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Hara-Kiri

Released Aug 4, 1964 2h 15m Drama List
100% Tomatometer 11 Reviews 97% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings
Aging samurai Hanshiro Tsugumo (Tatsuya Nakadai) arrives at the home of Kageyu Saito (Rentarô Mikuni) and asks to commit a ritual suicide on the property, which Saito thinks is a ploy to gain pity and a job. Saito tells Tsugumo of another samurai, Motome Chijiiwa (Yoshio Inaba), who threatened suicide as a stratagem, only to be forced to follow through on the task. When Tsugumo reveals that Chijiiwa was his son-in-law, the disclosure sets off a fierce conflict. Read More Read Less
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Critics Reviews

View All (11) Critics Reviews
Wael Khairy RogerEbert.com Masaki Kobayashi’s “Harakiri” illustrates the samurai code as a flawed system hiding behind a façade of honor and principle—it is undeniably the greatest anti-samurai film ever made. Sep 23, 2022 Full Review Roger Ebert RogerEbert.com It would be wrong for me to reveal the details of the story Tsugumo tells. What I can say is that it is heartbreaking. Rated: 4/4 Mar 18, 2016 Full Review Michael Sragow New Yorker The film has a steady, hypnotic momentum; the director, Masaki Kobayashi, wrings as much drama out of facial twitches as he does out of sword fights. Sep 15, 2014 Full Review Randy Meeks Espinof Harakiri is the symbol of resistance against authority and the inhuman tendencies of the untouchable elite against the nobility of an impoverished working class... [Full review in Spanish] Rated: 5/5 Mar 28, 2023 Full Review Brian Eggert Deep Focus Review The film’s condemnation of the lies systems of authority will tell to preserve their power and engrain their ideology is deeply felt and presented in a structure that leaves the viewer rife with indignation. Rated: 4/4 Jul 21, 2022 Full Review Michelle Kisner The Movie Sleuth Both a thrilling character piece and a scathing take down of authority, Harakiri is a tour-de-force and a compelling look into the facade of institutions. Nov 7, 2018 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (413) audience reviews
Lars N Do NOT miss out on one of the best movies ever made. I was completely floored since I saw it the first time knowing very little about it in advance, and it has stayed with me ever since. There isn't a single shot in this movie, that isn't perfection. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/02/24 Full Review Tom K For years, Seven Samurai has been just about my favorite film. Hara-Kiri is good enough to edge it out. I don't know how I missed it for so long. Be aware though, that for a samurai film there aren't many duel or battle scenes (in case that's what you're expecting). Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/26/24 Full Review Christopher S I am not a connoisseur of Japanese cinema, but I have seen many Japanese films, particularly in the samurai genre. To this date, this one is my favorite. The intensity is unmatched, as is the psychological warfare between the Iyi clan and two ronin, a man and his son-in-law. Both come separately to Iyi in order to perform the rite of harakiri, but for distinct reasons. As these reasons unfold, the drama heightens and the action builds until the fantastic crescendo at the end. The film is rooted in historic realism, not fantasy, and is a critique on Japanese traditions, but is not bogged down by didactic dogma. It is also beautiful, with high contrast black and white, long continuous shots, and multiple views of the scenery. Certainly worthwhile. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/08/23 Full Review Dani G Masterful filmmaking. In the likes of Rashomon and Seven Samurai. By the way, I couldn't help thinking of Kurosawa and Mifune while I was watching. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 08/12/23 Full Review Yash B "Harakiri" puts a lot of emphasis on the dramatic weight of its backstory, which makes the action sequences near the end of the film really engaging. I did feel this samurai story was more dialogue-heavy than I expected, but once one major thing is revealed, I saw the direction the film intended to go, and found myself interested to see how it would play out. The movie tells an impressive story and brings some complex moral ideas to the forefront. Overall, this is a well-made movie that despite its age, feels effective in how it is made on a technical level while also boasting an original and engaging story. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 06/15/23 Full Review Pulec T Tarantino had to see this movie. Lots and lots of talk. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 04/14/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Hara-Kiri

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Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis Aging samurai Hanshiro Tsugumo (Tatsuya Nakadai) arrives at the home of Kageyu Saito (Rentarô Mikuni) and asks to commit a ritual suicide on the property, which Saito thinks is a ploy to gain pity and a job. Saito tells Tsugumo of another samurai, Motome Chijiiwa (Yoshio Inaba), who threatened suicide as a stratagem, only to be forced to follow through on the task. When Tsugumo reveals that Chijiiwa was his son-in-law, the disclosure sets off a fierce conflict.
Director
Masaki Kobayashi
Producer
Tatsuo Hosoya
Screenwriter
Shinobu Hashimoto
Production Co
Shôchiku Eiga
Genre
Drama
Original Language
Japanese
Release Date (Theaters)
Aug 4, 1964, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Mar 11, 2017
Runtime
2h 15m
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