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.
- 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
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.
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: 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.
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: Not applicable
Consumerism: Not applicable
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable
Fan Reviews provided by
47 ronin by intuition73
Excellent .. Keanu Reeves rocks in this movie .. been waiting a while for another movie with him in it and i was not disappointed!
The rest of actors are very good as well and loved the witch..she's beautiful,sexy,and good at playing her part.. there is only one part i wish would had been different but i wont say so just see it while i theaters it is worth it ..
Adventure of a different sort by Cinephile1026
Why i liked it: First, this is a beautiful film: great scenes, great colors, great costumes, nice camera shots. The story itself is compelling, albeit a bit steeped in the fantastic. The idea of honor above self is compelling, especially in this day and age where it feels as if it is in short supply. Above all it is entertaining and well, an enjoyable adventure film. Yes, there is a little bit of the stiff performances we've seen in Mr. Reeves, but it was appropriate here-- I like Keanu Reeves, and am always entertained, which is what a film like this is supposed to do. I could have passed on the 3D, but I happen to prefer 2 D overall in film. I got a kick at seeing the great Todanabu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanda, Gedde Watanabe (the last film i saw him in was Gung Ho!) and of Cary-Hiroyoki Tagawa! It was enjoyable, entertaining, and the sword fights were exciting. Could the story be tighter? sure! but there are WAY worse films out there. Go Keanu, I say!
47 RONIN SUCKS 47 TIMES OVER by DR PHILGOOD
THIS HAS TO BE THE MOST ABSOLUTE WORST FILM I'VE EVER SEEN - THEY SHOULD PAY PEOPLE TO GO & WATCH THIS CRAP - KEANU REEVES PERFORMANCE WAS HORRIBLE - HE SHOULD GIVE UP ACTING AS A CAREER & MAYBE HE'LL GET LUCKY & QUALIFY FOR THE OBAMA PHONE & HEALTH CARE - DON'T WASTE YOUR HARD EARNED $$$ ON THIS SUCK BOTTOM FILM
Enjoyed it very much! by jnyneal
Altho the setting looked more chinese than japanese, I liked that many of the characters were portrayed by real japanese actors. Grant it Keanu is Chinese Hawaiian, but he looks happa enuf to fit the 'half breed' character of course. I saw the original b&w japanese language version decades ago and this is certainly more digitally enhanced with special visual effects to boot! Nonetheless, entertaining all the same. My husband is a black belt martial artist and he enjoyed it even more than I did! Of course, I luv anything Keanu does! Glad we saw it @ the movie theatre and not on netflix.
47 RONIN rocked by jannluca
Great visual, great action, great music, great acting, great love story, great special effects, it's fun and moves from the beginning to the end. If you like action and a beautiful film you love it.
Not bad for a round eye ninja named Keanu by kmoney51
I saw this is a dumpy, old-school theatre complete with uncomfortable chairs and a small tear in the screen. That being said, I have no idea how great the graphics/effects may have been. It was a little slow going at first but the story was well played and Keanu was, well, pretty much the same Keanu you know from the 80's. The fight scenes were legit, and there was even an asian girl who was able to use chopsticks with her hair! The ending seemed a little strange but it didn't ruin the rest of the movie. If you are thinking this is going to be like Kill-BIll, look out because this is anything but. Not the worst movie you can see but certainly not the greatest
BeautifulEnvironmentGreatActing by SpiritMatter
This seems like a Western version of an Eastern Legend. The main actors and actresses do a great job. This is a great story from a time when ego and peer pressure were more important than human rights and life. It is a tragedy to see good people die like sheep for the good opinion of evil people. I always watch the credits and it is interesting that I saw no one with an Asian last name. The Japanese characters thankfully were played by real and great Japanese actors. This is a Japanese legend of global interest and should have been spoken in Japanese with English sub-titles on the screen.
Great Movie by bkerney
The trailers and reviews for this movie almost made me skip it, but I like myself some samurai cinema, and, well, this movies actually pretty good.
Beautiful scenery, tons of racism against the half-white guy, swordfights... yeah.
I thought I'd be bothered by how poorly it followed the actual history of the 47 Ronin, but it's pretty clear it's following the kabuki tradition of exaggerating the story for dramatic effect.
47 Ronin.. practicly tasted the blood & felt the breeze from green drangon wings. by jwahadaisolomon
Best movie i have seen in years. Speccial effects, fantastic..acting, so real was entralled. Too bad i had to see it on a blackmarket bootleg copy because no theater anywhere near me (i live in Maine), was showing it. Honestly thinking about taking 2 days and driving to Mass. just to see it in the theater though. :)
recommend by jamasia
i loved the movie. if you are into samurai, ninja-esque movies, you'll enjoy it. if not, this will bore you. i thought the story and characters were well developed. Keanu was good.