Written July 31, 2014
How did it happen that Emperor Hirohito was not prosecuted for war crimes, as American hawks and even President Roosevelt wanted? Regardless of your point of view, this is a huge story. Yet this screenplay treats the turning points without drama, the influencing factors without highlight. At what I would think would be the moments of greatest tension in the story, the thread is so slack that people left the sparsely attended theatre, and I fell asleep twice. Camerawork, lighting, and music provide only minimal excitement, and in conventional, even trite ways. This story deserves so much more.
To the film's credit, the heroine is not brought back to life for a romantic ending. But why does the online blurb say the lovers are reunited?
The acting is good, especially on the part of Tommy Lee Jones and some of the Japanese generals. But I would look for another director next time.
Written March 15, 2013
The is a solid film. Screenplay, cast performances, photography, sound...everything just as it should be...except historical accuracy. Still, it's a fine entertainment piece taken in context to "play acting." It's worth its ticket price. See it. You won't be disappointed.
Written July 25, 2014
This was really well done, great casting (no lumping of all "asians" into one category, all the Japanese actors were actually Japanese) and very compelling story telling. I was glued to my seat!
Written March 18, 2013
An interesting historical movie woven around a love story. The plot seemingly is about an investigation into whether to bring Japanese emperor Hirohito to trial for war crimes after the Japanese surrender in WWII, but the real story is the flashbacks to the romance of the investigating US general with a Japanese exchange student he met in college. The romance provides the background for the general's learning of Japanese culture and the real investigation in the movie is the general's pursuit of the fate of his former girlfriend. Tommy Lee Jones is so-so as General McArthur, the boss of the investigating general. The main reason to see the movie is the accurate and harrowing portrayal of post-war Japan. The devastation and horrid conditions are vividly shown and can be appreciated much more when seen on the big screen rather than on t.v. So, this is a movie to be seen in the theaters, maybe not Oscar worthy, but you won't be sorry you went.
Written August 20, 2014
We didn't know what to expect but it was one of the better movies this year. Not all exploding cars and killing people in excess. Held our attention. Tommy Lee is believable.