Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) Reviews

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½ May 11, 2019
Amazing Japanese Film!
½ May 7, 2019
A thughtful movie that examines the human condition.
May 2, 2019
It should be accounted in my review that I was reading a ton of raving reviews in great anticipation for this movie, while also watching the trailer. But damn that trailer! It should be a crime that people make spoiler trailers. I mean I came in knowing that they would be in jail and that the mother couldn't give birth! Pretty much half of the ending already, which means I definitely didn't enjoy this movie as much as I would have if I was forced into it not knowing a thing. Still though, I must say I definitely found this movie an enriching experience. The first 90 minutes are slow, but for me it was a meditation of sorts, just like with Roma. It opens up bit by bit about the circumstances that this family faces and their secrets, which come on full blast in the final 30 minutes. And I think its themes are some of the most thought-provoking and well-executed all year. You feel so much for this family and see the genuine warmth behind them, even under the dark criminals society and the media portrays them as. They steal things and ultimately even try to leave the boy, but you can tell just how much they regret their decision and are humanly connected. So ultimately, what is ethically or morally correct? Can we ever say that their actions are justified? Are laws really in place to do what is "best" for society? What exactly defines a parent and the love they give? These are themes I've been constantly pondering on after watching this film, and that is testament to what Kore-eda's marvelous direction has done. I must also praise the cast. This is one of the best ensembles I've seen. No one really stands out, because they're all in it together, and that's exactly what makes the familial connection they portray so believable and impactful. Credits as well to the two children, who were perfect casting choices. Adding on I also want to praise the magnificent score, a part of so many beautiful scenes like the beach scene and the ending, not to mention many other amazing scenes like the bonfire scene and the final scene with Yuri.

So I've been raving about this movie, but why does it only get 3 stars? Firstly, thank the spoilers. Pretty sure it would've at least been a 4/5 had I not had a hint of what was to come. And secondly, I didn't quite buy the boy trying to protect the girl from getting caught. I didn't take the danger was that great. That kinda ruined it for me, but overall still a deeply affecting and fully masterful film.
May 1, 2019
A nice study. Occasionally stark and slow. Would've been nice to have had more external conflict for the main couple, like visits from social services or something--would've made them more interesting. Otherwise, the story around every other couple is leaps more interesting.
April 23, 2019
"Shoplifters" touches on one of the most important subjects I believe exists in our lives; with puissance and affinity manifested in it's characters and storytelling, "Shoplifters" goes lengths pulling our heartstrings with heavy accentuation on -- adoption.
April 17, 2019
What a beautiful movie. Creeps up on you emotionally.
April 13, 2019
Sweet movie with a powerful final half hour.
April 11, 2019
This is an extraordinary film, one overflowing with warmth without ever lurching into sentimentality, emotional but never manipulative, without bitterness but never letting us off the hook for the family's situation. It's a film that asks a lot of questions about what makes a family, and how an unorthodox one can survive long-term within the structures of society.
April 11, 2019
Wow! I love mini movie road trips! Especially when you walk away with a satisfied positive experience.

I personally feel that the last few years foreign nominations for the Oscars have been exceptionally weak.

So far this year is shaping up to be a far better experience. While I may not have the love for Roma that others do, I did feel it was a solid addition.

