Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 305 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , ,
  • Summary: After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and restore honor to their people. Driven from their homes and dispersed across the land, this band of Ronin must seek the help of Kai—a half-breed they once rejected—as they fight their way across a savage world of mythic beasts, shape-shifting witchcraft and wondrous terrors. As this exiled, enslaved outcast becomes their most deadly weapon, he will transform into the hero who inspires this band of outnumbered rebels to seize eternity. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 21
  2. Negative: 12 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by:  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Dec 27, 2013
    A multi-colored downer fantasy which combines bursts of imagination with a bleak worldview, resulting in something that rarely feels mainstream.
  2. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Dec 24, 2013
    There’s little sense of urgency, or — oddly, given the film’s title — of scale. You never really think that the 47 are truly outnumbered, and the large action scenes are often just incomprehensible.
  3. 50
    This one never quite decides if it wants to be a big, boisterous epic or a solemn retelling, and it nearly disappears into the crack between the two.
  4. 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.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Dec 26, 2013
    It’s a movie of pointless scenes.
  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: 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.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 108
  2. Negative: 20 out of 108
  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.
  2. May 2, 2014
    This movie is very deep if you're willing to look for it.
    Excellent story, similar vein as Hero and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.
    A lot of
    the deeper dialogue happens through body language. Expand
  3. Jan 10, 2014
    I went into this movie with essentially no expectations. After a cursory glance at reviews I thought it would be a mindless throw-away experience. However, I could not have been more wrong.

    This movie surpassed all of my expectations. I enjoyed the meld of the feudal Japanese setting, the un-overt use of fantasy elements infused with the legend of the 47 ronin.

    As far as I remember, the major plot points were covered and I was pleased to see that the end of the story was not changed to accommodate most cheesy Hollywood endings. It's an ending that Western audiences may not understand as being "happy" without having some knowledge of the Bushido code.

    In terms of pacing, I felt that the movie moved along at a brisk pace - never at any moment did I feel a scene overstayed it's welcome. In comparison, when I watched Hobbit: Desolation recently, I fell asleep probably 2-3 times due to many of the over-drawn scenes.

    Overall, I thought it was a great, entertaining movie. I really don't understand the major disparity between the critic and user reviews. If you are an action, fantasy, or adventure movie buff, I highly recommend this movie to you. Don't bother even considering the largely incorrect reviews from the so-called "pros".
  4. Dec 30, 2013
    If you need to have the term "second" in relation to seppuku explained, perhaps this movie wasn't made for you. Without a passing knowledge on Japanese culture you may feel lost, especially in the act of speaking without speaking, the language of bows, distance, eye contact and other nonverbal cues. For those who've not at least been exposed to Kurosawa or really any small amount of jidaigeki, themes and core aspects of the film will likely be lost on you and the film doesn't hold your hand through the some of the tougher material. Anyone who saw this film and thought Keanu Reeves was the star was mistaken. Keanu is a viewpoint character for (western) viewers. Hiroyuki Sanada is the star of this story of betrayal, revenge and misplaced but well-intentioned bushido. The fantastic aspects are simply flash on the side that embellish a long embellished story and expose uninitiated audiences to the alien mythos of Japan. They aren't necessary, but they add elements those in the know will appreciate.

    That's not to say the film is perfect. Other than a brief but solid set piece involving the aforementioned mystical elements (and a great and novel interpretation of a classic Japanese race of creatures), the second act is sloppy with far too rapid scene cuts, dissolving from one to the next without a fair share between the lot as if to remind the viewers that certain characters are indeed still in the film. After that, the third act rolls on without a hitch to an excellent climax and a bittersweet finish that might leave oblivious westerners with a sour taste.

    This reviewer noticed that apparently many reviewers were "forced" to buy a ticket themselves to see the film (oh the horror!) and wonders if it's too beyond the pale that their reviews were especially rotten for this reason. In any case, it's worth noting that while a certain aggregate site has critic reviews at around 10%, the audience review is closer to 65% (which is approximately the same here). If 47 Ronin looks interesting to you, you'll probably like it. Ignore critic reviews since they seem to have a natural aversion to scifi and fantasy, really anything that requires suspension of disbelief (beyond Keanu Reeves' ability to emote). Check it out at a matinee showing with some friends and judge it for yourself.

    (The only real gripes I have are that the swordplay is more European--sword clashes are almost never okay with katana unless you want a chipped or shattered sword--and the Dutch pirate with the skeleton tattoo makes a cameo appearance at most.)

    Also, complaints about inaccuracies or additions to the film ring hollow for me. The Chushingura has been told countless times in bunraku and kabuki plays, other films by Japanese directors, and even in opera and on and on. This is a new and original take on the story and should not be discounted due to tertiary liberties.
  5. Feb 12, 2014
    This movie is okay, its not the best, the acting can be awkward and the plotline can be predictable. I also don't like that the main character is White, but still this movie is okay and it don't deserve a 27/100. It should deserve a 60/100. Expand
  6. Jan 22, 2014
    They made great efforts to turn a 47 japanese ronin revenge story to a 1 non-japanese ronin romantic story. Well done! We don't really need the monsters and many scenes are pointless. Expand
  7. Mar 21, 2014
    All the action the movie has can be seen in the trailer. The acting is not what made the movie bad, i can't even put my finger on what made it bad exactly, all i can say is that it's a very boring movie, you keep waiting to the action to start only to see the movie is about to end and no decent action scene was seen. Expand

See all 108 User Reviews