Departures Synopsis
A delightful and sensitive journey into the heartland of Japan and an astonishingly beautiful look at a sacred part of Japan's cultural heritage.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
The movie is uncommonly absorbing.
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Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
Beautiful moments abound. In Departures, the contemplation of death prepares the way for an appreciation of life.
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New Orleans Times-Picayune

By Mike Scott
A surprisingly uplifting examination of life and loss.
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USA Today

By Claudia Puig
Though events unravel predictably, the film is profoundly affecting, thanks to a well-written story, rich characters and superlative acting.
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The Hollywood Reporter

Yojiro Takita, who directed enduring commercial hits like "The Ying Yang Master" and "The Yen Family," has made a popular gem --...
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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...
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Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
Yojiro Takita's movie simultaneously tickles tears of mourning as it wrings laughs about the meaning of life.
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San Francisco Chronicle

By Walter Addiego
The film is far from perfect but has enough going on to compensate for its excessive length and some sentimentality.
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Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
Departures is tender and, at times, rather squishy. It's sure to squeeze the tear ducts of anyone who has lost a parent.
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Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
This is the kind of tastefully poignant drama that asks its audience to confront taboos and then pats them on the back for doing so.
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DEPARTURES - has arrived!!! RATING: 90 out of 100. (Based on advance press preview)

Recently, I attended the advance press preview of this 2hr 11min Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winning movie. 1) The plot - nicely fleshed-out - skillfully executed on-screen. 2) Good balance...

Must See This Movie!

By hb_movie_watcher
Watched this movie twice on a flight to Japan. Japanese with English Subtitles. A very moving story of finding meaning life and how once one does that how others are affected. Can't wait to see it...

“DEPARTURES” – Ignore the plot description & ARRIVE to see this! Rating: 9 of 10 stars.

By jimchudnow
Upon reading the plot, I was UN-eager about seeing this— but then was pleasantly SURPRISED at how excellent it is. Musician Daigo (MASAHIRO MOTOKI) loves playing the cello in his symphony orchestra--...

Best Film I've Seen in Many Years

By magnani
Like Tolstoy, the web of characters and scenes spells out a profound view of life & death itself that rises way beyond the detail. A celebration of life lost and life yet to be lived .... don't miss...


By universeeye
this would be a persaonl decision and were and how you feel...


By Rich S
A top rank film on many accounts. This film is about life and the lessons we are offered throughout, many of which we wave away or flatly refuse to embrace by clinging to personal and group...

"Departures," a cinematic jewel

By Bluelight57
Many films today are like fireworks display, fun to watch, but quickly forgotten. "Departures," however, offers no flashes or special effects. It goes straight to the dilemma all of us face in our...

One of the Best Movies I've Ever Seen!

By pupmom
Departures is a beautiful film. It is entertaining, engaging, wonderfully constructed, well acted, poignant, fascinating, and at times genuinely amusing. It even has a little suspense in it. Though a...

An amazing movie that will move you

By Hilary_W
The first movie in a long time that I have recommended to friends and family. Its a very human movie, you will laugh and cry. Do not be put off by the description. After this movie I had to...


By authenticsoul
This movie takes a sensitive approach to a man's challenge to earn a living when he can no longer play in an orchestra. It also gives us a portrait of a ritualistic approach to preparing the dead...

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Rated PG-13 | For thematic material