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The Third Murder 15 rating

A clear-cut murder case is revealed to be much more layered than it first appears, in this gripping and intelligent crime drama from Palme d'Or-winning director Hirokazu Koreeda.

Crime 2017 125 mins

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda


When fastidious defence lawyer Shigemori (Masaharu Fukuyama) agrees to advocate for Misumi (Kôji Yakusho), a former convict who readily admits to brutally murdering a businessman, it seems an open-and-shut case. But the further Shigemori delves into his defendant's personal history - and that of his victim - the murkier and more complex matters seem to be.

Shifting gear completely from the minimalist meander of his regular family dramas, Koreeda presents his singular take on the kind of procedural crime investigations more familiar from American film and TV. But Koreeda is less interested in the cut and thrust of detective work than the tangled web of relationships that crimes knit together, and the individual personal frailties that lead to tragedy. Koreeda once again proves himself a master chronicler of the human condition, with a work that has been bestowed his home country's highest filmmaking honour, the Japan Academy Film Prize for 2017.