Ran 1985

Critics score:
95 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune: Ultimately it is this mixture of the grand gesture and the fine touch, the big world and the small people who occupy it, that lingers with us long after Ran is over. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: Ran is one of the cinema's greatest works, a film of true tragic vision. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: What's remarkable about Ran is that the drama enhances the spectacle the same way the spectacle bolsters the drama. Few other directors had Kurosawa's ability to convey the intimate as well as the epic, to handle stillness as well as violence. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: There's probably more carnage in Ran than there is in Rambo and The Terminator combined, but the new film substitutes intelligence and emotion for mindlessness and emotionalism. You leave the theater awestruck, not dumbstruck. Read more

Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer: One of the supreme cinematic achievements of the last quarter-century. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: A film for the ages. Read more

Mark Feeney, Boston Globe: What could be more exciting than the prospect of one of the giants of world cinema, his career resuscitated, adapting Shakespeare's most modern play? Read more

Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader: Akira Kurosawa's 1985 film is slightly marred by some too obvious straining toward masterpiece status, yet it's a stunning achievement in epic cinema. Read more

Chuck Wilson, L.A. Weekly: Less a director's return to form than an essay in solipsism and self-pity run amok. Read more

Michael Atkinson, L.A. Weekly: Those who were suspicious of the filmmaker's unambiguous plotting and Westernized approach had to admit to its daunting grandeur. Read more

Vincent Canby, New York Times: A film of the sort of grandeur that brings to mind Griffith's Birth of a Nation, Napoleon Vu par Abel Gance and Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Nobody can film an epic battle scene like Kurosawa. Read more

Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle: List any element -- from concept through cinematography, battle action, editing, acting, sound, music, costumes or whatever, right down to makeup -- and Kurosawa's commitment is total. Read more

Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine: It is a film that already belongs to the ages. Read more

Time Out: The shift and sway of a nation divided is vast, the chaos terrible, the battle scenes the most ghastly ever filmed, and the outcome is even bleaker than Shakespeare's. Read more

Variety Staff, Variety: At age 75, the director has made his most costly epic to date, and it's a dazzlingly successful addition to his distinguished career. Read more

Amy Taubin, Village Voice: For aficionados of the war movie, the western, and the period action epic, Ran is necessary viewing. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: By the time Kurosawa's camera comes to rest on the film's final, poignant image, a painting of the Buddha that one character had promised another would protect him from harm, the movie seemingly has accomplished the impossible: one-upping Shakespeare. Read more