Fear and Trembling


Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17

Critic Reviews

  1. 75
    May be a sardonic view of Japanese corporate culture, but that's not all it is. The movie is also subtly sexual and erotic, despite the fact that every scene takes place in the office and there is not a single overt sexual act or word or gesture or reference.
  2. Amelie is utterly charming. And so, too, is the film.
  3. 63
    As wonderful as Testud is, her character doesn't make much sense.
  4. 70
    A sleek and sublimely deadpan comedy of Japanese corporate manners.
  5. A dark comedy that reveals the stultifying rigidity of Japanese office life - which the film persuasively suggests endures to this day.
  6. With the exception of Amelie's voiceover narration in French, Fear and Trembling is entirely in Japanese. And the Japanese cast is superb.
  7. 88
    Hilarious from first frame to last.
  8. Mr. Corneau, an eclectic director with a mildly perverse sensibility, turns the conflict of cultures into a psychodrama that is at once lighthearted and intense.
  9. A marvelous cross between "Secretary" and "Lost in Translation."
  10. 90
    Testud, who learned to speak Japanese phonetically for the role, is nothing short of sublime, her expressive face morphing from tear-stained frustration to slaphappy delirium with the speed of lightning flashing across the Tokyo sky.
  11. 80
    A feverishly compelling film that doesn't force-feed its ideals to its audience.
  12. 63
    The events in this film take place in the 1980s. Let's hope working conditions in Japan have "westernized."
  13. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    Classy, funny cross-cultural adventure is Alain Corneau's most accomplished and entertaining film since 1991's "Tous les matins du monde."
  14. 80
    This quietly odd and hilarious tale is a bit like a Japanese version of the popular BBC comedy series "The Office" or perhaps the "Dilbert" comic strip at its peak.

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