Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: This documentary is an intimate exploration of the lingering wounds of war and the healing power of art. The film is a heart-warming affirmation of humanity that will appeal to all lovers of peace, art, and cats. (Corporation for Public Broadcasting)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Cats is many things: a film diary of an odd-couple relationship, a profile of a forgotten man who slowly reconstructs his past, and the transcendently moving account of a man on the margins who gets reintegrated into society.
  2. The result is a movie that evolves naturally from the filmmaker's compassion for her subject; as much as possible, she remains off camera, and her immense act of charity is never permitted to become the film's focus. Instead this remarkable documentary offers a brief but satisfying look at a defiantly self-sufficient life.
  3. It's one of the best kinds of documentaries--not calculated but serendipitous.
  4. In its best moments, The Cats of Mirikitani captures both the tragedy and transcendence of his life, from the Sacramento-born, Hiroshima-raised youth who returned to the States in 1937 rather than join the Japanese Imperial Army, to the proudly self-sufficient man who struggled through New York's fierce winters until gaining recognition both as an artist and a human being.
  5. 75
    The person who can resist a formerly homeless senior citizen gradually restored to sufficient stability to the degree that he can take in his own "castaway cat" is hard-hearted indeed.
  6. 75
    It takes a special first-time director to stick her neck out, personally as well as professionally. As much as anything else, The Cats of Mirikitani is a testament to good breeding.
  7. 50
    Mirikitani is a colorful character and talented artist, and his story tugs at the heart. Problem is, Hattendorf insists on inserting herself in what seems like every other scene, a device that dilutes Jimmy's story.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. WayneD.
    Jun 30, 2007
    Powerful. Watching him being restored by the love and assistance of his benefactor was in credible. Seeing the world through his eyes of what was taken away by the government actions is painful and awakening. Doesn't hit you over the head. Allows you to see and feel. A MUST SEE. Expand