Symbol (Shinboru) (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Symbol (Shinboru)2009

Symbol (Shinboru) (2009)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Symbol (Shinboru) Photos

Movie Info

Big Man Japan writer/director Hitoshi Matsumoto follows up his imaginative feature debut with this surreal tale of a man imprisoned in a massive white room with no windows or doors, and a Mexican wrestler preparing for a pivotal match. Awakening in a sterile colorless box from which there seems to be no escape, the confounded prisoner watches a phallic shape emerge from the wall, and cautiously approaches. Upon pushing the object, he is rewarded with a pink toothbrush. With each attempt to break free, the man is deluged with random items that materialize out of the smooth white walls. In time the room transforms into a strange obstacle course, and the man must figure out how to utilize a toilet plunger, a rope, and a jug of sushi to secure his freedom. Meanwhile, in Mexico, a luchador known as Escargot Man appears unusually stoic while preparing to take on a powerful opponent. What do these two seemingly unrelated stories have in common? The only way to find out for sure is to watch Matsumoto's absurdist comedy, and find out for yourself.


Hitoshi Matsumoto
as Escargot Man
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Critic Reviews for Symbol (Shinboru)

All Critics (1)

The combination of highbrow concept and lowbrow humor is unique and odd, and many directors would stumble with it, but Matsumoto has created solid gold here.

January 14, 2020 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Symbol (Shinboru)


I'm still not quite sure what it is exactly that I just saw, and there's not much I can say because I don't wan't to give anything away, but it was definitely interesting, very unique, and funny.

Quinto Wallight
Quinto Wallight

Super Reviewer

Some jokes didn't stick well, but Matsumoto is fun to watch, and the movie has many good ideas. The mexican segment was a blast to watch, amazing that a japanese man seems to have a better grasp of mexican culture than most mexican "hot shit" directors of today.

Tsubaki Sanjuro
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

My favourite film of this year's TIFF. Funny, intelligent and very creative. I wouldn't dare give anything away in this constantly surprising film, but I would suggest seeing it as fast as you can. I'm fairly certain this one will become a classic.

Christopher  Brown
Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer

Symbol (Shinboru) Quotes

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