Japanese Movie Recomendations

by shoviel | created - 15 Apr 2011 | updated - 15 Apr 2011 | Public

In no particular order.

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1. Monday (I) (2000)

100 min | Comedy, Crime, Fantasy

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A simple funeral turns a man's world topsy turvy.

Director: SABU | Stars: Shin'ichi Tsutsumi, Yasuko Matsuyuki, Ren Osugi, Masanobu Andô

Votes: 1,908

2. Bijitâ Q (2001 Video)

R | 84 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A troubled and perverted family find their lives intruded by a mysterious stranger who seems to help find a balance in their disturbing natures.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Ken'ichi Endô, Shungiku Uchida, Kazushi Watanabe, Jun Mutô

Votes: 13,145

3. Niji no megami (2006)

118 min | Drama, Romance

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two film students meet and fall in love while working on a school project.

Director: Naoto Kumazawa | Stars: Hayato Ichihara, Juri Ueno, Yû Aoi, Wakana Sakai

Votes: 965

4. Kokuhaku (2010)

Not Rated | 106 min | Drama, Thriller

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A psychological thriller of a grieving mother turned cold-blooded avenger with a twisty master plan to pay back those who were responsible for her daughter's death.

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima | Stars: Takako Matsu, Yoshino Kimura, Masaki Okada, Yukito Nishii

Votes: 29,791

5. Departures (2008)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Music

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
68 Metascore

A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals.

Director: Yôjirô Takita | Stars: Masahiro Motoki, Ryôko Hirosue, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kazuko Yoshiyuki

Votes: 42,252 | Gross: $1.54M

6. Ringu 0 (2000)

Not Rated | 99 min | Horror, Thriller

6.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In this prequel to Ring, a young Sadako becomes an actress in hopes of escaping her troubled past. But strange visions and terrifying powers begin to manifest...

Director: Norio Tsuruta | Stars: Yukie Nakama, Seiichi Tanabe, Kumiko Asô, Takeshi Wakamatsu

Votes: 7,238

7. Kimyô na sâkasu (2005)

108 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The erotic novelist Taeko is writing a morbid story of a family destroyed by incest, murder and abuse. Her assistant, Yuji, sets on a mission to uncover the reality of this story, but the reality might be too much to bear.

Director: Sion Sono | Stars: Masumi Miyazaki, Issei Ishida, Rie Kuwana, Seiko Iwaidô

Votes: 4,204

8. Kakushi ken oni no tsume (2004)

R | 132 min | Action, Drama, History

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
76 Metascore

During the time of change of the mid-19th Century, Yaichiro is bid farewell by his fellow samurai friends Munezo and Samon as he leaves their clan's fiefdom on the northwest coast of Japan ... See full summary »

Director: Yôji Yamada | Stars: Masatoshi Nagase, Takako Matsu, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Yukiyoshi Ozawa

Votes: 5,161 | Gross: $0.04M

9. I Just Didn't Do It (2006)

143 min | Drama

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young man is falsely accused of molesting a high-school girl on a train. He is arrested and charged, and goes through endless court sessions, all the while insisting that he is innocent.

Director: Masayuki Suo | Stars: Ryo Kase, Asaka Seto, Kôji Yamamoto, Masako Motai

Votes: 1,225

10. Himitsu (1999)

119 min | Drama, Fantasy

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man is shocked to find out that after a deadly car accident involving his wife and daughter, his wife died, but her mind somehow got transfered into their daughter's body.

Director: Yôjirô Takita | Stars: Ryôko Hirosue, Kaoru Kobayashi, Ken Kaneko, Yuriko Ishida

Votes: 532

11. Ai no mukidashi (2008)

Unrated | 237 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
78 Metascore

A bizarre love triangle forms between a young Catholic upskirt photographer, a misandric girl and a manipulative cultist.

