Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 21
  2. Negative: 12 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Dec 26, 2013
    Ultimately, the movie just doesn’t justify its outrageous bid to turn a solemn tale of self-sacrifice into swaggering global-marketplace entertainment.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Dec 24, 2013
    Rinsch, making his feature debut, shows the shortcoming of someone coming from the image-based world of commercials and advertising. There are moments of genuine beauty and a few terrifically eye-popping effects, but no feel yet for storytelling.
  3. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Dec 23, 2013
    It falls short on character definition, emotional involvement, narrative drive and originality.
  4. 25
    It’s a movie of pointless scenes.
  5. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Dec 25, 2013
    In spite of its enjoyable, easy-to-exploit aspects, 47 Ronin is a big budget spectacle hamstrung by its need to be at once flippant and respectful of its honor-driven source material.
  6. Reviewed by: Kenji Fujishima
    Dec 22, 2013
    This botched vision accepts the warrior's nobility at face value and sees the story merely as a springboard for high-flying action and CGI special effects.
  7. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Dec 26, 2013
    This Hungarian-shot bore is so indistinct it reeks of no place more than Hollywood, where the fascinating specifics of history and legend are ground into universal mush.
  8. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Dec 26, 2013
    47 Ronin is elephantine and lumbering, a wobbly, would-be epic that aspires to the scope and majesty of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, but comes up woefully short.
  9. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Dec 25, 2013
    The basics of the story remain unchanged, but it’s the wanna-be-blockbuster additions that rankle, be it the incoherent direction of first-time feature director Carl Rinsch or the copious CGI beasties who look like rejected "Lord of the Rings" villains.
  10. Reviewed by: Matt Glasby
    Dec 23, 2013
    “I will search for you through 1,000 worlds and 10,000 lifetimes!” Reeves promises his beloved. Anyone who sits all the way through this glossy folly will know exactly how that feels.
  11. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    Dec 23, 2013
    Insufferably boring, culturally hegemonic, and profoundly ugly.
  12. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Dec 24, 2013
    In the monumentally dull 47 Ronin, Reeves mumbles monosyllabic claptrap between dull action scenes. And it’s a shame: At almost 50 years old, the actor allows this turgid, clanky flick to play to his worst stereotypes.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 312 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 111
  2. Negative: 21 out of 111
  1. Dec 27, 2013
    Wow. I am shocked by the bad critic reviews. I thought this movie was excellent. Compelling story. Special effects support but don't dominate the story. The acting is a bit wooden at times, but it felt stylistically appropriate and didn't detract from the movie at all. I think it is an intentional nod to traditional Japanese form, but what do I know?

    Frankly this movie reminded me of one of the "Lord of the Rings" movies, Japanese style. It is a complete and intriguing universe. The cinematography and artistic direction feel coherent and well conceived. I feel like the characters were well developed and we understood their point of views by the end of the movie.

    I loved this movie. The time passed without notice while I was immersed in it. I'd see it again.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 1, 2014
    Dances with Wolves 1990 The Last of the Mohicans 1993 The Last Samurai 2003 Pathfinder 2007 47 Ronin 2013 Another movie with the white man showing up to save the day. Never mind the term 'half-breed' in the description. Full Review »
  3. Dec 28, 2013
    The poor reviews from both critics and users are misguided; this was an excellent telling of a 300 year old legend, the Chushingura. The legend is based on a historical battle, and the multitude of versions of the Chushingura all tweak some element of the historical events in order to either feature a certain element, actor, or viewpoint. This movie does the same thing.

    The dialog is in keeping with typical Japanese historical/fantasy action movies--it's direct, stoic in manner, and yet expressive. All of the actors deliver their lines believably and with grace--much as one should expect from this story. Keanu Reaves, while the Hollywood A-lister, is not the focus, but his strengths lend themselves well to the story. The real stars are Hiroyuki Sanada as Oishi, Tadanobu Asano as Lord Kira, and Rinko Kikuchi as Mizuki--the three of them are the heart and soul of the movie, and the plot moves with them. The action is swift, clean, and beautiful, which shouldn't be a surprise given the level of talent in the film. The CG adds only the fantasy elements, and doesn't detract from the rest of the story.

    The love story between Lady Mika and Kai is the twist of this story, and it works well because it's not the central focus of the plot. It's a nice addition, one to get American female audiences involved, no doubt.

    Overall, I'm highly satisfied with this movie. The only reason I don't give it a 10/10 is because, for me, that rating is reserved for the most epic of movies. "47 Ronin" isn't epic, but it's definitely excellent.
    Full Review »