'The Third Murder' - Movie Review

Hirokazu Kore-eda is a Japanese film director. To date, this is considered the worst of his films as a director. As of 2019-02 he's listed with ten movies he's directed on Rotten Tomatoes, and this, his worst movie, is at 84%.

The movie is, technically, a legal drama. Although it spends its time dissecting the problems with the Japanese legal establishment more than it concerns itself with the guilt of the suspect. Having said that, you think you know what happened at the end, and that justice was served ... no thanks to the court. But it's Kore-eda: which means it's contemplative, slow-paced, sometimes even dream-like. Although less so, I suspect, than his other movies - I've only seen "After Life," and that's ... really strange.

Kōji Yakusho plays Misumi, who we see clubbing someone to death in the first few seconds of the movie. He's defended by the lawyer Shigemori (Masaharu Fukuyama), although mostly he and the two other lawyers who work with him are simply trying to prevent Misumi being put to death as he already has two other murders to his name. But Shigemori finds that Misumi's story changes every time it's told, and he doesn't know what to make of it. He doesn't know what's best for his client's defence because he can't get a consistent story, which eventually leads him to want to know the truth (instead of just a lawyer's fiction of the truth meant for defence).

The movie is quite good, but I found it more interesting than inspiring. I'm glad I watched it, but it doesn't create any desire to watch it again.