The Third Murder

Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda
Film Movement
124 Minutes
Drama, Mystery, Asian
Not Rated

Leading attorney Shigemori takes on the defence of murder-robbery suspect Misumi who served jail time for another murder 30 years ago. Shigemori’s chances of winning the case seem low - his client freely admits his guilt, despite facing the death penalty if he is convicted. As he digs deeper into the case, as he hears the testimonies of the victim’s family and Misumi himself, the once confident Shigemori begins to doubt whether his client is the murderer after all.

Director & Cast

  • Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
  • Starring: Masaharu Fukuyama
  • Starring: Koji Yakusho
  • Starring: Isao Hashizume
  • Starring: Suzu Hirose
  • Starring: Izumi Matsuoka

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  • "CRITIC'S PICK. Insistent, gripping...."
    Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
  • "Hauntingly beautiful…What’s remarkable about “The Third Murder” is its density (so many provocative themes bubbling beneath a placid surface); intensity (conversations between lawyer and client, on opposite sides of the glass, are truly spellbinding); cast of intriguing characters (the factory owner’s wife and daughter, the lawyer’s own daughter, who shocks him by producing tears of ostensible grief on command); shimmering ambiguity (although the climactic scene, if I read it right, carries intimations of clarity); and formal elegance (the CinemaScope format of Mikiya Takimoto’s cinematography gives those detention-center conversations an expansive gravity)…It’s the work of a contemporary master who arrives at the philosophical by way of the playful, ironic and lyrical. "
    Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
  • "A crime drama like no other…Does the world need any more reminders that Hirokazu Kore-eda is one of its greatest filmmakers? "
    Bilge Ebiri, The Village Voice
  • "Mystery skirts metaphysics and a courtroom turns out to be no place to determine the truth in Kore-eda Hirokazu's mysteriously beautiful The Third Murder. ...Though different in feeling from the Japanese writer-director's perceptive family tales like After the Storm, it has the same clarity of thought and precision of image as his very best work."
    Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
  • "...a powerful, intricately constructed meditation on the mysteries of the heart, the elusiveness of truth and the injustices of the Japanese justice system, in which the scales are tipped in favor of the prosecution. Koreeda’s film ... is a masterpiece."
    Mark Schilling, The Japan Times
  • "Sleek and suspenseful, deceptive and profound, The Third Murder is an artful addition to the canon of modern-day crime drama, one whose core mysteries encompass more than just the case at hand."
    Michael Leader, Sight & Sound
  • "Complex, alluringly elusive...."
    Jonathan Romney, Film Comment
  • "[An] intricate legal thriller."
    Richard Brody, The New Yorker
  • "...The Third Murder merits comparison with the finest films on the subject of justice."
    Ben Sachs, The Chicago Reader
  • "A dark, ambiguous courtroom drama...technically splendid…Kore-eda, one of cinema's premier directors, never falters during The Third Murder. "
    Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International