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Before We Vanish(散歩する侵略者)

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Japan
·
2017

Rated R · 2h 9m

Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Starring Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Mahiro Takasugi, Yuri Tsunematsu

Genre Drama, Science Fiction

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With their marriage already on bad terms, Narumi is struggling with taking care of her husband, acting oddly after a hospital visit. A freelance journalist meets two teenagers who act strangely and ask him to ‘guide’ them. Both Narumi and the journalist quickly learn of a growing plot for a mass alien invasion of Planet Earth, sparked by their companions.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

The New York Times by A.O. Scott

Mr. Kurosawa, a prolific and skilled genre master, spins this parable with a light, nimble touch, punctuating heavy passages of exposition with punchy, modest action sequences and snatches of incongruously bouncy music.
50

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

The movie is every bit as bloated as his last few, but its charms remind us of his great potential (and potential greatness).
75

Slant Magazine by Greg Cwik

On its own, this is a fun, broadly satirical alien-invasion film, more self-aware than self-serious, but its beauty, its poignancy, comes from its relationship to Kiyoshi Kurosawa's other work.
63

ReelViews by James Berardinelli

The promise of Before We Vanish’s early moments is never fully realized, however, as the movie plods and meanders through an overly-familiar narrative on its way to a half-baked and uneven conclusion.
70

Los Angeles Times by Justin Chang

If Before We Vanish isn't nearly as focused or accomplished as Kurosawa's horror masterpiece "Cure" (2001), or as shattering as his magnum opus "Tokyo Sonata" (2008), it's nonetheless a reminder that he has few equals when it comes to spinning even the flimsiest B-movie template into a cinema of ideas.
70

Variety by Maggie Lee

Playing frequently like an absurdist political satire with only flashes of violence, this low-tension, drawn-out work won’t gratify the chills or adrenaline rushes fanboys crave, but the ending strikes a romantic chord so pure that all but the most jaded cynics will be moved.
83

The Film Stage by Rory O'Connor

Anytime it feels that Before We Vanish is getting too caught up in its thought process, the director is always ready with a flash of ultra violence, slapstick humor, or a pithy line.
50

The Hollywood Reporter by Stephen Dalton

Perpetually shifting gears between playful sci-fi pastiche, quirky rom-com and apocalyptic thriller, Before We Vanish might have worked better as a single dedicated genre, but it becomes a little scrambled trying to cover several at once.

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