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

User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 351 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 theyAfter 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
    75
    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
    50
    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
    30
    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. 25
    It’s a movie of pointless scenes.
  6. Reviewed by: Kenji Fujishima
    Dec 22, 2013
    25
    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
    0
    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: 74 out of 119
  2. Negative: 23 out of 119
  1. Dec 27, 2013
    10
    Wow. I am shocked by the bad critic reviews. I thought this movie was excellent. Compelling story. Special effects support but don't dominateWow. 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.
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  2. May 2, 2014
    10
    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
    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.
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  3. Dec 26, 2013
    9
    A great Japanese fantasy tale, filled with epic samurai upholding social order ahead of their own lives.The film does a great job of showingA great Japanese fantasy tale, filled with epic samurai upholding social order ahead of their own lives.The film does a great job of showing that duty and honor to ones lord is far more important than adventure. By battling against those who would the rules of society as a weapon these men face the ultimate challenge, returning order to the world. The ending is suitable dramatic, but not what a western audience might expect. Where the film does fall short in its ability to explain to a western audience why the Samurai do what they do, those who are not knowledgeable about feudal japan will have a hard time understanding the motivations of the characters. 47 Ronin is a legendary tale in Japan culture, and this was a fun if not fantastical telling. Worth the watch, but just remember to do a little homework before you go for maximum enjoyment. Expand
  4. Mar 9, 2014
    7
    Pretty decent movie. I think it's just pathetic how people rate this movie bad, just because they hate Keanu Reeves for some **** reason.
    Go
    Pretty decent movie. I think it's just pathetic how people rate this movie bad, just because they hate Keanu Reeves for some **** reason.
    Go and watch the movie, you probably won't be dying to buy it on dvd/blue-ray afterwards, but it's surely worth watching one time.
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  5. Jan 10, 2014
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Plot: extremely generic and predictable. I mean, I could literally tell the ending from the start. You can TOTALLY tell he's gonna use his forbidden magic one last time to kill that witch, and it's so cliché it hurts my brain.

    Graphics and photography: very good. The animations integrate perfectly with the overall style and you don't think it's fake for one second.
    But Avatar already has taken the spot of "amazing visuals-no plot" movie.

    I was gonna give it a 5, but I gave it a 4 because the protagonist is like, the only Caucasian character in the whole movie. Regardless of plot, it was an obvious attempt to appeal to us westerners.
    BUT I gave it 5 stars in the end because of the ending. The mass harakiri thing was the only thing that saved the movie from being a dumb "warrior-loves-girl-and-fights-everything-till-he-gets-her-back" abomination-- instead it adds a bittersweet taste that makes you FEEL like the movie conveys a message. (There's none except for the, also cliché, "do the right thing even if it gets you killed" motto.)
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  6. Dec 26, 2013
    4
    The tale of 47 Ronin is an ancient one, embellished with honorable vengeance in an exotic setting. While such premise could draw peopleThe tale of 47 Ronin is an ancient one, embellished with honorable vengeance in an exotic setting. While such premise could draw people attention, but there also lies its weakness, it's severely predictable. Many have used simple already known concept and made it into fresh interesting watch, unfortunately for this movie spamming CG is not amongst the way to accomplish that. Hindered by poor acting, questionable cast and uneven storytelling, 47 Ronin feels detached and uninspiring despite its gorgeous visual.

    From graphical standpoint, it's actually quite impressive. Mythical creatures roam its vibrant realm, colors are brightly sleek and the dark contrast makes for a good view. It's certainly up to par on other fantasy movies, although it does detract from more historical portrayal of feudal Japan. There's a bit exaggeration in it as well, almost as if it's a westernized version of Japan. Some scenes, especially with the quick battles or bizarre giant characters, have the grayish murky tone of medieval fantasy like The Hobbits, and while the style direction is a bit excessive, seeing kimono in brimming flamboyant dye is rather peculiar, it's acceptably eye pleasing.

    Problems emerge when it tries to implement the story, which could be inspirational but remarkably falls flat. Keanu Reeves plays Kai, a half breed from an Englishman and a Japanese woman, the film's original character meant to portray an elevating underdog story, yet Reeves displays only one set of facial expression. He looks almost completely the same throughout the movie, there's barely any allure on seeing such monotonous hero. At the very least, his stiff performance can be considered as consistency, ironically so.

    The use of English is awkward as well, The Last Samurai did the multilingual tone and it worked, so it could have used Japanese for more authenticity. There's a nagging feeling that something is amiss, specifically when the movie enters supposedly dramatic moments. Setting that aside, the script isn't exactly great either, most of the time it goes overly melodramatic, as if it wants the archaic feel of Japanese classic but delivered in mediocre English.

    Casting is dubious, everyone has the samurai look and with boorish script, everyone is equally trapped in their respective dull role; there's your serious samurai and next to him are the sad samurai and funny samurai. Granted, there's not enough time to highlight them all, but none of them stand out or have the chance to perform to the fullest. Rinko Kikuchi, who earned Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for Babel, plays the evil witch, although her presence merely resembles a bitter high school cheerleader. The characters are just terribly shallow, when the leading male barely does robotic mumbles and the Oscar nominee looks that uncomfortable, it does nothing to draw the audience's interest.

    During the two hours of its length, the flow feels fragmented, mainly because it consists of drab scenes with little beautiful vista sprinkled in between. There is no epic scale engaging skirmish to behold, just some small CG fights, which is odd since the appeal should be a smaller group of warriors against mightier force. It does boast a spectacle, but no amount of cosmetic can justify the bland use of Japanese classic.
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  7. Apr 2, 2014
    0
    only one question, where the hell did that big ass budget go?? Give 1/10 of it to tarantino and he'll still make you a masterwork. Waste ofonly one question, where the hell did that big ass budget go?? Give 1/10 of it to tarantino and he'll still make you a masterwork. Waste of money (a lot, like how did they get that kind of budget) and time, just watch 13 assasins or the last samurai again, you'll thank me for not having to waste your time.

    Just my opinion.
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See all 119 User Reviews

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