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47 Ronin

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, and thematic elements.
not reviewed
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Action Adventure Fantasy Drama 3D
1 hr. 59 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
December 25, 2013 (wide—2,689 theaters)
DVD: April 1, 2014
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

What was the real life of Samurai and ronin (leaderless samurai)?

revenge / vengeance

war in the Bible

swords in the Bible

What is the Biblical perspective on war? Answer

Japanese mythology

mythic beasts

witches in the Bible



FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer


SUICIDE—What does the Bible say? Answer

If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer

Featuring: Keanu ReevesKai
Hiroyuki Sanada … Ôishi
Kô Shibasaki … Mika
Tadanobu Asano … Lord Kira
Min Tanaka … Lord Asano
Jin Akanishi … Chikara
Masayoshi Haneda … Yasuno
Hiroshi Sogabe … Hazama
Takato Yonemoto … Basho
Hiroshi Yamada … Hara
Shû Nakajima … Horibe
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa … Shogun Tsunayoshi
Neil Fingleton … Lovecraftian Samurai
more »
Director: Carl Rinsch—directorial debut
Producer: H2F Entertainment
Mid Atlantic Films
more »
Distributor: Universal Pictures

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “An 18th century set story centered on a band of samurai who set out to avenge the death of their master.

Kai (Keanu Reeves), an outcast who joins Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada ), the leader of the 47 Ronin. Together they seek vengeance upon the treacherous overlord who killed their master and banished their kind. To restore honor to their homeland, the warriors embark upon a quest that challenges them with a series of trials that would destroy ordinary warriors. …Inspired by styles as diverse as Miyazaki and Hokusai, Rinsch will bring to life the stunning landscapes and enormous battles that will display the timeless Ronin story to global audiences in a way that's never been seen before.”

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See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—I loved the movie, and especially so because of the performance of Hiroyuki Sanada. Skilled and talented as an actor, he made the character of Oishi believable and relatable. He brought home the message of the Art of Manliness through his interpretation of the infamous samurai. An honor code of life.

Men of today have certainly forgotten what it is to men of biblical honor. Selflessness, commitment, honor, passion, skilled artisans in their trade (professionalism) and servanthood (humility). Oishi and his kind served their master with their lives and they chose disobedience to the shoganite ruler, breaking laws that would forbid them from taking revenge.

While Jesus never took revenge on mankind, he certainly did break the laws of Judaism as a way of correcting the dogmatic religious principles that they clung to fiercely. Revenge is what we know for the Bible says “vengeance is mine says the Lord”. This has often times been a challenge for me as it’s easier settle a score with other person than to trust God to do them justice. What we can learn from the samurai is that as Christians we need to adapt the samurai code of honor as our only way of life when it comes to serving God as our Lord and Savior. We should always and only serve Him with our very existence.

God is the master and we are the “Joy of His Life,” he sent His only son to take the fall for our sins. Just as Oishi’s master did for them. Humanity is loosing its basic value systems, that’s just our membership card to living a good life but to live a life honor would mean that we need to be challenged in artful living of acquiring virtues so that we can leave our comfort zone of being a good Christians, but rather to live our lives serving our Lord wit the life that He gave us.

A movie critic will have an opinion based on their knowledge and expectations but for us normal movies buffs, we look a little deeper than what our eyes can see, we look from a spiritual point of view.

I love Hiroyuik Sanada, and think that he portrayed a very intimate part of his own character by fusing it with that of the fictional Oishi. His eyes shows it in every scene. He’s doing more than mere acting, he’s living out his own honor code. He deserves to be saluted for his contribution to raising the conscious of our limited perceptions and for showing us that God deserves our lives to be dedicated to Him wholeheartedly, because it is written in the word that “every soul belongs to God.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Liesl Forbes, age 42 (South Africa)
Movie Critics

…an overlong, underwhelming movie… “47 Ronin” doesn't quite cut it as a samurai fantasy…
—Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

…it falls short on character definition, emotional involvement, narrative drive and originality, with a protagonist played by Keanu Reeves who often gets bumped to the sidelines. …
—David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

…“47 Ronin” is about magic, the fantastic, a witch, and CGI monsters that adorn a muddled and confused plot. … The film moves so slowly that snails pass it, with dialogue so predictable that one could be shouting out lines before they are spoken. … [1/5]
—Louis Black, The Austin Chronicle

…An old flame shows up, but who invited the witch and monsters?… a studio movie adaptation of a story that ends — centuries-old spoiler! — with mass ritual suicide.
—Nicolas Rapold, The New York Times

…Keanu Reeves is the draw but not the star of this visually dazzling but thoroughly bogus update of one of Japan's greatest legends. …
—Peter Debruge, Variety

…Perhaps a folly and—Kikuchi aside—too deadpan to be a romp, this is still a decent, colourful samurai spectacle with a classical look (lots of symmetrical compositions) and a story which stands up under multiple retellings… [3/5]
—Kim Newman, Empire

…Poor pacing blunts impact of would-be epic “47 Ronin” …For an action movie, this lackluster film lacks action. [2/4]
—Claudia Puig, USA today

…Keanu Reeves, computer-generated monsters and a pouty witch all fail to lift this lumpen and overly-gloomy Japanese revenge tale… [2/5]
—Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

…This VFX-heavy take on the Japanese legend of self-sacrifice goes all in for a bit of eastern mystery, but just feels bland and plodding… [2/5]
—Mike McCahill, The Guardian

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