Acting: On the whole, I think the acting was excellent, and the movie was (mostly) cast brilliantly. Although I still don't think that, visually, Fujiwara makes a very good Light, he was certainly convincing, and does a good evil smirk. :p I think most of the problems I had with Light were down to direction, rather than Fujiwara's acting. (Also, I think it has to be said he does a great job with Ryuk - you can't tell he was acting with a stick at all :p) Personally, I think that Matsuyama really stood out as being plain awesome. :D His L was nigh-on-perfect, and I don't even mean in appearance; the gestures, posture, the way he holds things and his mannerisms in general. Slightly more sullen than I'd expected, but brilliant. (and his love for sweets is still there, and even more emphasised than in the manga. I think he's eating in every scene. xD) Also notable was Seto Asaka - I just think she played Naomi really well, especially within the new role given to the character.

CG: (ie, Ryuk!) :D Ryuk was certainly... interesting. But he's one of my favourite characters in the manga, and I loved what they did with him. His voice is perfect, and appearance-wise, pretty much got him just right. Only problem is, sometimes the CG just doesn't look that good. It varies of course - sometimes it looks amazing, but other times... really not. But on the whole he was done well, considering how surreal his appearance is.

Pacing: The movie has a really interesting opening - you see a hand writing in a book, and then various criminals dying of heart attacks, while their name is 'written' across the screen. Unfortunately, after than I found it a little slow until L showed up (which wasn't until after halfway through) - although perhaps that's due to him being my favourite character. But regardless, since a lot of the movie is just setting things up and exposition for later, it was probably to be expected. That's not to say it isn't interesting, as it is, but... one of the best aspects of Death Note is the interaction between Light and L, and you don't get that until later.

Overall/General: I think it's a great movie, and works with the premise of the manga well, without being slavishly faithful (which is never a good thing :p) However, it does have its problems.

Personally, I wasn't that happy with Shiori's addition to the story. Taken by itself, her plot-thread was actually rather interesting, and a nice idea. However, I felt it altered Light's character too much - his motivations for doing what he does; what he's like as a person. They already changed him by leaving out that part of why he does what he does is because he's bored (Ryuk, too) - and, add Shiori, and you're left with a cold, evil teenager who hates criminals, and apparently seems like he can get close to people. In the movie, I almost think he comes across as too cold-blooded, too soon.

This is all fine if you haven't read the manga, I think, and it's probably brilliant if you can take it for what it is. But... I missed Light's boredom and utter god-complex which was so obvious in the manga. :p And his aloofness - the implication that he wouldn't have a girlfriend because no-one was good enough for him.

Er, but my slight issues with Light's character aside, it's a great movie. xD dark and full of suspense (but with moments of humour... L offering a kebab of sweets and cakes to Chief Yagami in total seriousness comes to mind :D), and very enjoyable. I can't wait for the second half, and I'm really interested to know how they're going to try and resolve it (as, clearly, Death Note actually goes on for five more volumes after where they're intending to stop.) So, despite a few issues... Death Note pt. 1 = awesome. :D
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10/10
Fans of DN Manga... go see it if you can!
moon_underwater400010 September 2006
I dunno why some people think that the CGI of Ryuuk was bad... I thought it was excellent - realistic but not too out of place. It doesn't have physical fights and thrill (and if you've read the manga, you would know). The actor choices were pretty good - Tatsuya Fujiwara was, and still, well-known for his on-stage productions, and Kenichi Matsuyama's (from Nana fame - he was Shinichi, the bass player of the band 'Black Stones')L / Ryuuzaki was awesome! His every 'weird and strange' movements were exactly how I imagined the actual L would be ^-^ If I have to choose one thing negative about this film, it would be the character - Shiori. I have nothing against her, but then again, she was just some additional romance line that the director thought was a good idea. So in the end... if you're a fan of the DN manga, and you don't mind the directors changing the scenes abit, you should definitely give it a try!!
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9/10
This is the reason why I bought a "Death Note" notebook at the convention!!!
saboteur28200011 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I haven't seen the anime yet or read the manga but this movie convinces me to watch the anime version of it. There a lot of people who are dissatisfied watching it because they got used to the concept and flow of the original story from anime and manga. These reactions reminded me of the reviews of other anime-to-movie adaptations like Initial D and Shinobi.When I compared Initial D movie to anime I was just disappointed as the others.

