Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 133 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: A brave samurai must assembles an elite team of thirteen killers to assassinate the brother of the Shogun, a sadistic and well protected young lord who's above the law, raping and killing innocents with impunity. The film culminates in a mind-blowing, forty-five minute battle sequence that rivals anything seen before in the genre. (Magnet Releasing)
    Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    May 12, 2011
    100
    13 Assassins is, at turns, thrilling and funny, visually exquisite and emotionally charged.
  2. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Apr 26, 2011
    100
    A classically structured rampage that bears serious comparison to the definitive greats of Akira Kurosawa, 13 Assassins will floor connoisseurs of action, mood and the dignity of a pissed-off scowl.
  3. Reviewed by: Kevin Thomas
    Apr 28, 2011
    100
    Few filmmakers juxtapose cruelty and beauty as audaciously as Japan's Takashi Miike. A master director with great style and panache, Miike's latest, 13 Assassins, is a classic samurai movie, right up there among the finest in the genre.
  4. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Apr 29, 2011
    88
    A must-see for Miike's passionate legion of fans. But even action buffs who've never seen any of his films before will be drawn in by this masterful exercise in cinematic butchery.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    May 25, 2011
    88
    The film is terrifically entertaining, an ambitious big-budget epic, directed with great visuals and sound by Takeshi Miike.
  6. 80
    Has a mixture of bloodletting and exultation that would make Sam Peckinpah sit up in his grave and howl with pleasure.
  7. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    May 2, 2011
    60
    A decent historical drama, with one of the best extended battle scenes (a full half of the movie is the face-off in the 'village of death') in recent memory.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34
  1. Jun 25, 2011
    10
    13 Assassins is enthralling, beautiful, violent, and disturbing. It takes from everyplace, adding feeling to every portion. The fights are exciting, intense, and bloody as hell. The humor is perfectly peppered in which is a refresher for the momentous and gripping action movie it is. Perfection. Expand
  2. Aug 22, 2011
    10
    Amazing movie. incredible build up to one of the most epic battle scenes ever committed to film. Definitely the best samurai movie I've seen. A flawless piece of cinema. Takaski Miike is a true master. Expand
  3. Apr 29, 2011
    9
    13 Assassins may not be a perfect movie, but it is a superb samurai flick. Solid acting, believable plot, and a tremendous action sequence make this one of the best modern samurai movies that I have ever seen. Having said that, I should also state quite clearly that samurai movies are not for everyone. If you don't know whether you like samurai movies, this one is a fine example of them. Takashi Miike's direction and camera work were excellent. I highly commend this movie to anyone who loves samurai, feudal Japan, or Asian action movies. Expand
  4. Jul 15, 2012
    8
    Set in shogun-era Japan, 13 Assassins tells the story of an elite group of samurai selected to rid the land of the shogun's evil brother who uses his power to rape and kill at will.

    I was expecting fight sequences similar to Chinese produced successes like Crouching Tiger or House of Flying Daggers, with elaborate camera effects and stylish choreography. However, director Takashi Miike serves up a totally different kind of action. The fight scenes are much more substance than style and are considerably more gritty and realistic.

    At just over two hours long, 13 Assassins can easily be broken into three chapters. Initially the film is slow to start as the story is told and characters are introduced, although Miike sensibly introduces the assassins in groups, and provides more focus on a few rather than diluting the characters too greatly. The middle of the film deals with the assassins travel to their chosen ambush point as the shogun's brother and samurai approach. Following a few minor fights in the first two-thirds of the film, the ambush and subsequent fight fills the remaining 45 minutes without much pause and can only be described as epic.

    After the initial upper hand is lost, the 13 men fight against a seemingly never ending army of guards and samurai knowing they are fighting towards their inevitable deaths. Having killed tens or hundreds of the enemy each, the realism of the film is underlined by the fatigue shown by the assassins as they are ultimately swamped holding off the enemy forces.

    A largely enjoyable samurai film worth watching if not only for the epic fight between good and evil.
    Collapse
  5. Nov 26, 2011
    8
    Well, a really good job (artistic/casting/story..). A very good reference in this genre, and a bit of fantasy with some details. I think this is an excellent mix of Samurai movies and some manga spirit (samurai shamploo...etc). Not a revolution in this type, so 8/10, but just great. Congratulations to this team. Expand
  6. Dec 31, 2012
    7
    A film about honour, justice, zen... and one of the best battle scenes in recent memory, a combat that lasts about an hour in the 'village of death' during which time a whole army is annihilated by 13 samurai soldiers. Expand
  7. JP_
    Aug 9, 2011
    1
    Terrible. The same crap that I've seen in every samurai movie, repeated step by step and image by image. If you want to see yet another Samurai movie that starts with a monster-leader doing atrocities on innocent people, so that you feel no torture or death is good enough for him, then progress to the little guys defeating the big guys by each of them hacking 10 people to death with simple strokes, this is the movie for you. Why not just watch Seven Samurai again? The high critical reviews for this movie astonish me. Expand

See all 34 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. The Best and Worst Movies of 2011

    The Best and Worst Movies of 2011 Image
    Published: January 5, 2012
    Get our final rankings for the past year's best- and worst-reviewed films and see how 2011 compared to previous years.
  2. Ranked: Best and Worst Remakes of the Past Decade

    Ranked: Best and Worst Remakes of the Past Decade Image
    Published: August 16, 2011
    This Friday brings remakes of "Conan the Barbarian" and "Fright Night" to theaters. Just how good (and bad) can a remake possibly be? We take a look at examples of both extremes released since 2000.