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Jiro Ono, Yoshikazu Ono, Takashi Ono, Masuhiro Yamamoto, Hachiro Mizutani

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the story of 85 year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world's greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspic... read more read more...iously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious 3 star Michelin review, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro's sushi bar.At the heart of this story is Jiro's relationship with his eldest son Yoshikazu, the worthy heir to Jiro's legacy, who is unable to live up to his full potential in his father's shadow. -- (C) Magnolia

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91% liked it

27,276 ratings


99% liked it

87 critics

PG, 1 hr. 21 min.

Directed by: David Gelb

Release Date: March 9, 2012

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DVD Release Date: July 24, 2012

Stats: 1,097 reviews


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Flixster Reviews (1,097)

  • June 27, 2013
    Jiro is the master of his craft, he is passionate and is a perfectionist. I can't help but think that anyone doing the same thing for as many decades as he has, with the finest ingredients as he has at his disposal would probably achieve the same though. Is it passion or is he ju... read morest set in his ways? His restaurant only seats 15 at a time and is situated in a Tube station. It's a strange mix of passion and repetitiveness, perfectionism and stubbornness. I could never say the man has wasted his life, he has achieved something that so many try to but at the same time, it does seem like a wasted life, if not a boring one. I totally want to eat his Sushi, this film made me so hungry but it also made me sad for Jiro, even though he seems very happy. Food for thought seems to be the unavoidable cliched response to this film so there it is.
  • November 27, 2012
    Just a title like Jiro Dreams of Sushi can save you over an hour and twenty minutes.

    Full review at 12/4
  • November 18, 2012
    Very charming and beautifully shot. It still did not make me want to try sea urchin, though.
  • August 4, 2012
    Interesting doco. Not sure I would want to be working at Jiro's age, but good for him. His sushi looks delicious!
  • fb791220692
    July 25, 2012
    "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" isn't the most exciting documentary around. But its lack of conflict or drama is made up for by the elegant cinematography that matches the subject, and a great exploration of its themes (such as striving towards perfection and living up to expectations).
  • May 12, 2012
    'Jiro Dreams of Sushi'. A portrait of one man's absolute dedication, passion and never ending quest for perfection.

    I'm in complete admiration at the drive of Jiro, and the world of sushi that has so wholly consumed his life. He knows of nothing else, and time spent not making s... read moreushi is wasted time to him. Doing something for 75 years and still getting the level of enjoyment he does is an inspiration to anyone that goes to work thinking of it as just that.
  • April 20, 2012
    Documentary profiling 85-year old master sushi chef Jiro Ono, a perfectionist who's almost more sushi-making machine than man. It's more interesting than a sushi documentary has any right to be, but it's essentially a well-made adaptation of one of those articles you'd read in th... read moree "Lifestyles" section of the Sunday paper.
  • April 13, 2012
    Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a mouth watering, passionate documentary about the worlds' most acclaimed Sushi chef, and I'm not sure whether to recommend eating first, or going to the film hungry. No sushi that you have at your local $6.99 lunch special could possibly live up to the i... read moredeals (just by looking at his creations) that the obsessive compulsive Jiro reveals on director Gelb's HD camera. No sushi at your $100 per person with Sake will live up to it either.

    The quiet reverence in which Jiro is held by all the characters in the film, (a food critic, his sushi chef sons - terrified of letting down their fathers exacting legacy, the fish market and rice vendors) eventually rubs off on any viewer of this film. The man's obsessive compulsion and striving for excellence, even in his 85th year are truly humbling, especially for those of us who feel like we are too easy going and need to work on our attention to detail.

    The film delves into Jiro's early life. He was born poor and abandoned by his parents, yet possessed an inexorable inner drive that carried him to the height of sushi making. The film implies that this inner drive is innate, and makes me wish I had more of it myself. However, the film doesn't quite reveal how Jiro became Jiro. This much is clear - the man simply will not settle for anything less than full blown excellence, from the tunas he buys for his shop, to the work of his revolving door of apprentices and most emotionally, his terrified yet proud sons. He has no interests in life, except for making better and better sushi, and as in the title, this is what he sees in his dreams. Therefore, I'm not sure he'd be the most delightful company at a party but he's great company in this film.

    The film opens up at the fish market with Jiro's son shopping for the days ingredients, and a strange, mostly unexplained trip that Jiro makes to meet his childhood friends in his home village (that where the above mentioned grave scene takes place). He is like a hometown boy made good and everyone gets their picture taken with the maestro.

    Gelb uses a very simple storytelling technique by letting the players tell their own stories as pertaining to Jiro. Jiro himself is open and self critical, and answers all questions honestly, but he is not a poetic man with any kind of Freudian insight to his inner workings. We can see him at the grave of his parents, dutifully honoring them, then under his breath he says 'I don't know why I take care of them. They never took care of me.' A staggering and deep insight, one of the only ones in the film, but that's all you get.

    As for style, it effective but not very arty or pretentious. Gelb lets the HD sushi in close ups tell their own delicious story. As for people, we are mostly in close ups, and close quarters at Jiro's joint. Amazingly, Jiro does not have a lavish restaurant, but a hole in the wall in the lobby of an office building where he serves her creations at a 10 seat establishment that is reserved at least a month in advance.

