High and Low


Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh95%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright95%
IMDb Rating8.41044655


Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Toshirô Mifune Photo
Toshirô Mifune as Kingo Gondo
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.29 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 23 min
P/S 1 / 17
2.65 GB
Japanese 5.1
23.976 fps
2 hr 23 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer9 / 10

highly underrated Kurasawa flick

Too often when people talk about Akira Kurasawa, they emphasize the samurai movies he made so much that the average film buff might incorrectly assumed that's all he did. In fact, most of his films were NOT about the samurai culture, but about modern Japan.

Among the best of these non-samurai movies are Ikiru, Scandal, The Bad Sleep Well and this film. High And Low is set in contemporary Japan and it's the story of a kidnapping. The first half of the film centers mostly on the Toshiro Mifune character and the impact of the kidnapping on him. It seems the kidnappers accidentally kidnapped the chauffeur's son and not the one belonging to corporate big-shot Mifune. He struggles with whether or not to pay the extremely high ransom, as it will likely bankrupt him and his family. This dilemma is handled very well. The second half of the film is centered on the forensics and police footwork done to try to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Particularly outstanding in this film is the pacing. Some might consider it to be a bit slow, but I loved how they fused a human drama with the step-by-step police work (similar to a Law And Order episode in how it unfolds, but in even greater detail and attention to realism). The acting is also top-notch, though it is not a "Toshiro Mifune" movie per se, as he barely appears in the second half of the film. Instead, it's an ensemble film starring many actors you might recognize from previous Kurasawa flicks.

I saw this on a Criterion DVD. The picture quality was absolutely PERFECT--like the print was just made yesterday. However, it was very disappointing to see that this DVD had NO EXTRAS!!! That's a little unusual for a Criterion DVD--so often they have great special features--often several.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird10 / 10

Right up there with Kurasawa's best

Not my favourite Akira Kurasawa film by all means, but for me definitely in the top 10 of his best films. Perhaps the final sequence is a little too safe, but it's not too much of a big problem compared to how good everything else is. Kurasawa's movies all have the advantage of being well made and directed, and High and Low is certainly no exception. The single-set scenery is both atmospheric and epic, and the cinematography is as ever exceptional. While Kurasawa's direction is one of his more subtle overall directorial jobs, it never undermines the riveting and tense feel of the always compelling story. The score is suitably haunting, and Toshiro Mifune's lead performance is very brooding.

All in all, a superb film and one of Kurasawa's best. 10/10 Bethany Cox

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca9 / 10

Top-tier Kurosawa thriller

HIGH AND LOW is one of the excellent contemporary thrillers that Akira Kurosawa made during the peak of his career. Unfortunately it's a sub-genre that seems mostly forgotten about today, passed over in favour of Kurosawa's well-renowned samurai movies. It's a shame because these films often have just as much to offer.

HIGH AND LOW tells a detailed, lengthy story about a kidnapping and subsequent police investigation. It's a long and slow-moving film but one which rewards close submersion into the storyline and narrative. Toshiro Mifune is cast against type playing a hard-headed shoe factory boss whose son is kidnapped for ransom. However, the kidnapper gets his kids mixed up and accidentally kidnaps the chauffeur's son instead.

What follows is tense, well-shot and superbly acted, as are the majority of the director's films. Mifune gives a bullishly realistic turn as the proud factory boss but it's Tatsuya Nakadai who really shines as the smooth detective brought in to solve the case. Watch out for Kurosawa regular Takashi Shimura in the minor role of the police chief. Essentially HIGH AND LOW is a film in two parts, and the original Japanese title - HEAVEN AND HELL - gives some idea of Kurosawa's thematic ideas. Watching these characters descend into a literal and figurative Hell makes for unmissable cinema.

Read more IMDb reviews