8.1/10
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Manbiki kazoku (2018)

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In theaters November 23.

A family of small-time crooks take in a child they find on the street.

Director:

Hirokazu Koreeda
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434 ( 136)
5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kirin Kiki ... Hatsue Shibata
Lily Franky ... Osamu Shibata
Moemi Katayama Moemi Katayama
Sôsuke Ikematsu Sôsuke Ikematsu ... 4 ban-san
Sakura Andô Sakura Andô ... Nobuyo Shibata
Yôko Moriguchi
Mayu Matsuoka Mayu Matsuoka ... Aki Shibata
Jyo Kairi Jyo Kairi ... Shota Shibata
Yûki Yamada Yûki Yamada ... (as Yuki Yamada)
Miyu Sasaki Miyu Sasaki ... Yuri
Akira Emoto Akira Emoto
Kengo Kôra Kengo Kôra ... Takumi Maezono
Chizuru Ikewaki Chizuru Ikewaki ... Kie Miyabe
Naoto Ogata Naoto Ogata
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Storyline

A Japanese couple stuck with part-time jobs and hence inadequate incomes avail themselves of the fruits of shoplifting to make ends meet. They are not alone in this behaviour. The younger and the older of the household are in on the act. The unusual routine is about to change from care-free and matter-of-fact to something more dramatic, however, as the couple open their doors to a beleaguered teenager. The reasons for the family and friends' habit and their motivations come under the microscope. Written by aghaemi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

23 November 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shoplifters See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Japan for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 91st Academy Awards in 2019. See more »

Connections

Referenced in ARfRA: The House That Jack Built Controversy (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Koreeda at the top of his game
9 June 2018 | by CountZero313See all my reviews

On the day I watched Shoplifters, the news in Japan was dominated by the story of a 5-year-old girl, beaten and starved by her parents, writing messages in her notebook begging for love. An eerily similar storyline is threaded through Shoplifters, but Koreeda's prescience is no accident - he engaged with similar stories in his 2004 film Nobody Knows. Family, in various degrees of warping, is the focus of Koreeda's opus.

Shoplifters concerns a three-generation family living on the fringes of society. Dad apprentices his son in the art of shoplifting, telling him things on a store shelf do not actually belong to anyone. He also tells the boy that only stupid kids have to go to school, which is why he doesn't. The older daughter performs in a seedy red-light peep show, and Mum works in a low-paid laundry job, searching pockets for any stuff she can pilfer. They live with granny, though any time a visitor comes they all have to hide themselves.

This warm but abnormal family is slowed revealed to be conjoined in ways we did not expect. The catalyst for this is Dad and son bringing home a neglected 5-year-old girl they come across abandoned on an apartment balcony on a freezing winter night. The girl comes home with them, and slots into the family, a pattern, we slowly realise, that has been repeated in the past. Granny was 'picked up,' and the son seems to have arrived by similar means. Their warmth and humanity is at odds with the illegality and disregard for social mores. Society judges such people, but by allowing us intimacy with them, Koreeda shows how society is also judged by them - and found wanting.

The slow revelation of the family's background, the naturalistic interactions, the judicious spacing of shocks and surprises, are all evidence of a master filmmaker in perfect sync with his material. The performances are sublime. Franky Lily and Kirin Kiki are Koreeda regulars and both are tonally perfect here. Koreeda shows that he still has a deft touch with child actors, first seen in Nobody Knows, a film that garnered a Cannes acting award for 12-year-old Yuya Yagira. Jyo Kairi has resonances of Yagira, both in his physical characteristics and his mannerisms. The maturity of his performance is stunning. Sakura Ando is outstanding as the mother-figure, made wise by bitter experience but also upbeat in her approach to life. Her threat to kill a minor character is chilling. One scene, where she performs straight to camera, answering a question on what her 'children' called her, rips your heart out.

There are many set pieces to enjoy here. A sharing of noodles on a humid summer day was one favourite; listening to, but not seeing, a firework display was another (what a metaphor for this family's peripheral status!). But the joy comes from the way the whole thing gels and shimmers, and provides steely insight on contemporary Japanese society, and the human condition. These are flawed individuals and Koreeda does not avert a critical gaze from their individual responsibility. The film explores big questions on living a good life and taking responsibility in an uncaring society. A simply stunning film.


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