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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on July 19, 2004
A reviewer once wrote that the most amazing thing about Seven Samurai is that one-and-a-half hours into the movie, we're still in the character development part, and nobody's even noticed the movie has been running that long already. sure, it's not for everybody, especially for those who grew up with mostly Hollywood commercial fare that last 70-90 minutes. but for even the borderline film enthusiast, the Seven Samurai is a treat. Here, some of Japanese cinema's greats (Kurosawa, Mifune, Takashi Shimura) come together at the perfect time, to do the perfect job. Here, possibly, is the greatest movie of all time, and you are watching it.
the best special feature, the commentary track, is very detailed, in fact at some point, it is annoyingly too detailed! but if you want to know why toshiro mifune's acting was over the top, or where he was born (Manchuria), or why millet seems so low compared to rice, or why the light seems to change during the scene where we first see Kanbei Ishima (the bald, dignified leader of the samurai, here portrayed by Takashi Shimura), then the commentary track is indispensable. I've seen this DVD twice, with commentary on, and with commentary off. It's quite easy for me since I don't understand Japanese anyway, so the dialogue comes to me strictly through subtitles. needless to say, I highly recommend watching it in the manner I described.
there have been many "tributes" to this movie, from the obvious (The Magnificent Seven, The 13th Warrior), to the not so obvious (Disney/Pixar's "Bug's Life"). In all of them, the idea that a band of warriors would come to the rescue of an obscure village for nothing more than a bowl of rice (what, not even meat to go with that?), or in the case of "Bug's Life" nothing more than the chance to finally give a good show, seems ridiculous and unbelievable. As many reviewers have posted, the wretched farmers don't even deserve sympathy. Until you realize (the commentary helps a lot on this) that these samurai agreed to take the job because it gives them a chance to do what they do. They went there because once again, they can prove themselves worthy.
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on November 23, 2011
This is an exceptionally strong high-definition transfer. A lot of work has gone into the restoration of Seven Samurai, and it definitely shows - a lot of the daylight scenes, for instance, look quite remarkable; clarity and contrast levels are without a doubt the best I have ever seen. Furthermore, many of the close-ups which traditionally have been very problematic now look fresh and healthy.
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on December 27, 2007
"Seven samurai" (1954) is arguably Akira Kurosawa's best film, and my favourite of those made by that wonderful Japanese director. The plot of this movie is simple enough, but it is developed in a way that enriches it, by adding depth to the characters and making the spectator realize that there is more to them than meets the eye. The rigid cast division that characterized 16th century Japan is shown, and the whole period is brought to life thanks to outstanding cinematography and excellent acting.

The story begins when the inhabitants of a very small rural village start discussing what to do about the bandits that attack them from time to time, taking everything of value with them. The farmers have very few resources and hardly any food left, but need to find a solution to their urgent problem or face certain death. An old and wise man proposes an unorthodox idea: to hire wandering samurai in very dire straits to defend the village, paying them only with food.

The others farmers deem that suggestion outlandish but, having no other options, decide to give it a try. That is the point when we accompany them in their quest for salvation to a nearby town, where they look for samurai willing to work for almost nothing. Will they get hold of some? And what kind of people will the farmers be able to tempt with such poor offer?

The answers to those questions, brought to life thanks to Kurosawa's mastery of the silver screen, end up giving us the opportunity to watch one of those very few movies that truly deserve to be called "classics". Highly recommended...

Belen Alcat
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on October 16, 2002
Steven Spielberg put it best: Kurosawa is every bit the equal of Shakespeare. No one opened our eyes to Eastern mythology, royalty, history and culture quite like Kurosawa. His films are like huge tapestries, both appealing to the eye but also educating the heart and mind to the rich, complex history of Japan.
Seven Samurai is my favorite of Kurosawa's films (next to Dreams) because it is one of the most perfectly balanced films I have ever seen. The cast is superb, the camerawork is legendary, and the script is so full of wisdom and poignancy that by the end of the film you want to become a samurai.
Whether or not it is the greatest film of all time is irrelevant because art is not measured quantitatively. It's about as silly as trying to figure out the greatest painting of all time. This movie is to be appreciated along the same lines as Beethoven's 9th. Simply absorb in the genius of the work and be transformed in your perceptions of what is possible.
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on November 3, 2001
"Seven Samurai" is one of those movies your hear referred to constantly by full-time film afficionados. Those are the kinds of movies I'm usually leery of. Finally I broke down and rented "Seven Samurai," and found it to be well worth the praise-indeed, worthy of its position as one of the all-time great movies. The story is a rousing one, the cinematography instantly affecting. I liked the dvd so much I purchased a copy. I appreciate Criterion's decision to have commentary from a full-fledged Japanese film fan. He knows the material inside out and provides a wealth of small details, as well as appreciative remarks that no director would feel comfortable making. Highly recommended.
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on July 23, 2015
Classic Kurosawa film. Pretty good transfer and overall picture quality. My one complaint is the audio track. On the back there is mention of DTS master HD but this release only contains LPCM Mono and Stereo. Also in the disc menu it says dolby surround but there isn't any on the disc. There is a LPCM stereo mix that sounds worse than the original mono mix, and is advertised as a surround mix when it isn't? I honestly can't believe that criterion could screw this up so badly. Next time i am in Japan i will purchase the Toho version and figure out what the hell is going on.
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on February 23, 2014
“Akira Kurosawa’s” the Seven Samurai”is consider one of his best films,and I concur with that,
At Three hours and twenty seven minutes and four second,I was not bored at all,it felt like it was
only one hour,every one character in this movie was important to every scene,even the old woman
with the pick who wanted to avenged the murder of her son,was moving,after all these people have had
enough of these bandits killing spree,the close up shot of some of the character in the movie is so good,
and Kurosawa capture it so brilliantly with expression on every face,that this almost seem like it was So real
to them,that I though I was not watching a movie,it’s like I was siting on a cloud just watching these people
lives being decimated by the bandits,every scene was so done right,the editing,when the one farmer in the
opening scene,he left the group and walked out,the sudden stop that he made then you get the long shot of him
bending to the ground with his head in the ground,was Absolutely magnificent,there was so many to count,
the one scene with the Samurai who was challenged by another man before he was chosen by the farmers to
help them,almost looked like it was in Slow-motion,and the most Beautiful thing about this movie is,the Subtitle
was the best for that time period of 1954,I was wayyy impress with that,had no problem reading it and seeing
what was going on at the same time, Big Kudos for that,I wish it was in 2.35:1 widescreen, I would’ve loved that,
I liked to state there is So much stuff with extras on this two disc set Wow, this Blu-Ray picture is perfect Quality,
“Well” lets hope no one down-load it for Free, “TekSavvy” there’re coming After you, I love it,
Love Love Love This Movie...
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Have you ever seen a movie in which a group of renegade nobodys band together to protect a village? One of the renegades in the group is a cheat, one of them is a drunk, one is a serious leader, and one is a comedian of the group? Let me take a guess: you have seen many such movies in your life. Well, this is the movie that started that phenomenon in the movies. Oh, and this also happens to be one of the best movies ever made in cinematic history.
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on October 11, 2014
I believe that this is still the samurai reference movie. I had it in VHS but could not resist buying the DVD , This Kurosawa's movie inspired the american western The magnificent seven which is a classic.. .This is an absolute must see !
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on May 15, 2014
I don't know how many times we have watched this movie and enjoyed it each time,l find l learn more each time l see it . It is a classic and has many lesson to learn from,be prepared to watch it more than once ,l bet you can't watch it more than once.
Suzanne Crane
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