TIFF 2017 Movie Review: THE THIRD MURDER (Japan 2017) ****

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

The Third Murder Poster
Mikuma has a criminal record dating back many years and is now under the spotlight again. It looks like and open and shut case for Mikuma has confessed to the new charge. Enter prominent …See full summary »


Hirokazu Koreeda


Hirokazu Koreeda (screenplay)


Masaharu FukuyamaKôji YakushoIsao Hashizume

THE THIRD MURDER is director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s (AFTER LIFE, AFTER THE STORM LIKE FATEHR LIKE SON) first murder mystery/courtroom drama and one that encompasses deep thoughts on morality. From the first scene, Misumi (Kôji Yakusho) robs and kills an industrialist. Misumi freely confesses to the cops, claiming he was desperate to settle a gambling debt.

But defence attorney Shigemori (Masaharu Fukuyama) isn’t entirely satisfied with his mild-mannered client’s testimony. As Shigemori and his team go about their research, secret histories are brought to light, inconsistencies surface and unlikely alliances point to a more complicated set of circumstances.

One flaw of the film is the point is that it is brought up later Misumi might not have killed the industrialist and someone else could have done it. But showing the killing at the start of the film, dismisses the fact that someone else could have done it.

It is the film’s classic case where a director should never lie in a flashback scene. (Hitchcock did it once in STAGE FRIGHT and was never forgiven for it.) Kore-eda’s shot of Misumi’s reflection in the glass in the film’s final scene when he finally concludes his case with his attorney demands mention. The image in the reflection is different from his actual face reflecting the two sides of the man.

Brilliantly thought of and executed THE THIRD MURDER marks Kore-eda as his continuous best.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Plr3V4TYBQE