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Koji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yusuke Iseya, Goro Inagaki, Masachika Ichimura ... see more see more... , Mikijiro Hira , Hiroki Matsukata , Ikki Sawamura , Arata Furuta , Tsuyoshi Ihara , Masataka Kubota , Sousuke Takaoka , Seiji Rokkaku , Kouen Kondo , Yuma Ishigaki , Kazuki Namioka , Kazue Fukiishi , Koshiro Matsumoto , Mitsuki Tanimura , Takumi Saito , Shinnosuke Abe , Masaaki Uchino , Ken Mitsuishi , Ittoku Kishibe , Sosuke Takaoka

Cult director Takeshi Miike (Ichi the Killer, Audition) delivers a bravado period action film set at the end of Japan's feudal era in which a group of unemployed samurai are enlisted to bring down a s... read more read more...adistic lord and prevent him from ascending to the throne and plunging the country into a wartorn future. --(c) Magnet Pictures

Flixster Users

89% liked it

21,801 ratings


96% liked it

117 critics

DVD Release Date: July 5, 2011

Stats: 2,152 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (2,152)

  • August 26, 2011
    Slick well done period flick. yes its subtitled, get over and enjoy an immensely good action movie.
  • August 9, 2013
    Even though it starts out slowly, the film only takes two gruesome scenes to establish the bad guy as monster. What follows is a lot of recruiting and planning by the 13 Ronin that decide to take him out. That's not particularly exciting but lays a perfect ground for a finale fur... read moreioso. Once the showdown kicks into gear there is no rest for 45 minutes. It's also refreshing that there are no stylized fights defying gravity or logic, but realistic, bloody and dirty deaths. When the dust settles, the audience is almost as exhausted as the lone survivor. Then again there is quite another pleasant surprise, even if unrealistic one, in the end. A highlight of the genre.
  • July 10, 2013
    When a brutal sociopath becomes next in line to take power over a then peaceful Japan, a small group of samurai are dispatched to prevent him from reaching his kingdom and taking the throne. Takashi Miike is no stranger to blood and guts and so it was almost inevitable that he wo... read moreuld turn his hand to the traditional samurai story at some point in his career, and he does so with a perfect balance between character-driven historical allegory and gritty, blood-soaked violence. Although the template for the story is clearly provided by the Kurosawa classic Seven Samurai, Miike evokes the tone of the likes of The Wild Bunch or Once Upon A Time In The West in portraying a group of men of action who no longer have a place in the world and grasp their last chance for glory or death. It concerns itself with the usual trappings of the samurai movie, namely fulfilling duty and honour in the face of overwhelming odds, but also examines the merit of such obedience. The duel between Shinzaemon and his opposite number Hanbei is the crux of the story, as Hanbei's devotion to such a cruel tyrant is clearly misguided and throws into sharp relief the folly of unquestioning obedience. But the centrepiece of the film is the prologued yet gripping action sequence as the trap is sprung; Miike is obviously in his element and the chaotic blood letting on a massive scale is surely one of the most visceral and exciting sword battles yet captured on film. Certainly one of the best of this genre of recent years.
  • May 31, 2013
    A ridiculously entertaining and breathtaking action masterpiece. A poetic, bloody, epic, unforgettable and remarkably relentless piece of genius from cult filmmaker, Director, Takashi Miike. A bold, savage and insanely awesome movie with some of the richest, bloody and longest ba... read morettle sequences in recent film history. It's uniquely character drawn, atmospheric, thrilling, funny and visually captivating stuff. The craftsmanship is damn near perfect, the performances almost flawless and the imagery is tremendous. One of the best Samurai movies ever made.
  • fb732260458
    April 24, 2013
    An incredible period-piece Samurai film from an absolutely visionary director. Takashi Miike's masterwork.
  • March 9, 2012
    "13 Assassins" is an exhilarating, gritty, Samurai movie that soaks you into the culture and setting. I absolutely loved the cinematography. Also, I loved the first half of the movie; though it is hard to keep up with the names and characters because of the language barrier, it r... read moreuns you through the planning and process of what the 13 assassins must endure through to bring justice. The action scenes however, do not have the choreography nor the realism to bring an exciting action movie. What comes after the first half is an overly extended fight scene that lasts about 30-40 minutes long that is not captivating enough to bring excitement and drama. Plus, the story can't seem to manage to have a central key character that brings audiences to have the emotional attachment to relate with. Other than that, I would recommend this movie- it's a good time, but could've been better.
  • February 25, 2012
    Much like The Dark Knight deconstructs the idea of the superhero, Miike's masterful 13 Assassins does the same with the samurai as a guardian of values in an increasingly valueless feudal Japan. The film does a fantastic job weighing the myth of the samurai as not merely an anach... read moreronism, but as a belief system whose core reverberates, regardless of historical placement. Thematic concerns aside, it is shot beautifully, with a gritty artistry that belies many of the so called "epics" we see today. The action is tightly wound, and expertly choreographed with a small dose of Miike's morbidly hyper-realistic violent aesthetic. Doing so adds a tremendous amount of stature and weight. This may be the most complete film to date for the great director, and proves once for all that Miike is far more than a mere provocateur. I love samurai films, but 13 Assassins is the first I've seen that views this culture through a postmodern lens. Approaching it from this perspective gives "the samurai film" more teeth and a deeply philosophical current that hasn't been seen since Kurosawa's golden years.
  • February 3, 2012
    Been a long time since I've seen a samurai movie!
    13 assassins go on a mission to save the public from a tyrant. Some of them are young, others aged and experienced, but all of them determined.
    Seven Samurai definitely springs to mind, so if you haven't seen the old school stuff... read more: you have some serious movie watching to do!
    I loved the decor of course, the camera angles, the lighting. And it has some yummy scenes that gave me the shivers.
  • January 14, 2012
    15/01/2012 (NetFlix PS3)
  • January 4, 2012
    before watching this i had heard so much about how this film was a throwback to some of the great action samurai films of the 50's and 60's, and those assessments couldnt have been more true. the characters werent as compelling as i would have liked, mostly due to poor character... read more development, but the plot was developed well, and the action sequences were on par with some of the best in the history of samurai films. one of the best films of the year.

