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Zatoichi Review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 4.0
    75

    out of 100

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

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    A masterpiece of wry violence and stylized mayhem, The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi turns loose one of Japan's most brilliant film auteurs, Takeshi Kitano, on one of its most enduring pop legends.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    This incarnation is funny, quirky and clever, with some mesmerizing action sequences.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Mixing all the liberal blood-letting with equal amounts of inspired comedy, Kitano puts a fresh face on the classic material without messing with its heart.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The movie, quite simply, goes to sleep whenever Zatoichi isn't fighting. When he is, it's a pulp dazzler.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The kind of film I more and more find myself seeking out, a film that seems alive in the sense that it appears to have free will; if, in the middle of a revenge tragedy, it feels like adding a suite for hoes and percussion, it does.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Zatoichi reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

This non-traditional samurai movie isn't for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that many people die in this movie and never by natural causes. Characters are harassed, beaten, and killed, which in turn motivates more deaths. Children are orphaned by thieves, leaving them to fend for themselves through servitude and then prostitution. Addiction to gambling threatens the livelihood of one character, while the lives of all characters are threatened by the gangsters that rule the town. One character commits suicide to prevent a loved one from having to act dishonorably. A male character prefers to dress as a woman.

  • Families can talk about the appeal of a character like Ichi, whose inability to see makes him a symbol of justice and of power cloaked in a facade of powerlessness. What might explain the enduring popularity of this character?

The good stuff
  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Strong female and blind characters.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Extreme and graphic violence, death of parents, suicide portrayed as honorable.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Cross-dressing character, prostitution, child molestation (off-screen).

  • language false3

    Language: Brief strong language.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking.

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