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Jiro Dreams of Sushi Review

  • Release Date: Mar 09, 2012
  • Rated: Brief Smoking and Mild Thematic Elements
  • Runtime: 1 hr. 21 min.
  • Genres: Art House/Foreign, Documentary

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    It's torture to watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi - if you are on an empty stomach. David Gelb's documentary on Jiro Ono, the 85-year-old sushi chef whose Tokyo restaurant received three Michelin stars is a paean to perfectionism and crafty bit of food porn.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    One of the film's best moments of deliciousness comes with the revelation that Yoshikazu, rather than his father, made the sushi that won the Michelin inspectors over; so much for working humbly in the old man's shadow.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Director David Gelb pulls back the curtain on the kitchen rituals of sushi, inviting us to experience the savory-smooth sensation of ''umami,'' roughly translated as ''Ahhh!''

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    We meet a variety of interdependent characters, from tuna vendors to rice experts, all in thrall to Jiro and his sons. I really wish Tokyo were closer.

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  • See all Jiro Dreams of Sushi reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 11+

Subtitled docu about sushi chef inspires and enlightens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary film in Japanese with English subtitles about Jiro Ono, a premier sushi chef who has gained great renown in his tiny restaurant in Tokyo. Older kids and teens, with proficient reading skills and some patience, will appreciate the simplicity, commitment, and success of Jiro's life. It helps, too, if viewers have some interest in food, though in this film food preparation is a metaphor for any of life's great passions. The movie's message is that satisfaction and lofty goals are reached through dedication, constant striving for excellence, and mastering of skills. Some cigarette smoking is seen in background.

  • Families can talk about passions. Do you have a passion in your life? How does Jiro's life inspire you?
  • Interview someone you know who is satisfied with his or her life's work as Jiro is with his. See what the two have in common. How does Jiro's story show that it isn't necessary to be wealthy or famous to be successful?

The good stuff
  • message true4

    Messages: Endorses hard work, passion, and dedication as the means to attaining highest goals. Movie attributes great success to more than talent  -- consistency, desire, impatience, loyalty are all necessary components -- obsession helps, too. A timeless truth for Jiro: "ultimate simplicity leads to purity."

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Jiro, his sons, and his assistants have committed their lives to the perfection of their product, and it appears to matter more to them than any social or personal issues. They're all models of hard work, self-discipline, aspiration, and satisfaction with a job well done; and they strive to be better no matter how much they've accomplished. Jiro's role as a father is entwined with his role as a entrepreneur. His two sons are unquestioning as they follow their father's aspirations for them.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Not an issue

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Jiro mentions that he used to be a smoker and that his father was an alcoholic. Some smoking visible in background.