Critic Reviews

Tom Long
June 10, 2011
Tom Long, Detroit News

Familiar though it may be, as samurai movies go, 13 Assassins" is a killer. Full Review

J. R. Jones
June 10, 2011
J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader

This slam-bang remake of a 1963 feature by Eichi Kudo builds slowly, accumulating characters and themes, then explodes into a prolonged and masterful battle sequence inside a deserted town. Full Review

Chris Vognar
June 9, 2011
Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News

One can pinpoint the exact moment when 13 Assassins transforms from vivid samurai drama to insane work of genius. Full Review

Colin Covert
June 2, 2011
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Epic. Unforgettable. Relentless. Magnificently entertaining. Full Review

Scott Tobias
June 2, 2011
Scott Tobias, AV Club

Though 13 Assassins' setup could stand some tightening, it's all necessary prelude to a spectacular, action-packed final hour where all hell breaks loose and the streets and rooftops flow with blood. Full Review

Sean O'Connell
May 27, 2011
Sean O'Connell, Washington Post

Does Guinness World Records have an entry for longest on-screen fight? If it doesn't, Takashi Miike's "13 Assassins" just set it. And if a record actually exists, Miike's film just broke it. Full Review

Joe Williams
May 27, 2011
Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The dialectic about duty may not translate to a modern Western audience, but the savage sword-fighting is to die for. Full Review

Roger Ebert
May 26, 2011
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"13 Assassins" has what many action pictures need, a villain who transcends evil and ascends to a realm of barbaric madness. Full Review

Tom Keogh
May 19, 2011
Tom Keogh, Seattle Times

A richly cathartic experience with a wide range of emotional colors. Full Review

Rene Rodriguez
May 18, 2011
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

13 Assassins is a savage, insane movie - in the best way possible. Full Review

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    • Shinzaemon Shimada: I shall accomplish your task...with magnificence.
    • Hanbei Kitou (Naritsugu's Head Samurai): Who are you? You're no samurai.
    • Koyata (13th Assassin from the Forest): So what? Do only samurai matter in this world? I thought samurai would be fun but you bore me. You're useless, even more useless in great numbers.
    • Lord Naritsugu Matsudaira: [stabs him] This man speaks the truth. His reward is my short sword.

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