• Studio: Tartan
  • Release Date: Mar 19, 2003

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 100
    Japón, isn’t just the wildest eruption of the current Mexican film boom, it's the most fascinating new picture I've seen this year.
  2. Some filmmakers give us dreams and false worlds in which we can find refuge. For others, though, like the young Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas, the movies aren't an escape from the world but a way more deeply into it.
  3. 88
    Doesn't have the crossover appeal of the Mexican sexcapade "Y Tu Mama Tambien," but it does herald the arrival of an audacious young filmmaker. We can't wait to see what he does next.
  4. The work of a remarkable new talent. By the movie's towering, final tracking shot, this imaginative, dazzling film achieves distinction.
  5. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Its powerfully visual storytelling delivers great rewards as the meditative drama moves into increasingly complex, at times confrontational territory.
  6. 80
    A notably confident and achieved debut.
  7. It's an engrossing and inventive drama despite its flaws.
  8. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    This crudely powerful film is a throwback. Unfolding at an elliptical pace that feels like a revelation, or tedium, or both, Japon recalls the glory days of 1970s art-house filmmaking.
  9. Reygadas is both a sophisticate and a primitive: He sets up his film as a religious allegory, with the nameless painter as a kind of suffering Christ and the old woman--whose name is Ascen, as in Ascension--as his redeemer.
  10. 70
    A dense, challenging work by any measure, Japón snakes toward a justly celebrated final shot that's technically astonishing and immensely powerful, cementing the arrival of a promising new talent.
  11. Luckily Mr. Reygadas has talent to match his ambitions; or, rather, gifts that undercut them sufficiently to give his film a prickly, haunting poignancy.
  12. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    This strange and beautifully expressive film set in a remote Mexican canyon has nothing whatsoever to do with Japan, but its themes are as universal as they come.
  13. The one thing that is clear from Japón is that a major new visual stylist has hit the screen and that Reygadas’ first film represents the beginning of an auspicious career.
  14. Tough going for most audiences and should be considered more of a rough draft full of lofty ideas unevenly executed.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 2 out of 5
  1. TJ
    Feb 17, 2006
    This director is brilliant. It is an extremely slow film, but the director's eye is astonishing and he gives you a great sense of being This director is brilliant. It is an extremely slow film, but the director's eye is astonishing and he gives you a great sense of being in Mexico. If you like mainstream movies, stay away. If you like Antonioni and other dreamy, existential directors then check it out. Full Review »