Total Film - 06/01/2011
3 star out of 5 -- "[T]he climactic 45-minute free-for-all is genuinely spectacular..."
Los Angeles Times - 04/28/2011
"A master director with great style and panache, Miike's latest, 13 ASSASSINS, is a classic samurai movie, right up there among the finest in the genre."
New York Times - 04/29/2011
"A stirring, unexpectedly moving story of love and blood....13 ASSASSINS is at once a tale of revenge and liberation..."
Sight and Sound - 07/01/2011
"[P]op star Inagaki Goro oozes nefarious charisma as the handsome yet hideous villain Naritsugu."
Film Comment - 05/01/2011
"13 ASSASSINS culminates in a riveting, ingeniously plotted, and inventively shot 45-minute battle scene that few contemporary Japanese directors besides Miike could pull off, either logistically or artistically
Chicago Sun-Times - 05/25/2011 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "The film is terrifically entertaining, an ambitious big-budget epic, directed with great visuals and sound by Takeshi Miike."
Washington Post - 05/27/2011 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Miike ensures that once grace gives way to fury, every drop of blood split in defense of an honorable principle matters to the audience as much as it matters to the heroes losing their lives on-screen."
Movieline - 04/28/2011
"Takashi Miike's samurai adventure 13 ASSASSINS is so beautifully made, it could serve as a model for contemporary American action films."
Uncut - 11/01/2011 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he gambling motif that runs through the story is nicely sustained."
Based on actual events that served as the inspiration for the 1963 film of the same name, Takashi Miike's 13 ASSASSINS follows a group of noble samurai as they seek to slay a tyrannical, politically connected lord before he seizes control of the entire country. Japan, 1844: as the era of the samurai winds to a close, a sadistic young lord uses his powerful political ties to commit heinous atrocities against the common people. Recognizing the dangers to both his country and its citizens should the lord manage to gain any more power, a concerned government official secretly recruits 13 of the most skilled swordsmen he can find to defeat the evil lord once and for all. But reaching their target won't be easy, because the elusive lord is constantly flanked by legions of fearless bodyguards. Realizing that the bodyguards would decimate his modest task force in a traditional battle, the assassins' leader (Koji Yakusho) lays an ingenious trap that will give his men the upper hand, and waits patiently for their prey to take the bait.