Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 31
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 31
  3. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Nobody Knows is the rare film that successfully tells its tale of childhood from the children’s point of view.
  2. 88
    Kore-eda expresses the terror of the kids' predicament with a touch that's equally tender and dispassionate.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    Spare and elegant and harrowing, it's an ode to childhood trust being stretched until it snaps.
  4. You won't forget Nobody Knows, the quietly harrowing tale of four abandoned Japanese children.
  5. Reviewed by: Jim Healy
    90
    Yuya Yagira, winner of the best actor award at Cannes this year, is superb as the protective eldest child; he and his other nonprofessional costars are quietly heartbreaking.
  6. 88
    There are moments in Yagira's performance that will break your heart.
  7. Nobody Knows, by the often excellent Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, is one of those special movies that can give us a new way of seeing.
  8. A beautiful but depressing film.
  9. Yagira's performance is so extraordinary, it won him the best actor prize at the 2004 Cannes film festival.
  10. 90
    Unfolds with such leisurely, terrible beauty, it takes a while to realize that what we are witnessing is the children's long slide into beggary, exacerbated by the slow torture of faint hope.
  11. Beguiling but long-winded.
  12. 75
    Luminous, melancholy and ultimately heartbreaking.
  13. Excellent, troubling social commentary based on a true story.
  14. 88
    Kore-eda presents the deeply moving story in a documentary style that is both gentle and compelling.
  15. It's a quietly powerful work, pulsing with gentle humor and a gripping sense of imminent calamity and dread.
  16. 91
    Moves at a stately pace; it's a long film, to boot. But there's real drama and pathos in the story, in the blend of matter-of-factness and potential catastrophe, in the depiction of innocence imperiled.
  17. 80
    Kore-eda doesn't create the simultaneous sense of being destroyed and exalted that the greatest humanist movies do, but he's stayed true to his title.
  18. The film, winsome and tragic at once and finely attuned to the rhythms of childhood, always seems quite close to real life.
  19. Beautiful, elevating and achingly sad.
  20. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    Pure and universal.
  21. 80
    Loosely structured around four seasons, Nobody Knows unfolds in a long series of episodes that slowly progress from lightly comic to bracingly sad as the situation deteriorates.
  22. There is not much progress in the film: actions are repeated and repeated...Yet the film is sustained--and, for the most part, well sustained--by the children.
  23. Not for the faint of heart, though it has no scenes of overt violence, and barely a tear is shed. It is also strangely thrilling, not only because of the quiet assurance of Mr. Kore-eda's direction, but also because of his alert, humane sense of sympathy.
  24. 80
    I certainly came out of Nobody Knows feeling numb; only later, reflecting on the fact that the movie was inspired by a true story, did it occur to me that the numbness could have been deliberate, and that what suffused this picture was a mist of anger.
  25. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    80
    Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda's most accessible film to date is also his most wrenching.
  26. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    80
    Kore-eda sketches the inner, spiritual and emotional lives of the children with subtlety and sensitivity, delivering the goods after a seemingly directionless first half.
  27. It's a heart-sundering vision of preadolescent helplessness that rivals passages of "Landscape in the Mist" and "Ponette."
  28. Apart from a singer named You who plays Keiko, the members of the cast are non-professionals. You may find that hard to believe when you see this astonishing film, as I hope you will.
  29. 100
    [The children's] remarkable lack of self-consciousness ... and Kore-eda's quasi-documentary style give this movie a stunning credibility.
  30. 90
    The kids in Nobody Knows are most decidedly not crazy, and we come to care for them to an almost excruciating degree.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 72 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 39
  2. Negative: 2 out of 39
  1. Feb 20, 2013
    9
    Film Director, Hirokazu Kore-eda's take on a real life event of child abandonment in Japan. In Nobody Knows, Four children are left to fendFilm Director, Hirokazu Kore-eda's take on a real life event of child abandonment in Japan. In Nobody Knows, Four children are left to fend for themselves when their mother takes off. The eldest son, Akira, is left in charge of his younger sisters and brother. He is forced to "grow up" and take charge but can only do so much. Hirokazu Kore-eda's cinematic progression and pacing is slow but riveting. It's a quiet film, yet spilling over with emotion. It's a comment on society and family. It reflects the status and shows us a cinematic situation of child abandonment it's not just a "pointless" and "boring" film. The kids act like kids. It's moving and eye-opening. As I say about all movies: Don't go in with expectations. Be surprised, entertained, and enlightened! Full Review »
  2. Jun 18, 2012
    8
    Undeniably, one of the best Japanese films I've ever seen in years. The story was so unique that it expressed an extraordinary unwelcomingUndeniably, one of the best Japanese films I've ever seen in years. The story was so unique that it expressed an extraordinary unwelcoming senses of sympathy along with anger. Despite of that, the movie also possessed a sense of warmth that can make you fall into tears before you even realized. Full Review »
  3. DonaldW.
    Jun 23, 2006
    2
    One word can describe this movie: boring. It could also apply to the other Koreeda movies I have seen. If another word is desired, try One word can describe this movie: boring. It could also apply to the other Koreeda movies I have seen. If another word is desired, try "pointless." If Koreeda is trying to tell us that young children should not be abandoned by their parents that isa point which certainly should not take two hours and twenty minutes to make as nothing could be more obvious. Full Review »