watch later

Not interested / seen

Ran (1985)Ran (1985)

Ran (1985)

Akira Kurosawa’s adaptation of King Lear is an epic historical drama set in sixteenth-century Japan, abundant with blood, betrayal, and battles for ultimate power.

Action, Drama, History

best
THE VERY BEST

8.4

movie

France, Japan
Japanese
1985
Akira Kurosawa
Akira Terao, Daisuke Ryû, Haruko Tôgô
160 min

Synopsis

rotten tomatoes
imdb
wikipedia
With Ran, legendary director Akira Kurosawa reimagines Shakespeare's King Lear as a singular historical epic set in sixteenth-century Japan. Majestic in scope, the film is Kurosawa's late-life masterpiece, a profound examination of the folly of war and the crumbling of one family under the weight of betrayal, greed, and the insatiable thirst for power.

Our Take

8.4
Taylor Leigh Harper

An attempt to articulate just how vast and magnificent the scope of Akira Kurosawa’s 乱 (Ran) is will inevitably fall short. Recognized as a master of epics, including his 七人の侍 (Seven Samurai, 1954), Kurosawa reimagines Shakespeare’s tragic King Lear set in medieval Japan. Each shot is labored and precise, as sublime landscapes overwhelm the screen, dwarfing the armies of men fighting below. 

At the center of the ensuing wars is Hidetora Ichimonji, an aging warlord. Ichimonji divides his conquered land between his three sons, Taro, Jiro, Saburo. The Ichimonji clan, however, will not settle for less than everything. Father and sons scheme against one another, leading to violent plots for control over the kingdom. Greed poisons the Ichimonji’s bloodline, pervasive and all-consuming. The tragedy that unfolds is indeed as poignant as any great Shakespeare work. 

The road ahead is lined with bodies, blood, jealousy, paranoia—and it’s a long way to the bottom from the throne. Kurosawa, confronting his own mortality and legacy, achieves a titanic masterpiece with Ran. Few films so deeply grasp the tragedy of war at this visceral level. While Ran is not an easy watch, it’s a must-watch for all.

Comments

What did you think? Who should watch it?

Next up

The Vanishing (1988)

best

8.7

Love, curiosity, and obsession blur when a man’s girlfriend mysteriously disappears

Clean, Shaven (1993)

best

8.4

A schizophrenic man’s parental capability is put to test amidst a murder investigation

Escape from Mogadishu (2021)

6.9

A thrilling if somewhat politically dodgy action film, based on a true story

Rewind (2020)

best

8.0

A harrowing account of child abuse and a family's role in sustaining or preventing it

The Kings of the World (2022)

best

8.4

A knife-sharp account of five kids' journey to land restitution and self-determination

The Souvenir Part II (2021)

best

8.1

An insightful look into the painstaking process of translating one's truth onto the cinema screen

Mars One (2023)

best

8.2

A beautiful, nuanced, and down-to-earth family drama from Brazil

The Red Turtle (2017)

best

8.5

An astonishing, dialogue-free animated fable featuring nature as its only protagonist

Vortex (2021)

best

8.6

A haunting ode to love, death, and everything in between

The Witch: Part 1 – The Subversion (2018)

7.0

This slow-burn thriller delivers bloody thrills and twists
agmtw
eu

© 2023 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.

We are home to the best film and TV on popular streaming services. Supported only by readers like you and by public grants.