User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 48
  2. Negative: 6 out of 48
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  1. RicScothern
    Jun 23, 2009
    10
    I am biased. I lived in Japan, Yamagata no less. The portail of both the people and environment displayed in this film is both accurate as to the heart and soul of the wonderful Nihonjin people.
    The simple spirituality of thier customs and way of life is Perfectly captured within this show. I cried not only because of the spiritual nature of this film, but because they transported my
    I am biased. I lived in Japan, Yamagata no less. The portail of both the people and environment displayed in this film is both accurate as to the heart and soul of the wonderful Nihonjin people.
    The simple spirituality of thier customs and way of life is Perfectly captured within this show. I cried not only because of the spiritual nature of this film, but because they transported my heart back to Yamagata ken. Kanzen desu! Nihon to Nihonjin e kokoro kara kansha shite imasu!
    Arigato Gozaimasu.
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  2. EricL.
    May 29, 2009
    10
    Very deserving of the 2009 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. A great film!!!
  3. StanG
    Jun 9, 2009
    9
    Though this film is about the preparation of corpses for cremation, it is in no way morbid. What it is is a touching, wonderful film that is worthy of the Best Foreign Film Oscar it received.
  4. TerryL
    Jun 20, 2009
    10
    This movie sucks you into the film and you become Daigo. My wife and I rate it 100% on the spot for bringing to light the importance of love, life, death, coming to our senses, forgiveness and respect for others, no matter what their persuasion. We are going back with relatives to watch it 4 more times, and can hardly wait for it to come out on DVD. The Italian film Life Is Beautiful and This movie sucks you into the film and you become Daigo. My wife and I rate it 100% on the spot for bringing to light the importance of love, life, death, coming to our senses, forgiveness and respect for others, no matter what their persuasion. We are going back with relatives to watch it 4 more times, and can hardly wait for it to come out on DVD. The Italian film Life Is Beautiful and the Chinese film The Road Home left you with a feeling of the importance of life, relationships, family and love. Departures adds another perspective to these great films. Taken together, you come away a changed person. The film lingers in our minds and will not go away. It is so worth seeing - and multiple times. Expand
  5. JonathanO
    Jul 2, 2009
    10
    Beautifully acted - a powerful, sometimes funny, drama about Life and Death. Depicted in such a magnificent way that I cried several times throughout.
  6. Gabe
    Jul 3, 2009
    10
    This is the first time I greatly disagree with a o Scott, I abslutely loved this film. Nothing ground breaking but makes you care that much more about humanity in all its essence, emotional and powerful in a humble way.
  7. medinap
    Aug 3, 2009
    10
    Departure rightfully deserves its Academy award for best foreign language film. Even more deserving than the much touted Waltz with Bashir and The Class. This is what cinema is all about. The direction, music score, cinematography, editing, sound, production design and of course, the acting are SUPERB. The film has a profound impact on me. The ending was unforgettable. Some of the Departure rightfully deserves its Academy award for best foreign language film. Even more deserving than the much touted Waltz with Bashir and The Class. This is what cinema is all about. The direction, music score, cinematography, editing, sound, production design and of course, the acting are SUPERB. The film has a profound impact on me. The ending was unforgettable. Some of the so-called critics should stop lambasting feel good movies which promote positive values and exhibit the triumph of the human spirit. The magic of Departures is in its simplicity. It is heartfelt, mesmerizing and impeccable. Collapse
  8. NeilR
    Aug 15, 2009
    10
    I'm concerned, but not surprised, that the American press gave this monumental film mixed reviews. In a country which exalts youth and denies death, DEPARTURES must be a total drag for some viewers. I needn't tell the story, because it is available in too many forms elsewhere. I will say that I've never seen a film from any filmmaker or culture which displays such reverence I'm concerned, but not surprised, that the American press gave this monumental film mixed reviews. In a country which exalts youth and denies death, DEPARTURES must be a total drag for some viewers. I needn't tell the story, because it is available in too many forms elsewhere. I will say that I've never seen a film from any filmmaker or culture which displays such reverence and love for the lives and deaths of common people as this extraordinarily beautiful movie. Perhaps it is the contrast between the Eastern way of death and that of our own which made such an impression on me. But on a simpler level, this film tells the story of a young man who -- having lost all identity -- recovers it in the most surprising way. He learns not only to adapt to his new occupation but to honor it. And his work -- casketing -- preparing bodies for cremation -- reveals the ultimate gestures of honor and respect for the dead. Deeply, deeply moving stuff. The venerable Joe Hisaihi has done it again. His cello-focused score is lavishly orchestrated and simply gorgeous. This is his best work since PRINCESS MONONOKE. The ensemble performances are as good as you get. There's not one false peep from the entire bunch. Any decent, intelligent filmgoer who misses this has bypassed more than a movie. The script, the imagery, the values of this great achievement will impact the sensibilities of those who see it. Our lives have more purpose than we, our acquaintances and employers suggest. We would all be better off if we could pay homage to others when they were still alive; but this wonderful work -- funny and moving in turn -- reminds us that we have another chance to do so, and that that it is redeeming and beautiful. Don't miss it. Expand
  9. RichardB
    Aug 29, 2009
    10
    Simply one of the most moving films I've seen in many years.
  10. David
    Aug 30, 2009
    10
    One of the best movies of the decade. It handles grief, which is an essential part of our lives, in a gentle and human way. Gradually the viewer is carried into the experience of separation and its impact on those who stay alive.
  11. IevaM.
    Jan 26, 2010
    10
    This is a beautiful, extremely moving picture. Baa-humbug to those who gave it a negative review.
  12. Sep 14, 2010
    9
    Okuribito draws the viewer in almost immediately. The subtle, hidden messages are as prevalent as the obvious messages. It teaches the significance of life, death, love, and the importance of family. The phenomenal audio makes the touching scenes even more personal. A film worthy of our eyes and of the Oscar it received.
  13. Apr 19, 2011
    10
    Beautiful film, great story and an amazing lead performance. The little details are the ones that makes you to not stop watching!! A very deserving winner of the oscar!!
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. It will resonate with anyone who has ever buried a loved one and struggled to reconcile the myriad emotions--grief, anger, helplessness. Which is to say, everyone. And yet out of this premise comes glop. Departures needed a little more work in the morgue--like cutting to the bone.
  2. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    70
    TV scribe Kundo Koyama's first bigscreen script peppers the proceedings with rich character detail and near-screwball interludes that shouldn't fit but somehow do.
  3. Reviewed by: Maggie Lee
    80
    Yojiro Takita, who directed enduring commercial hits like "The Ying Yang Master" and "The Yen Family," has made a popular gem -- thematically respectable, technically hard to fault, artfully scripted to entertain and touch.