Ikiru (1956)

Akira Kurosawa's drama stars Takashi Shimura as Kanji Watanabe, a government clerk who learns he has only months to live. Fearing his life may amount to nothing, he decides to turn his back on his rigid routines in order to search for… More

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Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: March 25, 1956
DVD Release Date: January 6, 2004
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Ikiru is a well-acted and deeply moving humanist tale about a man facing his own mortality, one of legendary director Akira Kurosawa's most intimate films.

Richard Brody
New Yorker

Kurosawa achieves the piercing emotion and poetry of the Italian neorealists, but by opposite means: he doesn't make the camera disappear; instead... he deploys his camera so sharply and unerringly that it seems to take X-rays of the spirit.

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Variety Staff

Kurosawa performs a tour-de-force in keeping a dramatic thread throughout and avoiding the mawkish.

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Blake Howard
Graffiti With Punctuation

Nelson Henderson famously said "the true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit." Kurosawa bathes us in the light of a man who gets to not only plant the seed, but look out on the sapling, with contentment.

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Don Druker
Chicago Reader

Akira Kurosawa's greatest film.

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Wally Hammond
Time Out

Kurosawa's eclectic style is a delight: his striking, varied compositions reflecting the old man's journey from darkness to some kind of light right until the moving finale.

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Josh Larsen

Talk about a movie that earns its tears.

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TIME Magazine

A masterwork of burning social conscience and hard-eyed psychological realism.

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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune

If you have never seen it, you should. If you have seen it before, your admiration will only increase.

David Parkinson
Empire Magazine

Meticulously constructed, beautifully played and poignant.

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More reviews for Ikiru

Flixster Audience Score: 97% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
A special, bittersweet and sometimes surprisingly funny celebration of the act of living, beautifully directed and with a wonderful performance by Takashi… More
Cindy I
Films don't come much better than this. Ikiru, which means "To Live" in Japanese, is the story of a city employee who after 30 years on the… More
Adriel Lim
A well crafted film with a heartfelt story that is poignant, deep, this masterpiece of a film laments life's biggest truths about our own measly, mortal… More
Devon Bott
"This stomach belongs to the protaganist of our story. At this point he has no idea he has this cancer". So says the narration over the beginning of… More
Jim Hunter
After being lied to by his doctor, a bureaucrat discovers that he has inoperable stomach cancer, and he searches hedonism, a co-worker, and his work for… More
danny d
profound. everything about this film is moving. it inspires the viewer to not waste his life. kurosawas shots are perfect as always and the side characters… More

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