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13 Assassins Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Baker's dozen of blood. Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

13 means luck for action-hungry audiences. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Right makes might in Takashi Miike's excellent-and exceedingly violent-remake of a 1966 Japanese classic by Eiichi Kudo.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Deborah Young

    Though it takes some time to sort out the large cast, the leads, all fine actors, eventually come into focus. As the good and bad samurai, Yakusho and Ichimura have the gravitas to take their roles seriously and perform a decisive one-on-one sword fight straight.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The film is terrifically entertaining, an ambitious big-budget epic, directed with great visuals and sound by Takeshi Miike.

    Read Full Review

  • See all 13 Assassins reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Not for kids

Incredibly violent samurai movie with epic battle scene.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that 13 Assassins is an incredibly violent samurai action movie, from the maverick Japanese cult director Takashi Miike, who is known for some of the most intense movies of the past ten years (including Audition). The final 45 minutes of the movie is a bloody, sustained battle sequence that literally includes rivers of blood, spraying and spurting blood, and hundreds of dead bodies. Weapons used include swords, bows and arrows, fire, and bombs. Rape, the murder of women and children, and the act of hara-kiri are all portrayed off-screen. Most disturbingly, we see one of the villain's victims: a naked woman whose arms, legs, and tongue have been cut off. Additionally, there's some sexual innuendo and some sake drinking. This review applies to the American theatrical release and the DVD/Blu-Ray release, which runs 126 minutes. The original Japanese version, which is not yet officially available in the U.S., runs 141 minutes.

  • Families can talk about the movie's bloody violence. How does it affect you? Is it thrilling? Disgusting? Boring? What effect do you think the director was trying to achieve?
  • Is revenge a good motive in this movie? Does the sheer evilness of the villain justify the heroes' acts?
  • Are the samurai in this movie good role models? Why or why not?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The movie's main theme is revenge, although the target is a sociopath so unspeakably evil that his death feels like a good deed. (It is implied that killing him will save the lives of many future victims.) Characters bravely and calmly agree to risk their lives and work together to stop him.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: All of the characters are brave, and each gets a chance to prove himself in battle. The leader of the group is the most noble, and encourages a spirit of teamwork. But the most changed over the course of the film is the bandit. By the end, he has renounced his shady ways and promises to settle down with the girl he loves.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Not much happens until the movie's final third, when it turns into one of the longest, bloodiest, and most sustained battle sequences ever filmed. There are literally rivers of blood flowing from the hundreds of dead bodies slain on the battlefield, in addition to spurting and spraying blood. We see one of the villain's victims, a woman with her arms and legs chopped off (and her tongue cut out). It's a gruesome, disturbing sight. Characters use swords, bows and arrows, bombs, and fire. We see bashing, stabbing, and beheadings. Bulls are lit on fire and sent into battle. The villain rapes women, and kills women and children (all off-screen). A man commits hara-kiri (off-screen).

  • sex false4

    Sex: There's no sex, but a naked woman is shown; she's the victim of the main villain; her arms, legs, and tongue have all been cut off. Needless to say, it's not a sensual image, but rather a violent and disturbing one. There's also some sexual innuendo in the form of dialogue among the men. A small naked boy is seen urinating.

  • language false0

    Language: Not applicable

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The men drink sake in one scene, in a social setting.