Okuribito (Departures)
Okuribito (Departures) (2009)

Director Yojiro Takita and writer Kundo Koyama examine the rituals surrounding death in Japan with this tale of an out-of-work cellist who accepts a job as a "Nokanashi" or "encoffineer" (the Japanese equivalent of an… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: May 29, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
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Critic Score: 80% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: If slow and predictable, Departures is a quiet, life affirming story.

Trevor Johnston
Time Out

The movie gestures towards deep emotions, but an abiding soft-grained superficiality effectively insulates us from the piercing realities of grief.

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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Departures is sometimes macabre and sometimes manipulative, but the way it speaks to the spirit is miraculous.

Richard von Busack

The laughter and family fights that break out at funerals might be part of this movie's rural, working-class eye. Departures favors farmland and old-fashioned wood-fired bathhouses over the Tokyo mania. It celebrates old-style, hands-on craft.

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Maggie Lee
Hollywood Reporter

A moving celebration of life through showing reverence for death.

Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel

Departures is a loving tribute to the Japanese way of death.

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Tony Rayns
Film Comment Magazine

The scripting of Departures (by Kundo Koyama, the one-man TV-drama writing factory who nurtured such delights as Iron Chef) is embarrassingly clunky and obvious: the movie's essential hollowness reveals itself with unusual starkness.

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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic

The winning nature of the performances outweighs Takita's more obvious choices.

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Philip Kennicott
Washington Post

It is as polished as it is heavy-handed, and it leaves one under a spell.

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Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

No doubt the best movie you'll see this year about the Japanese traditional funeral business.

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More reviews for Okuribito (Departures)

Flixster Audience Score: 92% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
A beautiful, sensitive and profoundly moving ode to the beauty of life and death, with a surprising sense of humor and a gorgeous score - the kind of film that… More
familiar stranger
Here's a good mixture of emotions, comedy and drama (could as well have served as a thriller had they thrown in some elements!!! JK) that strikes a chord… More
Letitia Lew
Beautiful, tightly-woven plot, powerful scenes that are keenly Japanese, by turns funny and tearful, and all the story nuggets are carried through and wrapped… More
Jan Marc Macababayao
On the premise that life is beautiful and death can be so beautiful, Departures lives on a story of heartfelt traditional Japanese casketing ceremony boasting… More
Kevin M. Williams
A musician/cultural sophisticate wannabe is shocked when hired to regularly participate in the traditional though frowned upon Japanese preparation for… More
Jennifer Xu
Such an understated, beautifully rendered movie. It made me cry, multiple times.