The one halfway-interesting part of this movie is Nivola’s performance, which operates at both a deeper register of seriousness and a higher pitch of comedy than anything else. Is the sensei a wise man, a sociopath or a complete idiot? That doesn’t really matter, except insofar as it can be fun to watch this shrewd, charismatic and somehow always underappreciated actor try to convince us that he is all three at once.
A. O. Scott
July 10, 2019