This movie has its own story to tell and pleases me to spend my boring afternoon watching the bootleg copy of it. I enjoyed a lot of detective movies and this exceeded my expectations. I saw how Light and L battle their wits using method after method. Light tried so careful not to get caught under L's nose but by doing this L advances closer and closer to get to the conclusion. Characters portrayed well especially L. The CGI-freaked Death god may have some few flaws but fitted well in the scenes where he's needed. Story has their own uniqueness that I nearly sided to the vigilance of Light then found out to myself that I'm now confused for what Light did to escape revealing himself nearly at the end of the movie. L may be freakish but fits well to his demeaning role.

Overall I enjoyed it and planned to watch DS anime to see what is their big difference their talking about. I recommend this for those who like different approach of storytelling especially for those who doesn't have the unbreakable habit of comparing live-action adaptation to anime.
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9/10
In some ways, better than the original anime and it's very watchable for everyone
MartinHafer24 November 2006
This is the live-action version of the TV anime series, DEATH NOTE. They are both relatively similar, though the plot lines have been moved around a bit and a girlfriend was created for the main character, Light. In the anime and manga, there was no girlfriend and so my purist daughter complained loudly when she appeared in the film. However, I advise you to relax and give the film a chance--I actually LOVED what they did with the lady in the film. Early on, she's about as superfluous as a vestigial tail, but later she becomes an important part of the plot--you'll see. But as for the rest of the film, it is true to the original--Light is an evil piggie and L looks and acts much like a cockroach (like in the anime).

As for the story itself, it's a pretty hard film to describe for Western audiences. If you are already an anime/manga freak, then you probably will not be scared away by the odd plot line and story elements about the supernatural. However, for the uninitiated, please try to suspend judgment--the film can be enjoyed by anyone--not just anime/manga fans. I am much more of a casual fan of the genre and enjoyed the film immensely. My wife generally hates anime and loved the film. And, my insane "sold my soul to anime" teen loved the film as well. In light of this, I really think this live-action film is good entertainment for all.

One final note is that the guy playing Light's father is Chairman Kaga from Iron Chef. Throughout the film, I kept expecting him to whip out a yellow pepper and eat it, but unfortunately he did not!
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9/10
An Overall great film!
Nears_Puzzle6 December 2006
I saw the movie last night, and I thought it was very good. Repeating others, it would probably be better to read the manga a bit to see the changes, but the changes weren't that horrible. Some of the action is a bit wishy-washy(such as the heart attacks), but L was very good. The actor definitely captivated you as the character from the anime and movie. Raito was believable, but he didn't seem as genius as he did in the movie. The animation on Ryuk was also pretty sweet, only bad in one or two angles. I definitely can't wait to see "The Last Name". Already reading the ending, I think the director did a good job in changing some of the views and order of things.

Overall though, this movie is a must see!!!
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10/10
Death Note Rocks!
aokichan14 December 2006
Death Note, the movie I though was amazingly done! For the most part it stays very close to the manga and keeps true to the general feel of Death Note. The over all story of DN spans across 8 manga volumes and how they've compiled them has been quite ingenious, Again keeping with the feel of Death Note. If you've read the manga, you will notice certain events, and like with most movies compared to the books, you can tell where gaps are by poor character development, more times than not. With Death Note it's merely seamless.

