• Studio:
  • Release Date: Aug 28, 2013
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Aug 27, 2013
    90
    Despite the poetry its subtitle promises, the fascinating crows-in-the-skyline doc Tokyo Waka is more informative than lyric, which is not at all a complaint.
  2. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Sep 5, 2013
    80
    “Waka” refers to an ancient form of poetry still widely popular today, and helmers Haptas and Samuelson, through their serene lensing and fluid editing, propose a visual thread linking the past to the present “as the crow flies.”
  3. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Aug 28, 2013
    80
    The film is a short, nimble consideration of the collision between the wildness of nature and the orderly bustle of modern urban life. It is also an essay on ornithology, Japanese culture and the challenges of pest control.
  4. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Aug 26, 2013
    80
    Quietly, persuasively, Tokyo Waka asks whether cultures decline by pouring resources into propping up entities that can no longer support themselves.
  5. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Aug 30, 2013
    75
    In short, the crows are pests, but the movie shows them great affection, as do the humans who discuss the ways they must accommodate the crows. After a while it is impossible not to admire the birds’ intelligence and resilience, and see that perhaps it’s the other way around: The crows are the ones putting up with us.
  6. Reviewed by: Kenji Fujishima
    Aug 24, 2013
    75
    Its discursiveness does have the intriguing effect of leaving behind a myriad of impressions about its subjects rather than settling on pat interpretations.
  7. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Sep 3, 2013
    65
    A waka is a traditional Japanese style of poetry, and this documentary does take a lyrical approach. Although barely an hour long, Tokyo Waka leaves room for offhand observations and humorous asides.
  8. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Aug 27, 2013
    60
    While the frequent recourse to talking heads burdens the documentary with a choppy cadence, directors John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson manage to offer moments of great humor.

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