    The film is very narrowly focused, and it does not hold interest for its entire 81 minute running time. It would been a more effective piece at about an hour or less, but I recommend it most highly, though it may not appeal much to non-foodies.
  • July 16, 2012
    When it comes to documentary I'm very picky when it comes to what I watch. What's surprising about this documentary is that it's more interesting than you think.

    Jiro Dreams of Sushi is about a 85 year old sushi master Jiro Ono works tirelessly in his world renowned restaurant... read more, Sukiyabashi Jiro. As his son Yoshikazu faces the pressures of stepping into his father's shoes and taking over the legendary restaurant, Jiro relentlessly pursues his lifelong quest to create the perfect piece of sushi. The documentary does the unlikely and makes a sushi chef entertaining to watch. Some of the best moments are when the Jiro and the other chefs shares personal experience. Jiro is inspiring and he's the kind of hard working man you would respect. The insights from critics and history of the restaurants itself is also pleasing to watch. Once your hooked into the documentary you'll surprise by how fast time past. Now the whole documentary won't grab your attention, they do get technical about fish and sometimes shows footage you could done without. Jiro Dreams of Sushi overall is an unusual documentary that works well and better turn out better than expected.

    Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a inspiring documentary about man and his passion towards his work. It's a good experience, and joy to watch.
  • April 8, 2012
    As "2 Broke Girls" put it in its own wacky way, there is a huge difference between awful sushi and great sushi. And with the winning documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi," we are at the awesome end of the spectrum in a ten seat restaurant, located underground in a Tokyo train stati... read moreon. As many shots of him walking through the streets attest to, Jiro, the proprietor, is as unassuming as his restaurant, not caring that much for the money. In any case, the price for a meal there starts at 30,000 yen, depending on the catch of the day but only sushi is served. If you're wondering(and I know you are), that comes out to about $367. According to a local restaurant critic and the Michelin Guide, it is worth every cent.

    Jiro has a simple secret to his success. He is one of those blessed few who love his job and with every waking and sleeping moment, he thinks of ways to improve the product. In lovingly detailed fashion, the documentary goes through the preparation of the dish from the selection of the fish and rice to the actual cooking in the kitchen, where it takes 10 years to train someone to make egg sushi. So much so, I am left wondering if there was any concern about any secrets that competitors might learn from watching this.

    Jiro, now 85, also has no plans to retire.(Only a health crisis at the age of 70 looked like it might derail him. It did stop his smoking, though.) He is also one of those people who if they ever stopped working, that might be it. He has two sons; the younger one with a restaurant that is literally a mirror image of his father's while the older one works at his father's. Since as Jiro frankly admits this is a group effort, it insures that the show will go on, even if the customers would miss Jiro once he is no longer there.(As one very satisfied customer puts it, Jiro watches the customers more than the customers watch him.) Now, the main cause for concern for this or any other sushi restaurant is the overfishing of the oceans.

Critic Reviews

Trevor Johnston
January 8, 2013
Trevor Johnston, Time Out

The exquisite nigiri slices gleam with freshness, and you do learn about the component parts to the perfect serving of sea eel or gizzard shad. Full Review

Maggie Lee
January 7, 2013
Maggie Lee, Hollywood Reporter

It's torture to watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi -- if you are on an empty stomach. Full Review

Colin Covert
April 20, 2012
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

By the time this graceful film is over you understand why Japan has declared the bald, bespectacled Jiro a national treasure. Even if you've never tasted sushi, the man's singleness of purpose will in... Full Review

Stanley Kauffmann
April 20, 2012
Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic

Gelb apparently understood that his subject was itself so taking that he wouldn't need filmic embellishments to keep his viewers alert. Full Review

Bill Goodykoontz
April 19, 2012
Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

Obsessive, we were saying? Oh my, yes, and that's what makes the film so compelling. Full Review

Evan S. Benn
April 12, 2012
Evan S. Benn, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

This documentary strikes a balance between storytelling and food porn that's hard to come by in foodie flicks. Like a proper sushi meal, "Jiro" left me feeling sated, not stuffed. Full Review

Mike Sula
April 6, 2012
Mike Sula, Chicago Reader

The most interesting moments, however, belong not to the chef but to those who labor in his shadow. Full Review

John Anderson
April 6, 2012
John Anderson, Newsday

As exhausting as Jiro may be, he's also inspiring. Full Review

Ty Burr
April 5, 2012
Ty Burr, Boston Globe

Would you be willing to massage an octopus for 45 minutes, until its flesh possesses just the right amount of chewability? Jiro is. Full Review

Michael Phillips
April 5, 2012
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

I really wish Tokyo were closer. Full Review

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    • Jiro Ono: Once you decide on your occupation... you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That's the secret of success... and is the key to being regarded honorably.
    • Jiro Ono: I'll continue to climb to try to reach the top, but no one knows where the top is!
    • Jiro Ono: Jiro's ghost will always be watching.
    • Jiro Ono: My son must do this for the rest of his life.
    • Jiro Ono: Even at my age, in my work... I haven't reached perfection.

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