Minamata (2020) - Rotten Tomatoes

Minamata (2020)



Critic Consensus: Heartfelt yet jumbled, Minamata pays uneven tribute to a remarkable real-life story better served by the documentary treatment.

Movie Info

Three-time Academy Award (R) nominee Johnny Depp plays celebrated war photographer W. Eugene Smith in a real life David vs Goliath story, pitting Smith against a powerful corporation responsible for poisoning the people of Minamata, Japan in 1971. With the glory days of World War II far behind him, Smith has become a recluse, disconnected from society and his career. Between an impassioned Japanese translator called Aileen (Minami) urging him to go and a much needed commission from "Life" Magazine editor Ralph Graves (Bill Nighy), Smith is finally convinced to journey back to Japan to expose the devastating annihilation of a coastal community, victims of corporate greed and complicit local police and government. Armed with only his trusted Nikon camera, Smith must find the images that will bring this story to the World. At first, no one wants to help him and there's a new threat at every corner. But thanks to his burgeoning love for Aileen, Smith learns to stop hiding behind to finally stop hiding behind the lens and to start taking action, helping him earn this broken community's trust. MINAMATA is a moving redemptive story of how one man's powerful photograph impacted the world, yet in order to find it he had to open his heart.


Johnny Depp
as W. Eugene Smith
as Aileen
Bill Nighy
as Ralph Graves
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Critic Reviews for Minamata

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (6)

It can't work out whether out whether it's a crusading social drama or the story of a troubled artist's redemption. The result is a film that neither engages nor moves the viewer in the way that might have been expected.

February 24, 2020 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

"Minamata" tells a bracing story of corporate malfeasance and bracing advocacy for the underclass, but even the occasional poignant observation can't salvage a movie trying this hard to tug every heartstring at its disposal.

February 23, 2020 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
Top Critic

For a film about photography, it often has bizarrely wrong-headed notions of where the camera ought to be.

February 21, 2020 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Director Andrew Levitas and his co-screenwriters dramatize a riveting story using a mass of groan-worthy genre clichés that ill-serve the truth they are trying to recreate.

February 21, 2020 | Full Review…

Minamata is a forthright, heartfelt movie, an old-fashioned "issue picture" with a worthwhile story to tell about how communities can stand up to overweening corporations and how journalists dedicated to truthful news can help them.

February 21, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Impressive if somewhat less-than-nuanced...

February 21, 2020 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews

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