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13 Assassins

2011 Martial Arts

Based on actual events that served as the inspiration for the 1963 film of the same name, Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins follows a group of noble samurai as they seek to slay a tyrannical, politically connected lord before he seizes control of the entire country. Japan, 1844: as the era of the samurai winds to a close, a sadistic young lord uses his powerful political ties to commit heinous atrocities against the common people. Recognizing the dangers to both his country and its citizens should the lord manage to gain any more power, a concerned government official secretly recruits 13 of the most skilled swordsmen he can find to defeat the evil lord once and for all. But reaching their target won't be easy, because the elusive lord is constantly flanked by legions of fearless bodyguards. Realizing that the bodyguards would decimate his modest task force in a traditional battle, the assassins' leader (Koji Yakusho) lays an ingenious trap that will give his men the upper hand, and waits patiently for their prey to take the bait. more..

Director: Takashi Miike

Starring: Koji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yusuke Iseya, Goro Inagaki, Masachika Ichimura

Reviews

  • Few filmmakers juxtapose cruelty and beauty as audaciously as Japan's Takashi Miike. A master director with great style and panache, Miike's latest, 13 Assassins, is a classic samurai movie, right up there among the finest in the genre.

    Kevin Thomas - Los Angeles Times

    19 January 2013

  • The well-crafted 13 Assassins, a remake of a 1960s samurai film, is one of his best; it shows that Takashi could be a great filmmaker if he'd only slow down.

    - The San Francisco Chronicle

    19 January 2013

  • Right makes might in Takashi Miike's excellent-and exceedingly violent-remake of a 1966 Japanese classic by Eiichi Kudo.

    Joe Morgenstern - The Wall Street Journal

    19 January 2013

  • A stirring, unexpectedly moving story of love and blood.

    Manohla Dargis - The New York Times

    19 January 2013

  • The picture does, in places, feel like an unspoken homage to Kurosawa, though it's certainly its own distinct creation. But I wonder if it more closely resembles another end-of-an-era picture, Sam Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch."

    Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline

    19 January 2013

Awards

  • Best Production Designer

    Asian Film Awards (2011)

  • Best Film

    Austin Film Critics Association (2011)

     
  • Best Art Direction

    Awards of the Japanese Academy (2011)

  • Best Cinematography

    Chlotrudis Awards (2012)

     
  • Best Foreign-Language Film

    Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards (2011)