Zat˘ichi (The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi)
Zat˘ichi (The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi) (2003)

A sightless samurai in 19th-century Japan helps two sisters get revenge on the gang that murdered their parents. Cult director and star Takeshi Kitano's revival of the long-running Japanese series is a kinetic, highly stylized piece of… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: September 6, 2003
DVD Release Date: November 9, 2004
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Critic Score: 86% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Colorful, rich with action and wonderfully choreographed, Takeshi Kitano takes on the classic samurai character with his own brand of cinematic flair.

Christy Lemire
Associated Press

The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi begins life as a straight-up samurai movie, evolves into a slapstick comedy and ends as a rousing, tap-dancing musical.

Bill Muller
Arizona Republic

For those unfamiliar with such films, Zatoichi might be a little off-putting. But given a chance, the movie can be pretty entertaining.

Dorothy Woodend
The Tyee (British Columbia)

If you're looking for a real hero you could really do no better than Takeshi Kitano's blind masseur, Zatoichi.

Full review…
David Ansen

Zatoichi is a mix-and-match crowd-pleaser that shouldn't add up, but delightfully does.

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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel

This isn't arty violence, just violence, and pretty pedestrian for a samurai picture.

Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

This non-traditional samurai movie isn't for kids.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

However improbably, Kitano pulls it off quite gloriously. Admittedly, this isn't one of his most idiosyncratic, innovative or, indeed, satisfying works, but it's without doubt fast, funny, fabulous to behold.

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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald

This is a wonderfully odd movie, proof that an artist can leave his personal stamp on any film, no matter the genre.

Ryan Cracknell
Movie Views

Violent and bloody, carefully choreographed and filled with dry humor, Takeshi Kitano's modern take on the classic Japanese character is a unique vision that's told with confidence.

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Flixster Audience Score: 88% Flixster User Reviews
Bob Stinson
Did not kick ass.
Mark Walker
'Beat' Takeshi Kitano made his name as a standup comedian before entering into cinema with a surprising array of serious and very violent roles. Here… More
Carlos MagalhŃes
It is easier to appreciate this very fine samurai film due to its formal rigor (especially with such a great cinematography and score) than to enjoy it, since… More
xGary Xx
A wandering blind masseur with unsurpassed skills as a swordsman finds himself allied with a quirky collection of misfits against a ruthless criminal gang,… More
Jens S.
By all means, I am no fan of the genre of the Samurai swordsman, but I can still expect more than slow story-telling, wooden acting and unfunny slapstick. It… More
Dean King
Ok seems I missed something here?? This film has great reviews but I found it very slow and the fights are far to quick, barely fights at all. I don't know… More