This was a great experience, it started a little slow but picked up and finished strong. I have a few minor concerns with it, but overall think it was something special. So many great actors!
April 2, 2019
If I could give this 100 stars I would.
March 27, 2019
I enjoyed this rather unconventionally structured film although l think it a little overlong. We like social realism in the U.K. so it was great to see a Japanese film explore some of life‚(TM)s harsher realities. I also like very much the idea that family is often where you find it and in the modern world, increasingly so. The irony of this, in the film at least, is that social services which are supposedly there to help can be unwitting agents for isolation and abuse. Many things to enjoy here, including the uniformly excellent performances and understated humour.
March 13, 2019
This movie was exceptionally well done, and really drew me in.
March 10, 2019
What can I say? Another pearl. Beside the thriller Hirokazu Koreeda direct before this one, I loved all his movies and this is no exception. To quote the Tyrell Corporation: More human than Human. Straight in the long list of -films more deserving to win an Academy Award than The Green Book this year-.
½ March 6, 2019
one of the best movies in 2018
March 5, 2019
Foreign films rule. They actually show characterization and growth versus the same old BS. This is a great movie typifying that
½ March 4, 2019
Bonita, profunda, difícil y aburrida, como la mayoría de lo nuevo del cine japonà (C)s. Buenas historias, con personajes muy bien desarrollados y largas, muy largas, al punto de aburrir. Esta historia sobre la familia como nucleo, a pesar de lo aberrante de sus integrantes, es un gran ejercicio de narración pero se queda un tanto en la superficie...
March 3, 2019
Mostly hilarious but spirals out of control towards the end as the delicate web that the characters were brought together was slowly unraveled. The Cannes Palm D'Or recipient will definitely tug at your heartstrings.
½ March 1, 2019
Exquisite, touching, morally complex and unusually compelling filmic interrogation of what it means to be a family and what it means to love and be responsible even when not fully realized in the face of society's frequently clueless demands on the individual in relation to others. The acting, evidently mainly by amateurs, was wonderful.
February 28, 2019
I recommend watching this movie because it allows the person to immerse themselves in the realities of the Asian culture. This movie allows you to get an insight of the most common realties and lifestyles in the Asian countries
This movie is not associated with poverty, because this is the reality for most people in the Asian countries. These people are around lower middle class, and are just able to get by with the basic needs to be satisfied with life.

Aside from that, a worth movie to watch.
Super Reviewer
February 25, 2019
In a recent interview, Lars von Trier reflected on when he won the Palme d'Or for Dancer in the Dark. He said that when a film is in competition for a prize, there must be consensus among the jury for it to win, so usually the most "middle of the road" entries win. While I have a less glamorous idea of what constitutes a middle of the road film, by Cannes Film Festival quality a more apt descriptor would be "d'Or-bait" for this year's winner, Hirokazu Kore-eda's Shoplifters. That's not really meant as a dig at the movie, it's just that I can see why it won and why I wasn't blown away by it.

Among this year's Academy Award nominees for best foreign picture, Shoplifters has plenty to compete with as well. By most accounts, Roma is a masterpiece of humanism and realism while Cold War is a smoky cool Eastern bloc romance, but outside of cinephile circles I hear a lot grumbling about how they're all boring, overlong, or unengaging. It comes as no surprise that many who appreciate the more energetic side of the movie spectrum have reacted this way, but what was a bit bothersome to me was how underwhelming Shoplifters ultimately proved to be.

Of course it impressed the Frenchies as the film is totally cine-literate. There's a fairly overt reference to the opening scene of Godard's Contempt, and what poverty-stricken family drama doesn't by definition owe a great debt to The 400 Blows? There's plenty of diffused kinetic action and deliberately avoided spectacle to boot. But aside from some smiles, a little laughter, and one particularly touching scene, I couldn't help but feel a little...well...robbed. Here I was expecting a game-changer, and all I got was a well made film. As always, I should have governed my hype better.

The film concerns a makeshift family living in a hovel somewhere in Tokyo. They are grifters, shoplifters, and of ill-repute and they all love each other very much. Each has escaped or been stolen from their real families, in a sense "shoplifted" themselves from abuse, neglect, loveless relationships, and all the negativity that can come with the responsibility and obligations of a dysfunctional family. Much of the run time is dedicated to developing the characters and understanding who they are through their actions as opposed to overtly stating traits and backstory. In this sense it is fully realized and welcomes you in to their lives as they try to get by on their schemes and street smarts. Its substance far outweighs its style, and there's no score whatsoever, which makes for a perplexing watch in my book. Unfortunately, there's just not a lot to be visually enamored with past the performances and script. I can't say I was totally sold on it, but I can respect how it accomplishes its intent. When it inevitably gets released on Criterion in the next year or two I'll still be pining for a decent Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! blu-ray.
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