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After the success of Hana-Bi (1997), Takeshi Kitano, or 'Beat' Takeshi, as he is often called, made another film in which once again he is the director, screenwriter, editor, the leading player and the talent behind the art work. Unlike many of his films about the violent lives of the yakuza, Kikujiro is a bittersweet road movie about two characters who have very little in common. Masao (Yusuke Sekiguchi) is a sensitive nine-year-old boy who has to spend his summer vacation alone with his grandmother. Soccer practice is suspended and all his friends are away at the beach. In his… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 59%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"... the slapstick and sentiment make for a queasy mixture."
‑ Kevin Courrier, Globe and Mail
"The result is a heart-tugger made totally irresistible because of the combination of Kitano's wry, sly sense of humor and his rigorous detachment."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"Leads with Kitano's exquisite timing and ability to mine both laughs and heartache in a single instant. It's a gorgeous take on alienation and guardianship."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
"Kikujiro, like the childhood games that its characters play, offers a temporary distraction from the disappointments of reality."
‑ Jeremy Heilman,
"Kikujiro is a failure of a movie, an utter mess that manages to be irritating and offensive IN ADDITION to being the worst thing a film can be: deadly boring."
‑ Eric D. Snider,
"... a great deal of fun."
‑ Patrick Z. McGavin, Hollywood Reporter
"You can't smile when you keep feeling sorry for the kid--who is not, after all, in on the joke."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Filtered through Kitano's distant and deadpan touch, the material works, and it works well."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"It doesn't seem like the type of film Kitano should be making..."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Neither the movie nor the trip taken ends up changing the world, but both make an impression worth noticing."
‑ Janet Branagan, Apollo Guide
"... its treacly mix of emotional manipulation and klutzy comedy will make it hard to digest for most audiences."
‑ David Rooney, Variety
"These gags work because Kitano has created an intrinsically funny character and because he has perfect timing and a terrific sense of construction."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"Not Kitano's best but still displays a deadpan visual cleverness that's uniquely his own."
‑ Beth Accomando,
"For every moment that works in Kikujiro, there's at least one that doesn't, and they often happen at the same time."
‑ Chuck Rudolph, Matinee Magazine
"too slow and too long for its own good, "Kikujiro" gives us a juicy character so rough to like that his description must have been written on sandpaper."
‑ Ross Anthony, Hollywood Report Card
More reviews for Kikujiro on Rotten Tomatoes