The characters are wonderfully and are perfectly portrayed! Ryuk is outstanding and rather entertaining to watch, especially when he goes into apple withdrawal's.
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10/10
A thrill, interesting concept....
sendoh1518 May 2007
The pacing was slow at first but as it progressed i was completely hooked into the this adaptation. I have seen quite a bit of the anime and it precedes it well, with minor changes. Everything in the movie is well done and true to the whole concept of the story. The visuals alright, as well as the acting. It really depends on a viewer on how to take Deathnote, but to me it's really interesting not to mention thrilling.

It keeps you wanting more and keeps you on edge on what will happen next. The choices the characters makes and why, reflects our reality in a sense. The plot is simple yet so complex. What really gets to me is the idea of this whole deathnote, a responsibility, a choice, a sacrifice for the sake of one's belief and morals. This is those kind of movies where you tend to think quite deeply in absorbing the story yet allowing yourself to be entertained. Recommended to all. You can't miss this. Something different, interesting.
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10/10
Excellent Film
Ore-Sama25 March 2008
Despite what some may say, this is as great as adaptation of the manga as one could ask for. The actors portray their characters perfectly. The calm menace of Light is portrayed perfectly, with a clear distinction between Light and "Kira" Light, which is impressive considering anime would allow stronger visual cues. L is an honest to god incarnation of his manga and anime counter part down to the smallest detail. Ryuk is also impressive, the CGI effects do him justice and his voice is much better then the one for the subbed anime which was horrendous.

Now obviously the plot needed to be condensed and changed but they did very well. All the important parts are there and the ending, which strays far from the manga, is actually even better then what actually happened in that instance in the story. It wasn't conveyed the complex story involving a genius highschool student who's use of a notebook that kills people that get's him involved in a proverbial chess match with the detective L, but they did a fine job. Misa, despite her short screen time, acted the part of Misa perfectly, down to the voice.

Fans of the manga should enjoy as long as they don't expect an exact replica of the manga, and fans of thrillers should enjoy this as well.

9.5/10
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8/10
Death note.
helmutty17 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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9/10
An Almost Perfect Adaptation
chongchuanmun11 November 2006
Warning: 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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10/10
A 10/10 movie...
ateeqimran25 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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1/10
Terrible premiere in a big screen
Thiago dos Santos Moyses6 January 2007
Warning: 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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5/10
OK but far less then expected
shnookvook1 January 2007
I was pretty excited when I heard that there was going to be a Death note movie but... The movie doesn't really follow the events of the Manga very well, and the CGI is pretty bad. Erika Toda doesn't look anything like Misa neither does Tatsuya Fujiwara as Light and both fail to capture the spirit of the characters they portrayed, The only actor who really fits the character is Kenichi Matsuyama as L, which makes the scenes with L very enjoyable to watch. Overall the movie is OK and a good way waste a lazy afternoon but its nothing compared to the Manga or the anime show. So if your a die-hard fan or the Manga's/anime you'll probably be disappointed with the movie.
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An Entry for Me
tedg13 October 2008
Warning: 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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2/10
Read the manga, skip the movie
kaimono200130 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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7/10
Not as exciting as the manga...so manga fans,don't expect much from this movie.
deathangel66624 August 2006
Warning: 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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5/10
Boring when compared to manga/anime.
Daniel Moreira18 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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4/10
PLEASE watch the anime instead. You'll thank me.
sashyd13 July 2007
Wow, this movie was REALLY bad. I only wish I had seen it more recently so I could write down everything that bothered me. I think the biggest problem was Light. He's supposed to be tall, handsome and a complete sociopath. Something that Shuya can't manage to pull off- he's short, whiny, and seems to have an acne problem. I don't think I've ever seen a character so miscast in my life. On the plus side the actor who played L was excellent, certainly the only enjoyable thing in this movie. Also the CGI for Ryuk was very good, which means a lot because CGI always pisses me off (it always looks too fake for me). Basically, this movie raped the manga. Although it would still be a terrible movie even if you have no idea what Death Note is. You'd be much better off seeing the anime (which is excellent) or maybe watching "L" when it comes out next year, because the same actor is in it. And because Shuya isn't.
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3/10
Don't bother if you're not already a fan of the manga....
innocuous25 September 2012
Warning: 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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3/10
No justice
PrinceLucas19 February 2007
As a massive fan of the manga i very much looked forward to watching this - i am disappointed. Although some of the themes are still maintained much of the story has been decimated. This isn't the type of story that you can pick and choose what works, it must fit together. Neither Raito or L show any sense of real justice or intellect which are the two characteristics that make their relationship and conflicts so interesting. Raitos cautious nature has been completely ignored with him blatantly bringing out his deathnote in a crowd full of people to write names in it in the very first scene showing him! It does not do justice to the original manga and all i have to say to anyone who is disappointed with the obvious flaws in this - please see the manga for yourself before making judgements on this great story.
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1/10
The worst, absolutely, worst, movie ever made, to fans.
hissss121 January 2011
First of all, the question which is the easiest to answer: Why do I rate it with only 1 star? Because I can't select less. Not using profanity, obscenities, or spiteful remarks will be one of the hardest tasks I ever had to go through in my life.

