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Shoplifters (2018)

Manbiki kazoku (original title)
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In 1 theater near Ashburn VA US [change]

A family of small-time crooks take in a child they find outside in the cold.

Director:

Hirokazu Koreeda

Writers:

Hirokazu Koreeda (original story), Hirokazu Koreeda (screenplay)
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Popularity
200 ( 16)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 19 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lily Franky ... Osamu Shibata
Sakura Andô ... Nobuyo Shibata
Mayu Matsuoka Mayu Matsuoka ... Aki Shibata
Jyo Kairi Jyo Kairi ... Shota Shibata
Miyu Sasaki Miyu Sasaki ... Yuri Hojo
Sôsuke Ikematsu Sôsuke Ikematsu ... 4 ban-san
Yûki Yamada Yûki Yamada
Moemi Katayama Moemi Katayama
Daisuke Kuroda Daisuke Kuroda
Kazuaki Shimizu Kazuaki Shimizu
Izumi Matsuoka Izumi Matsuoka
Katsuya Maiguma Katsuya Maiguma
Hajime Inoue Hajime Inoue
Aju Makita Aju Makita
Akira Emoto Akira Emoto
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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 young girl. The reasons for the family's 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

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

23 November 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shoplifters See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$89,264, 25 November 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,947,987, 13 January 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

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 »

Quotes

Nobuyo Shibata: If someone hits you and tells you they are doing it because they love you, they are a liar.
[Hugging Yuri]
Nobuyo Shibata: This is what someone does when they love you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 76th Golden Globe Awards (2019) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Sometimes water can be thicker than blood
17 October 2018 | by ctowyiSee all my reviews

Hirokazu Kore-eda's The Third Murder (2017) left me cold and entertaining the notion that Kore-eda has lost his mojo. O ye of little faith, please forgive me... Shoplifters, fresh from being minted with the highest honour, the Palme d'Or, at this year's Cannes Film Festival, is Kore-eda back to being his emotionally devastating best. This ranks in the top tier of his outstanding output. If ever there is a film that can declare that sometimes, just sometimes, water can be thicker than blood, this is it.

Somewhere in Tokyo, Osamu Shibata (Lily Franky), his 'wife' Nobuyo (Sakura Ando) and 'daughter' Aki (Mayu Matsuoka) live in poverty. While Osamu receives occasional employment and Nobuyo has a low-paying job, the family relies in large part on 'grandmother' Hatsue's pension. As he is shoplifting for groceries with his 'son', Shota (Kairi Jo), they discover Yuri (Miyu Sasaki), a neglected girl. Osamu takes her home, where the family observes evidence of abuse. Despite their strained finances, they informally adopt her.

Once in a long while, a film can come along, sneaks up on you and sends your heart into a flutter of tiny explosions. Coming out of the screening with six other friends, we had to dissect what we had just experienced. As it turned out, it wasn't much of a deconstruction, but more of a discussion of the ideas of the family unit that Kore-eda paints with such delicate and painterly brushstrokes. That's when you realise the immense power of cinema and what it can do. This is a gem.

Kore-eda dives into his favourite theme of the family unit and observes what will happen to the bedrock of familial relationships if it goes through a seismic shift. It is a theme he has dealt with in outstanding films like Nobody Knows (2004), Still Walking (2008), I Wish (2011), Like Father, Like Son (2013), Our Little Sister (2015) and After the Storm (2016). After so many excellent films on the same theme, you would think what else can he still distill. Shoplifters may be Kore-eda most complex, but yet his most accessible film to date.

The ideas explored in Shoplifters are multi-faceted and piercingly intelligent, intermeshed into a tapestry that will fall apart if even one scene is taken out. The script is subtle and draws empathy readily. So many times the dialogue feels innocuous, only for the poignancy to hit you in the gut some time later. It doesn't judge, never points a finger at any party, nothing here errs on the side of twee. The tone is deftly maintained from the first frame to the devastating last.

As usual, the heavy-lifting is done by the youngest actors, performances so naturalistic that they feel authentic. The ensemble is superbly cast and each of them shines in their own memorable way. They may be thieves, but there is honour and righteousness in them. They do not represent the lowest strata of the Japanese society and don't believe in handouts. With a warped sense of justice, they are willing to break the rules to survive. Above all else, their love and trust for each other is the glue that binds them.

Kore-eda never cheapens the emotional ride and doles out expositions like sermons. Details of characters are gradually accumulated in a Zen manner till it hits a gut-wrenching last act.

Like a lot of his heart-wrenching films, Shoplifters feels like a 3-hour magnum opus and I was again surprised it is only a 2-hour film because Kore-eda packs so much in the story. You will no doubt feel like you had lived a lifetime with the characters. Shoplifters is essential viewing and provides many involving examinations of what constitutes a true family. I love what the matriarch of the family said in a contemplative scene at the beach and I will paraphrase - "Sometimes it is better to be with the family you choose rather than the family you are born in". Some food for thought there.


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