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47 Ronin Review

Movies.com Critics

1.0

Dave White Profile

Excuse me, Sir, what's a ronin? Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 2.0
    24

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter David Rooney

    It falls short on character definition, emotional involvement, narrative drive and originality.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    The New York Times Nicolas Rapold

    47 Ronin can’t entirely paper over the void at its center, traceable partly to the shadowboxing of computer-aided filmmaking or studio tinkering.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    Variety Peter Debruge

    As impressive as these visual elements prove to be, the film struggles to grab and maintain audiences’ interest, whether or not they know the underlying legend by heart.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    While the visuals are lovely to behold, this unremarkable version of the classic 18th century Japanese legend is stiff and uninvolving.

    Read Full Review

  • See all 47 Ronin reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 13 & under

Lifeless take on classic tale with bloodless martial arts.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that 47 Ronin is based on a famous Japanese story about an event that took place in the 18th century and though the violence is largely bloodless, there are swordfights with mixed martial arts and two beheadings. Characters are pierced with arrows and appear to die. Characters commit ritual suicide. We also see some fantasy violence, such as witchcraft and monsters. Sex is not an issue, but the main male and female characters are shown to be in love, though they barely touch. Some concubines, who wear heavy makeup and serve men, are part of the story. A man is put under a spell, and he has some hallucinations. One of the hallucinations is that he imagines his daughter being raped, though she is fully clothed.

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Is it exciting or gruesome? How does it leave you feeling? Does visible blood make the violence feel more realistic? How much blood would really be shed during violence like we see on the screen?
  • How do you feel about the idea of a white main character and a white director telling this story? Are non-Japanese allowed to tell a Japanese story? How can different cultures positively represent one another in movies?
  • Is the "jolly fat man" character a stereotype? What is his purpose in the movie?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Though the movie claims to be about honor and loyalty, it seems to be more about revenge, and treating others as inferior or undesirable. There might have been some teamwork here if the movie had been better made, but few of these characters are barely even identified. Additionally, some could be offended that this classically Japanese story has been presented in English, with a Western director and a Western star. Its only humorous moments include a stereotypical "jolly fat man" character.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The characters are skilled warriors, though their cause is mostly revenge -- in addition to rescuing a woman in peril. There's no real teamwork or honor, and they pay the ultimate price for their efforts.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: There's almost no blood in these sword battles; the greatest amount of blood is shown when characters mark their bloody thumbprints next to their names on a scroll. Two characters are beheaded, with no blood shown. Several minor characters are pierced with arrows and appear to die. There are plenty of sword battles, with some mixed martial arts thrown in (kicking, etc.). Characters commit ritual suicide. There's some other fantasy violence by witchcraft as well as monsters. The main character is beaten with clubs, and his cuts and bruises are briefly shown. A man catches on fire. A man is put under a spell, and he has some hallucinations. One of the hallucinations is that he imagines his daughter being raped, though she is fully clothed.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Two characters are shown to be in love, but they never kiss or touch, except when the woman gently tends to the man's wound. Concubines with heavy makeup are shown; these are women that serve men but have less status than a wife. No sex is mentioned, but could be vaguely implied.

  • language false0

    Language: Not applicable

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A man is put under a spell, and he has some hallucinations.

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