Kumonosu J (Throne of Blood) (Macbeth)
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Macbeth is reimagined as a samurai in feudal Japan in director Akira Kurosawa's classic adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy. Familiar with Orson Welles's more faithful adaptation, Kurosawa chose to place a more personal stamp on his version by translating the events and characters to historical Japan. The equivalent of the tragic Scottish lord is Taketoki Washizu (Toshiro Mifune), a valiant warrior whose life is transformed by an encounter with a ghostly female spirit. The spirit offers several predictions, finally stating that Washizu will rise to power over the current warlord.… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"No doubt about it now: Japan's Akira Kurosawa must be numbered with Sergei Eisenstein and D. W. Griffith among the supreme creators of cinema."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"It's visually ravishing, as you would expect, employing compositional tableaux from the Noh drama, high contrast photography, and extraordinary images of rain, galloping horses, the birds fleeing from the forest."
‑ , Time Out
"One of the best Shakespearean adaptations ever made, and that director Akira Kurosawa topped himself by helming the brilliant King Lear-inspired Ran 28 years later only cements the fact that he will always be heralded as one of the greats."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"Unavoidable consequence of human ambition."
‑ Keith Phipps, The Dissolve
"More an impression of Macbeth than an actual Macbeth>/i>."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"No stage production could match Kurosawa's Birnam Wood, and, in his final framing of the hero -- a human hedgehog, stuck with arrows -- he conjures a tragedy not laden with grandeur but pierced, like a dream, by the absurd."
‑ Anthony Lane, New Yorker
"Widely regarded as one of the most successful film adaptations of a Bard play."
‑ Glenn Abel, Hollywood Reporter
"Kurosawa grounds this downward spiral through the presence of Toshiro Mifune, who personalizes the Macbeth role while making it greater than his historical moment."
‑ Matthew Sorrento, Film International
"Throne Of Blood captures the spirit of Shakespeare's writing, as the driving rain, swirling fog and screeching animals lend metaphorical weight to this tale of murderous human ambition."
‑ , Total Film
"A potent adaptation that captures all the strange atmosphere of Shakespeare's play, and invests it an exhilarating, visceral aesthetic."
‑ , Film4
"Akira Kurosawa's remarkable 1957 restaging of Macbeth in samurai and expressionist terms is unquestionably one of his finest works -- charged with energy, imagination, and, in keeping with the subject, sheer horror."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"We label it amusing because lightly is the only way to take this substantially serio-comic rendering of the story of an ambitious Scot into a form that combines characteristics of the Japanese No theatre and the American Western film."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"These most powerful of men are just puppets or, more aptly, fools embracing the illusion that they are masters of a world that views them as ... a punchline to the cosmic joke"
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"Throne Of Blood defeats categorisation. It remains a landmark of visual strength, permeated by a particularly Japanese sensibility, and is possibly the finest Shakespearean adaptation ever committed to the screen."
‑ Derek Malcolm, Guardian
"One of Kurosawa's best and arguably the best Shakespeare ever filmed."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
More reviews for Kumonosu J (Throne of Blood) (Macbeth) on Rotten Tomatoes