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131 Ratings

Before We Vanish

Sanpo suru shinryakusha

Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Japan, 2017


Three aliens travel to Earth on a reconnaissance mission in preparation for a mass invasion. Having taken possession of human bodies, the visitors rob their hosts of the very essence of their being – leaving psychological and spiritual devastation in their wake.

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Before We Vanish Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Given the stakes of the story—nothing less than humanity’s total annihilation—Before We Vanish is a surprisingly domestic, sweet-natured affair. It must rank as one of the least paranoid aliens-among-us movies ever made; in Kurosawa’s own filmography, it goes to show that for sheer strangeness, even extra-terrestrials can’t compete with trees or jellyfish.
February 02, 2018
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The outrageous brashness of that wild opening may have been too tough an act to follow—it’s one of only two or three scenes in which you feel Kurosawa fully break free from the confines of his stagebound source. Nevertheless, one is always conscious that a master genre filmmaker still in command of his gifts is at the helm, and the many pleasures the film provides are testament to the fact.
October 04, 2017
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Yes, it’s the peculiarly heartwarming tale of a man who becomes a better partner thanks to an alien invasion, but it also has an enormous body count and a dimly optimistic view of humanity. Still, you won’t see anything else quite like it this year. The film not being a masterpiece is less important than knowing as I sat in a press conference that this film was offering me a set of pleasures I wouldn’t get elsewhere.
October 04, 2017
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