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Japan · 2008
Rated PG-13 · 2h 10m
Director Yojiro Takita
Starring Masahiro Motoki, Ryoko Hirosue, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kazuko Yoshiyuki
Genre Drama

After losing his place in the orchestra, an unemployed cellist named Daigo moves back to his hometown looking to start over. Desperate for work, Daigo takes a job preparing dead bodies for their funerals, a role which forces him to confront his own mortality.

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Village Voice by

Departures is built for simplicity, and, if nothing else, the appeal to decency and integrity of this sweetly old-fashioned tale make it a must for Bernie Madoff's prison Netflix queue.


NPR by Bob Mondello

It will absolutely delight the art-house crowd. Multiplexes will be crowded with noisy summer films, after all, from which Departures will represent a sophisticated and elegant departure.


New York Magazine (Vulture) by David Edelstein

It will resonate with anyone who has ever buried a loved one and struggled to reconcile the myriad emotions--grief, anger, helplessness. Which is to say, everyone. And yet out of this premise comes glop. Departures needed a little more work in the morgue--like cutting to the bone.


Variety by Eddie Cockrell

TV scribe Kundo Koyama's first bigscreen script peppers the proceedings with rich character detail and near-screwball interludes that shouldn't fit but somehow do.

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