Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai


Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    Aug 16, 2012
    Takashi's film is sumptuous, with rich cinematography, costumes and set design. Half the time it is a game of chess - the battle of wits between Motome and the lord. Half of the time it is a moving melodrama.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    Jul 17, 2012
    Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai is more than just another bid for respectability, like "13 Assassins" -it may well be Miike's best film, a patient, ominous piece of epic storytelling that conscientiously rips the scabs off the honorable samurai mythology.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 20, 2012
    With this sober, mournful, gorgeously mounted and marvelously acted drama, Miike connects himself to the greatest traditions of Japanese film and to the period of historical self-examination that followed the debacle of World War II. And he also crafts one hell of a fable of heroism.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jul 19, 2012
    Arriving on the heels of "13 Assassins," Miike's gloriously irreverent take on the samurai action genre, Hara-Kiri seems conventional by his standards, especially in a long middle section that occasionally dips into sentimentality.
  5. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jul 19, 2012
    More moving than shocking, it proceeds slowly and gracefully, and the few scenes of bloodshed are emotionally intense rather than showily sensational.
  6. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jul 19, 2012
    Deftly weaving double plotlines, gorgeous camera work, and deep compassion, Miike contrasts ritualistic "honor" with the truly honorable, as poor but noble squires face off against powerful lords cushioned by tradition and pride.
  7. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jul 17, 2012
    What most distinguishes the redo is the often remarkable use of 3-D: Miike turns the format's inherent limitations, especially the tendency toward visual murkiness, to his advantage, fully immersing us in a world suffused with moral and ethical rot.
  8. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Jul 16, 2012
    The endlessly prolific Takashi Miike returns with this superbly acted revenger's tragedy.
  9. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Sep 21, 2012
    Reveals yet another facet of this always-unpredictable filmmaker: a flair for compassionate, humane melodrama.
  10. Reviewed by: Mark Feeney
    Jul 26, 2012
    It's superb filmmaking, uncluttered and utterly assured. Miike places us in the household of Li, offering up rich, deep colors, with an almost painterly exploration of fields of depth and volume.
  11. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Jul 20, 2012
    A 3-D epic that, despite its title, is more of a soap opera than a swordplay thriller.
  12. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jul 19, 2012
    With its lethargic pace, Hara Kiri may disappoint more often than it delights, but the payoff is extreme in more ways than one.
  13. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Jul 20, 2012
    Hara-Kiri is formal, deliberate, leisurely almost to a fault. It features the sort of slow-gliding camera movements favored by Kenji Mizoguchi, one of the greatest 20th century Japanese filmmakers - and the one least like Miike.
  14. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Jul 19, 2012
    Hara-Kiri builds and builds as well, but its revelations are more character-derived that action-oriented, so the film never reaches the cattle-on-fire craziness of its predecessor.
  15. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Aug 9, 2012
    Hara-Kiri is low on blood and shock, emphasizing performance and atmosphere.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jan 26, 2013
    It is the remake of an legendary movie to make this generation to realize the the power of sacrifice and honor. Movie is slow in parts but theIt is the remake of an legendary movie to make this generation to realize the the power of sacrifice and honor. Movie is slow in parts but the thin story line holds you till last moment. A must watch for the samurai fans. Full Review »