The Twilight Samurai (2004) It's wonderful to see a Japanese movie in which a samurai, for all his somber discipline and skill, is also a touching and complicated ordinary… 2004-04-23 Unrated PT129M Action/Adventure Drama Rie Miyazawa Hiroyuki Sanada Nenji Kobayashi Ren Osugi Empire Pictures
Movie Review

The Twilight Samurai (2004)

MPAA Rating: Unrated
The Twilight Samurai | HEY KIDS, WE'VE GOT TREE-MAIL For a humble warrior, combat is easier than family life
HEY KIDS, WE'VE GOT TREE-MAIL For a humble warrior, combat is easier than family life
EW's GRADE
A-

Details Limited Release: Apr 23, 2004; Rated: Unrated; Length: 129 Minutes; Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama; With: Rie Miyazawa and Hiroyuki Sanada; Distributor: Empire Pictures

It's wonderful to see a Japanese movie in which a samurai, for all his somber discipline and skill, is also a touching and complicated ordinary man. Seibei (Hiroyuki Sanada), the central figure in The Twilight Samurai, is an expert 19th-century warrior who lacks even a hint of bravado. Quiet and unkempt, with a wisp of beard that brings out the sadness in his eyes, he occupies the lowest rung of his clan and supports two daughters and a senile mother by working as a warehouse clerk. At times, he recalls no one so much as Dustin Hoffman in ''Kramer vs. Kramer,'' yet when Seibei finally does unsheathe his sword, I can't remember an action sequence that holds you in quite the same way, drawing deep excitement out of its hero's fearless desire to live more than fight.

Originally posted Apr 28, 2004 Published in issue #764 May 07, 2004 Order article reprints