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Filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, modern master behind acclaimed Japanese family dramas such as Like Father, Like Son and Our Little Sister, won the 2018 Palme d'Or at Cannes with this tale following a family of small-time crooks who take in a child they find on the streets.

Kore-eda has been nominated for the Palme d'Or four times previously for Our Little Sister, Like Father, Like Son, Nobody Knows, and Distance.



Palme d'Or, Cannes 2018

Directed by

  • Hirokazu Koreeda('After the Storm', 'Our Little Sister', 'Like Father, Like Son', 'I Wish', 'Still Walking')

Crime, Drama, World Cinema, Festival & Independent


Rating: M Sexual references

Japanese with English subtitles


Family dramas are often at their most heartwarming when concerned with crime families, and in this tradition, Shoplifters is an utterly moving exemplar.

The film follows a household of entangled drifters on the outskirts of Tokyo doing the best they can to get by; an intermittently employed day labourer and his wife, a low-paid housekeeper; a pre-teen boy and a woman in her twenties; and an elderly woman, whose pension increasingly supports the family. The film begins when they take in another stray—a five-year-old girl they find hiding from her abusive parents—and educate her in the tricks of small-time theft. Excellent performances from every member of this charming familial ensemble cinch this compelling drama.

Written and directed by Japanese superstar and master of group dynamics Hirokazu Kore-eda, the script is economical and exacting, gracefully rendering the way poverty magnifies everyday nuisance; forgetting shampoo, spraining an ankle, a cold snap. The film is an expert study in what holds people together in mundanity and in crisis—love and care, sure, but also alibis. No wonder it won the Palme d’Or.

An incredible portrait of generosity and precarity, Shoplifters is just splendid.

Guardian (UK)


It is a movie made up of delicate brushstrokes: details, moments, looks and smiles.

Hollywood Reporter


Studded with memorable characters and believable performances that quietly lead the viewer to reflect on societal values.

IndieWire (USA)


A master of threading the needle between conflict and contrivance, Kore-eda manages to turn this drama inside out without every betraying its most resonant truth.

Telegraph (UK)


Compassionate, socially conscious filmmaking with a piercing intelligence that is pure Kore-eda. This is a film that steals in and snatches your heart.

Variety (USA)


At once charming and heart-wrenching, this exquisitely performed film will steal the hearts of both art-house and mainstream audiences.

NZ Herald (Tom Augustine)


Where Shoplifters ultimately goes is at once unexpected and inevitable, arriving at a startling, powerful conclusion that is carried on the back of one of the strongest screen ensembles in years.

TimeOut (London)


Another charming, funny and very affecting example of Kore-eda's special brand of tough-but-tender humanism. (James Croot)


While perhaps not quite as absorbing as the likes of Like Father or Little Sister, this is nonetheless another superb example of Kore-eda's ability to weave a very Japanese story that has global appeal.


Perfect in every way.