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4,240 Ratings



Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Japan, 1952


After learning that his stomach cancer has left him with less than a year to live, a Tokyo bureaucrat struggles to reconcile with his impending death and begins looking for ways to make his remaining days meaningful.

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Ikiru Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Ikiru, in short, may have looked a bit broader and more didactic than I remembered when I watched it again, a far cry from the subtlety and self-containment that are to me the graces of Japan. But somehow it still touches on a world that grows deeper within me every autumn, even as its themes and props surround me.
November 25, 2015
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After I watched Ikiru, I couldn’t sleep. Literally could not sleep. The film wrecked me. Wrecked me good. The next day I sought intellectual sanctuary from the overwhelming emotional damage I was experiencing. But the excellent historical and analytical commentary in the Criterion special features was no help. I was depressed. The film depressed me. For a number of days. And here’s the thing. What depressed me was the hope in it. So faint, so fragile, so dignified…so sad.
March 23, 2010
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The film’s iconic image—of Watanabe on the swing—is just so awesome and beautiful that, years later when you think back on the film, you will almost forget that this is one of the saddest movies ever made.
March 23, 2010
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What are people saying?

  • Malt Frisky's rating of the film Ikiru

    As the quote from the film states 'You don't realise how beautiful the world is until your faced with death'. The film is a perfect example that you can still change and make an impact in your life no matter how small. On top of someone facing death it manages to weave the frustration of bureaucracy within this film as well. The song 'Life is Brief' will give you a lip quiver moment. So make the most of your life.

  • Den-Leroy Kangalee's rating of the film Ikiru

    One of the greatest films ever made. Period. I look at this film and I am humbled. It's almost biblical. No, it's far greater than that. Far more profound. And, sadly, far more eternal. One of the most soulful pictures ever made. This is why Kurosawa was a genius! If only I could create something that has even a quarter of this film's humanity and depth - then I could die satisfied. An incredible work of art.

  • Gylfi's rating of the film Ikiru

    Stunning, this is one of those films that achieved what I consider a cinematic perfection. What I mean by that is that this is one of those films that can change the way the audience look at their life and how to make the most of it. Beautiful.

  • Spiritchaser's rating of the film Ikiru

    My favourite Kurosawa film. It;s a flm which everyone can relate to. I cried my tears, swore to achieve my goals, but am not motivated to start.

  • Nadeem10's rating of the film Ikiru

    Kurosawa's elegiac masterpiece uncovers the varied contours of human expectation as it confronts the realization of the certainty of death while battling against the vestiges that come from the abandonment of hope. Through a darkened lense Kurosawa secures a timeless collage of intertwining mirrors, of human despondency reflecting on itself against the unyielding canvas of mandarin mediocrity.

  • Citizen Spain's rating of the film Ikiru

    Anyone who mentions Stranger Than Fiction gets an immediate "Have you seen Ikiru?" from me. It's a much better film that deals with slightly similar life issues. Heartbreaking but inspirational. One of the master's best.

  • Huey McEvoy's rating of the film Ikiru

    Takashi Shimura's heartbreakingly stooped Watanabe rages against the dying of the light in this missing link between Capra and Spielberg. Its theme of 'carpe diem' is comfortably well-worn, and there are traces here of everything from 'A Christmas Carol' to 'Breaking Bad'. The posthumous, flashback-filled debate about motives and project ownership is hilarious - '12 Angry Men' with office politics and copious sake.

  • C҉ă҉t҉ă҉l҉i҉n҉'s rating of the film Ikiru

    Takashi Shimura as Mr Watanabe must be one of the worst casting decisions ever. For 90% of the screentime he looks like Mathieu Amalric tripping on hard drugs. It's difficult to focus on his final days of life when he clearly suffers from a severe form of autism. PPL DON'T STARE AT EACH OTHER LIKE THAT. There's even this particular scene where he enters a strip club and starts barking at women like an orangutan. Why?

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