Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Apr 4, 2012
    75
    This is a portrait of tunnel vision. Jiro exists to make sushi. Sushi exists to be made by Jiro.
  2. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Mar 21, 2012
    83
    Director David Gelb pulls back the curtain on the kitchen rituals of sushi, inviting us to experience the savory-smooth sensation of ''umami,'' roughly translated as ''Ahhh!''
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Apr 5, 2012
    88
    Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a foodie's delight, obviously, and best seen either on a full stomach or with restaurant reservations immediately following.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Mar 22, 2012
    80
    One of the film's best moments of deliciousness comes with the revelation that Yoshikazu, rather than his father, made the sushi that won the Michelin inspectors over; so much for working humbly in the old man's shadow.
  5. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Mar 15, 2012
    80
    Even if you don't fancy raw fish, "Jiro" is a captivating film.
  6. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Mar 22, 2012
    88
    David Gelb's thoughtful and wonderful documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, explores the dedication of this humble, bespectacled man, and the Zen-like focus he has for his work - or, as many would claim, for his art.
  7. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Mar 21, 2012
    78
    This artful documentary about renowned Tokyo sushi master Jiro Ono is not going to help save Charlie the Tuna one iota.
  8. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Mar 7, 2012
    85
    At its simplest level, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a portrait of a master. In its deeper layers, it explores what drives us to make things: Beautiful, jewel-like things, or things that delight our palate – or, in this case, both.
  9. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Apr 5, 2012
    88
    We meet a variety of interdependent characters, from tuna vendors to rice experts, all in thrall to Jiro and his sons. I really wish Tokyo were closer.
  10. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Mar 22, 2012
    83
    Beautiful, thoughtful and engrossing.
  11. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Mar 9, 2012
    75
    The real star of the movie is the delectable sushi itself. Viewers will be tempted to hop the next flight to Tokyo, but probably will have to settle for a Japanese eatery closer to home.
  12. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Mar 16, 2012
    75
    As a young man he dreamed of racing cars. Now he rides a bicycle to the market each day, to negotiate with an elite fraternity of top fish dealers, who save their best for Jiri's restaurant. Like the fish that are disappearing from the oceans, they're probably the last of a breed.
  13. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 9, 2012
    60
    An extraordinary morsel of a movie, and yes, you'll want sushi afterward. But it won't taste like Jiro's.
  14. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Apr 19, 2012
    90
    Jiro Ono is a magician.
  15. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Mar 7, 2012
    83
    David Gelb's documentary Jiro Dreams Of Sushi shows what a meal at Sukiyabashi Jiro is like: each morsel prepared simply and perfectly, then replaced by another as soon as the previous piece is consumed, with no repetition of courses. Once an item is gone, it doesn't come back. That's why each one has to be memorable.
  16. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Mar 6, 2012
    100
    A dream, indeed. Sure to delight foodies and cinephiles alike.
  17. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Mar 24, 2012
    75
    The image that finally lingers is one shown repeatedly: a close-up of fingers gently pressing a piece of fish onto a handheld oblong of rice, painting it with a single brushing of sauce and laying it on a plate, after which the preparer steps back. We're left to contemplate the pristine creation and envy Jiro's lucky customers.
  18. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Mar 9, 2012
    70
    The movie's first word is oishi, Japanese for "delicious," and what follows is a treat for sushi veterans. First-timers, however, may wish for a little more context.
  19. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Mar 12, 2012
    70
    It's beautifully photographed and explained at every stage from market to table, a foodie's dream night at the movies. The gentle shaping of the fish and sushi could lull you into a trance. A hungry trance.
  20. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Mar 4, 2012
    70
    The worst that could be said of helmer David Gelb's feature debut is that it's perhaps a little over-garnished with backstory about Ono's relationship with his two sons, and is slightly repetitive. That said, this intrinsically compelling hymn to craftsmanship and taste in every sense should cleanse palates.
  21. Reviewed by: Simon Crook
    Jan 7, 2013
    80
    Treating his seafood substantially better than Oldboy, Jiro is a miracle of perfectionism married to expertise. The same can said for Gelb's loving documentary.
  22. Reviewed by: Mike Sula
    Apr 5, 2012
    70
    The most interesting moments, however, belong not to the chef but to those who labor in his shadow. "Jiro's ghost will always be watching," observes one interview subject as he imagines Jiro's eventual passing and its probable effect on his 50-ish son, who follows in his father's footsteps but will never be considered his equal.
  23. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Mar 23, 2012
    75
    For all the trite sayings that come to mind, the story feels exceptional thanks to the subject, a self-made perfectionist still pursuing culinary transcendence.
  24. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Mar 8, 2012
    60
    Despite foodie-baiting close-ups of nigiri sushi brushed with soy sauce, and montages of skillful food prep, the film falls short as a satisfying exploration of craft. Like many other such portraits, it wastes valuable time declaring its subject's excellence that could be spent fleshing out demonstrations, explanations, context.
  25. Reviewed by: Benjamin Mercer
    Mar 6, 2012
    70
    Gelb might flit around a bit too much, but his appealing documentary always comes back to its subject's determination (sometimes overbearing) to leave the most meaningful possible legacy to his family and his craft.
  26. Reviewed by: Maggie Lee
    Mar 4, 2012
    70
    It's torture to watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi - if you are on an empty stomach. David Gelb's documentary on Jiro Ono, the 85-year-old sushi chef whose Tokyo restaurant received three Michelin stars is a paean to perfectionism and crafty bit of food porn.
  27. Reviewed by: Kenji Fujishima
    Mar 4, 2012
    75
    Director David Gelb details, among other things, the painstaking process that goes into creating mouthwatering pieces of sushi.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Aug 29, 2012
    10
    Somewhere in a Tokyo street, there is a sushi restaurant with ten seats. And at this restaurant, a very old
  2. Aug 10, 2012
    8
    The movie is completely fascinating and is very well done. The story it tells is a very extreme and unusual one. When you stop to think that aThe movie is completely fascinating and is very well done. The story it tells is a very extreme and unusual one. When you stop to think that a person could work 24/7 for 70 years only thinking about sushi all his life long, and imagine doing the same with your life, you will get a sinking feeling. Jiro is not human, he is God, legend, and his tale is like no other. His life sounds miserable but out of it came absolute perfection and something meaningful, which is hard to accomplish in a endless mass of 8 billion people. Full Review »
  3. Apr 24, 2012
    8
    How do you show someone who is a perfectionist and who spends his entire lifetime honing his skill at his chosen craft? Such commitment isHow do you show someone who is a perfectionist and who spends his entire lifetime honing his skill at his chosen craft? Such commitment is hardly seen anymore, in our get-rich-quick society. This quiet film shows us such a Masterl. Wish I could have a bite of Jiro's sushi! Full Review »