For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
4.4
12,258 Ratings

Rashômon

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Japan, 1950
Crime, Drama

Synopsis

Brimming with action while incisively examining the nature of truth, Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon is perhaps the finest film ever to investigate the philosophy of justice.

This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Rashômon Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Awards & Festivals

Venice Film Festival

1951 | Winner: Italian Film Critics Award

Academy Awards

1952 | Winner: Honorary Award

1953 | Nominee: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White

This must be included because it changed how we perceive film as well as human behavior. For us subjective creatures, the truth is constantly elusive.
July 18, 2018
Read full article
Sixty-five years after its release, Kurosawa’s modernist masterpiece is still minutely dissected on internet discussion threads, with energetic debates raging over its male gaze, allegorical content and historical status as the gateway drug for the western craving for Japanese cinema. Watching its lean, astonishingly fleet 88 minutes of looping truth-and-lies again on this choice Blu-Ray, however, you revel first in its materiality and its fluidity, each camera movement telling its own story.
October 02, 2015
In lesser hands the film could be inhumanly conceptual and too “worked out” to come alive dramatically, but the filmmaking is so dense and immediate that Rashomon is often overpowering in its emotional intensity. Every image counts, commenting on the characters’ evolving relationships (most obviously exemplified in the repeated use of triangular shapes), and the actors give performances of exacting subtlety that quietly shift to fit the specific storyteller’s contortions of the events.
November 15, 2012
Read full article

What are people saying?

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Rashômon

    5 stars for the conception, construction, and aesthetic force: each composition carries you to the next, and the forest is a primal mix of exposure and claustrophobia. The rough edge is the tidy faith-in-mankind framing story, which says less in purple, emotive words than the rest says in jagged, emotive pictures—intro to philosophy meets cinema for experts. But AK was generous enough to give his simplicity layers.

  • dionysus67's rating of the film Rashômon

    A visual and philosophical tour-de-force, Rashomon offers a moral manifesto against relativism (cognitive and moral) but through a relativist storytelling structure (there is no privileged, Archimedean pov). The common denominator is a hurricane performance by Mifune balanced by the repentant woodcutter (Shimura) and the categorical imperative that a (baby's) life deserves to be lived and to flourish. Unsurpassed!

  • msmichel's rating of the film Rashômon

    Essential cinema. The complexities of human nature and the molding of the truth to present the best version of oneself has never been so well exposed. Four very different tales of one event are revealed exposing everything but the truth. Casting is impeccable and Kurosawa's direction, visual style and art of storytelling is masterly.

  • Petra Simmons's rating of the film Rashômon

    If the Bechdel test is a meagre standard, this sort of context makes it seem almost extreme. Self-righteous outrage at the subjectivity of 'truth' seems contrived, at best, against a backdrop of blatantly unquestioned socially-manufactured beliefs (e.g. re women), in which context it's hard to buy into any pretense of moral superiority. Otherwise, cinematically innovative, with a compelling visual simplicity.

  • ASHES IN THE HOURGLASS's rating of the film Rashômon

    Brilliant almost all around except that the concept doesn't have the punch that it theoretically should. This should be an unflinching look into man's narcissism but instead the end result is soften by the way everything ties itself up. In the end, we leave hopeful but not satisfied as some of Kurosawa's bad habits of explaining too much take away what ever conclusion we ourselves might have clenched from it.

  • Lorna Singh's rating of the film Rashômon

    Made 60 + years ago, a masterpiece from the greatest director in cinema history which has not lost its power. A story of selective memory that engages the eyes,ears and brain. Amazing cinematography.

  • ramosbarajas's rating of the film Rashômon

    The cinematographer and director experiment to achieve marvelous results. The story itself is what makes the film worth. Relating one incident from different points of view, it is a completely new experience. Subjective by design, the viewer learns that everything on screen is not necessarily the truth. The end is interesting since it seeks a validation for humanity and that can lack some cohesiveness.

  • Daniel S.'s rating of the film Rashômon

    ****1/2 . There are a lot of great moments in this film. Personally, I was very impressed by the story of the dead man told by a witch. Reality is not what you see or hear, reality is what you feel inside; a thought often found in the writings of European philosophers of the XIXth century. A film to cherish like a book and to keep in one's library. Indispensable.

Related films