Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Jiro Dreams of Sushi Movie Poster Image
Subtitled docu about sushi chef inspires and enlightens.
  • PG
  • 2012
  • 81 minutes

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Kids say

age 6+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Endorses hard work, passion, and perseverance as the means to attaining highest goals. Movie attributes great success to more than talent  -- consistency, desire, impatience, self-control, loyalty are all necessary components -- obsession helps, too. A timeless truth for Jiro: "ultimate simplicity leads to purity."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jiro, his sons, and his assistants have committed their lives to the perfection of their product, and it appears to matter more to them than any social or personal issues. They're all models of hard work, self-discipline, aspiration, integrity, and satisfaction with a job well done; and they strive to be better no matter how much they've accomplished. Jiro's role as a father is entwined with his role as a entrepreneur. His two sons are unquestioning as they follow their father's aspirations for them.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Jiro mentions that he used to be a smoker and that his father was an alcoholic. Some smoking visible in background.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary film in Japanese with English subtitles about Jiro Ono, a premier sushi chef who has gained great renown in his tiny restaurant in Tokyo. Older kids and teens, with proficient reading skills and some patience, will appreciate the simplicity, commitment, and success of Jiro's life. It helps, too, if viewers have some interest in food, though in this film food preparation is a metaphor for any of life's great passions. The movie's message is that satisfaction and lofty goals are reached through dedication, constant striving for excellence, and mastering of skills. Some cigarette smoking is seen in background.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 10 years old April 19, 2020

Good for kids 5+

Great movie! The fishes and octopuses are a tiny bit disturbing is all.
Kid, 10 years old July 26, 2013

Nice for kids

Good movie. Sushi looks so good. What may be a little disturbing is the whole fishes. And maybe the yelling.

What's the story?

In JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI, Jiro Uno owns a small sushi bar in the heart of Tokyo. Amazingly, this tiny place has earned a three-star Michelin rating -- the world's most coveted restaurant honor. David Gelb's camera follows the 80-year-old chef and his two sons as they buy, prepare, and serve their exquisite fare. Testimony by a restaurant critic, former employees, and the family members themselves describes the history, the constant quest for perfection, and the endless commitment required of them. Jiro's story is a simple one -- born in poverty, on his own from the age of 7 -- it's a tribute to what a person of great integrity and drive can accomplish.

Is it any good?

In-depth interviews, vivid pictures of the preparation and care that goes into the creation of Jiro's sushi, and the engaging Jiro himself add up to a memorable portrait of a man and his art.

It's doubtful that Jiro Dreams of Sushi would be of interest to very young kids, or even older ones who are impatient without action, laughs, or conflict. It's a mellow experience, a character study and a motivational lesson -- with "making sushi" seen as a metaphor for any life spent in pursuit of excellence.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about passions. Do you have a passion in your life? How does Jiro Dreams of Sushi inspire you?

  • Interview someone you know who is satisfied with his or her life's work as Jiro is with his. See what the two have in common. How does Jiro's story show that it isn't necessary to be wealthy or famous to be successful?

  • How does Jiro Dreams of Sushi promote perseverance, integrity, and self-control? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love true stories

Character Strengths

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