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2011, 100 min, Japan, Dir: Takashi Miike

Little Rantaro comes from a long line of ninjas, so when he leaves the family farm to enter ninja school himself he is determined to master star-throwing, explosives, and rock-climbing. But Rantaro’s first-year class is so inept that the headmaster declares an early vacation and sends them all home. The youngsters nonetheless earn their stars when they are challenged by a rival clan and must race to ring the bell at a mountaintop temple to save the school. Brilliant in its excess and bursting with energy from the infectious young cast, the film is loaded with non-stop visual gags, dopey villains, adorable ninja trainees … and easily earns all three exclamation points in its title! Recommended Ages: 8 and up. In Japanese with English subtitles.

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