Normally, as everyone, I would start with some positive aspects to falsely show some objective points of view and try to convince everyone that there could possibly be worse movies on this planet; but I shall promise, that is impossible. There are a lot movies, sequels, remakes, etc. of certain topics which simply spit into the faces of fans like never seen before (Highlander: Source, Dragonball: Evolution, Street Fighter, Resident Evil: Afterlife, ...), but this here, is the hardest try ever seen to insult everyone who likes the original, Death Note.

Absolutely nothing what made the manga/anime one of the most awesome visual experiences possible was put into this movie. The monologues are simply removed, the actors themselves act as unaffected by emotions as in a comedy film (what removes atmosphere fully), the (even if it could be worse..) 3D-animated gods of death are an insult to everyones' eyes and omnipotently do not fulfill the main intention of Takeshi Obata and their respective designs, ... Overall, there is not even one, slightly, well remade moment in all 3 movies; one which make your pupils extend up to infinity; rather you are asking yourself the entire time, why... Why???

Of course, since it is not a low-budget film, camera, light, etc. is far away from setting new standards in being bad, but this does not rescue anything in any way.

No, it is not the worst movie-; but yes, it is the ultimately worst fan-project of any topic ever made. Some things are never meant to be seen in live action, and some people have to learn that.
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Good premise but Bad Film
Chrysanthepop20 October 2007
Though the message of the film is to imply that absolute power corrupts, 'Deathnote', is a film that failed to impress me. Yes, I have seen the sequel too and I understand why it appeals to the young generation (the reasons are obvious). We see that the 'hero', Light, initially intended to use the deathnote in order to rid the world of criminals … but one thing leads to another and he becomes obsessed with power. A good premise indeed. However, there are some silly twists and several plot holes and the pace is extremely slow. Situations just become a little too unbelievable. It almost becomes another clichéd Japanese Teen-Horror film. The special effects make the Death god look fake and even some of their actions are unexplained (as are so many things in the film). I'd also like to warn that the film's ending is inconclusive (as it's continued in the second film), so if you still want to know what happens, there's the sequel.
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6/10
TV movie, but enjoyable
siderite1 January 2007
This is clearly a low budget TV movie, starting from the bad acting and ending with the silly 3D CGI. But it's not that bad. The script is pretty complex, keeps one wondering what happens next, then the girl actresses are pretty cute. So one can watch this. Unfortunately, the story ends with the promise of a second movie, which makes it all not worthy. I mean, even when you think you got it all figured out, a second killer notebook appears and the movie ends. Hmmm... Had the feel of a bad TV series pilot.

The story itself I won't bother to detail. There is a manga by the same name and I guess it's more complex than the movie. Bottom line: It's not an art film or anything, you would watch it only because there is nothing else better to do. But you won't feel regrets about watching it either.
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