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8,944 Ratings


Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Japan, France, 1985
Action, Drama


A reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear as a historical epic set in sixteenth century Japan. When a Lord abdicates to his three sons, two turn against him. An examination of the folly of war and the crumbling of a family under the weight of betrayal, greed and power.

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Ran Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1986 | Winner: Best Costume Design

1986 | 3 nominations including: Best Director

Independent Spirit Awards

1986 | Nominee: Special Distinction Award

San Sebastián International Film Festival

1985 | Winner: OCIC Award

Ran represents the color/widescreen zenith of Kurosawa’s genius for spectacle. Each of Hidetora’s sons is color-coded and every frame looks uncommonly vivid, creating tension even during moments of stillness. There are also remarkably few close-ups for such a dialogue-heavy drama, with most scenes playing out in carefully composed masters judiciously intercut with alternate angles, the latter usually still having been shot at some distance from the actors.
February 25, 2016
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By means of personal disclaimer: I first saw it on a remastered 35mm print in 2000, and left the theater convinced I had just witnessed the greatest film of all time. While this mode of list-making is less of a personal prerogative with each passing year, Kurosawa’s film continues to embody a rigor (evidenced hardest by A.K.), of light, sound and color, that to me remains unmatched, disquieting in its superhuman totality.
February 17, 2016
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Ran roughly translates to “confusion” or “chaos” — the chaos, critics have long understood, of the film’s erratic, turbulent war. But it isn’t difficult to imagine the production itself overwhelmed by disorder and turmoil. Thousands of costumed extras, hundreds of trained horses, a small army of technicians and assistants on call: A more ambitious film had never been made in Japan, and as a logistical feat alone it staggers. You can hardly mount a project like this without havoc.
February 16, 2016
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What are people saying?

  • Elephants Gerald's rating of the film Ran

    When I was 17, I watched this movie and thought it was boring. My only question now is how I can go back in time and kick my own ass. This is truly one of the greatest movies I've seen in my life.

  • Quattro's rating of the film Ran

    Much could be written about this immense masterpiece, but the words would never match up with the images. Everything about Ran is grand, gorgeous, powerful. Breathtaking.

  • Gonçalo Rosas's rating of the film Ran

    10 - While a lesser director would have slaved over the text in an attempt to perfectly capture the essence of Shakespeare's written word, Kurosawa knew that one of the Bard of Avon's major strengths was the relatability and plasticity of his oeuvre to any period or man. Mixing in Japanese legend and a generous helping of his own afflictions, he crafted a "King Lear" worthy of the name, standing on its own two feet.

  • ASHES IN THE HOURGLASS's rating of the film Ran

    A film divided in 2 halves, heaven and hell, each ending with some of the most hellish moments captured by film. If the waterfall scene in Seven Samurai was dreamlike, then the siege sequence in Ran is a nightmare given flesh. The shift that Hidetora goes through is the very same that Kurosawa seems to have gone through as the humanism of the 50s has morphed into this film's nihilism.

  • Klaus-hart's rating of the film Ran

    Beau, tragique, lumineux. Pardonnez le cliché, chaque plan est beau comme une estampe japonaise : le décor, la disposition générale des éléments, les mouvements, tout cela semble réglé au millimètre, tant ça transpire de beauté, tout en restant d'une incroyable sobriété. Les expressions et les intonations des acteurs font oublier qu'il s'agit d'un film. Les scènes de combat sont les plus belles que j'aie jamais vues.

  • Anita G's rating of the film Ran

    Every Single Frame is Beautiful. The colour composition alone is magnificent. The stunning yet simple neutral colour backdrops are the canvas to each shot ... costumes, props, horses - the colour palette is incredible. And even so, it does not distract from the narrative ... it enhances. A masterpiece.

  • Brad Gibson's rating of the film Ran

    A cinematic feast. Possibly one of the most visually arresting movies I've ever seen, the bold colours clashing against a story of loss, deceit and war. Epic is an overused term, but I'm not sure it's strong enough in this instance.

  • Ben.'s rating of the film Ran

    A devastating film. At this point I don't think I have ever seen a battle scene that has moved me as much as the one at the castle. Human life is treated as next to worthless in this scene, but in dignified manner. These soldiers are not meat bags meant to be exploited for the audience, we feel every gunshot, every stab wound etc. Lives are thrown away due to an insatiable human desire. Greed.

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