Director: Sion Sono | Stars: Takahiro Nishijima, Hikari Mitsushima, Sakura Andô, Yutaka Shimizu

Votes: 8,938

12. Joze to tora to sakana tachi (2003)

116 min | Drama, Romance

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Tsuneo is a university student working part-time in a mah-jong parlour. Lately the customers have been talking about an old lady who pushes a baby carriage through the streets. They say she... See full summary »

Director: Isshin Inudô | Stars: Satoshi Tsumabuki, Chizuru Ikewaki, Juri Ueno, Hirofumi Arai

Votes: 1,119

13. The Discarnates (1988)

115 min | Drama, Fantasy

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Harada is a successful scenario writer, and his best buddy has just announced an intention to propose to Harada's ex-wife. Recovering from the shock, Harada indulges in melancholy, mainly ... See full summary »

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi | Stars: Morio Kazama, Kumiko Akiyoshi, Tsurutarô Kataoka, Atsuko Kawata

Votes: 163

14. Mezon do Himiko (2005)

130 min | Drama

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Saori is a young woman who struggles to make a living, with no financial or romantic prospects in her life. One rainy day, she receives a visit at work from a handsome young man called ... See full summary »

Director: Isshin Inudô | Stars: Joe Odagiri, Ko Shibasaki, Min Tanaka, Kira Aoyama

Votes: 467

15. Sekai no chûshin de, ai o sakebu (2004)

138 min | Drama, Romance

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While searching for his fiancee Ritsuko, Sakutarou rediscovers through flashbacks the void deep within him caused by the events from his high school days.

Director: Isao Yukisada | Stars: Takao Ohsawa, Ko Shibasaki, Masami Nagasawa, Mirai Moriyama

Votes: 2,465

16. Ima, ai ni yukimasu (2004)

119 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young woman returns from the dead to her guilt-ridden husband and son, but she cannot remember them.

Director: Nobuhiro Doi | Stars: Yûko Takeuchi, Shidô Nakamura, Akashi Takei, Karen Miyama

Votes: 3,594

17. Yogen (2004)

R | 95 min | Horror

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

While stopped at a roadside phone booth for transmitting his work through the Internet to the university, Professor Hideki Satomi finds a scrap of newspaper with the picture of his ... See full summary »

Director: Norio Tsuruta | Stars: Hiroshi Mikami, Noriko Sakai, Maki Horikita, Mayumi Ono

Votes: 3,669

18. Hana to Arisu (2004)

135 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When two best friends develop a crush on the same boy, they develop a plan to trick him into dating them.

Director: Shunji Iwai | Stars: Anne Suzuki, Yû Aoi, Tomohiro Kaku, Shôko Aida

Votes: 3,143

19. Reincarnation (2005)

R | 96 min | Horror, Mystery

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A Japanese actress begins having strange visions and experiences after landing a role in a horror film about a real-life murder spree that took place over forty years ago.

Director: Takashi Shimizu | Stars: Yûka, Karina, Kippei Shîna, Tetta Sugimoto

Votes: 5,571

20. Survive Style 5+ (2004)

120 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Five bizarre stories with no apparent connection to one and other eventually become intertwined, resulting in surreal circumstances.

Director: Gen Sekiguchi | Stars: Tadanobu Asano, Reika Hashimoto, Kyôko Koizumi, Hiroshi Abe

Votes: 8,434

21. One Missed Call (2003)

R | 112 min | Horror, Mystery

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
54 Metascore

People mysteriously start receiving voicemail messages from their future selves, in the form of the sound of them reacting to their own violent deaths.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Ko Shibasaki, Shin'ichi Tsutsumi, Kazue Fukiishi, Anna Nagata

Votes: 15,185

22. Shimotsuma monogatari (2004)

102 min | Comedy

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
56 Metascore

Momoko, a strange and seemingly emotionless girl obsessed with 18th century France, befriends a Yanki biker and the two experience the ups and downs of their unusual lives in a rural Japanese town.

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima | Stars: Kyoko Fukada, Anna Tsuchiya, Hiroyuki Miyasako, Sadao Abe

Votes: 6,119

23. Kiraware Matsuko no isshô (2006)

130 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When Matsuko dies of murder, her nephew Sho gets to progressively unveil many details of her mysterious past, discovering she wasn't only a forgotten outcast but led a very interesting yet bizarre life.

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima | Stars: Miki Nakatani, Eita, Yûsuke Iseya, Mikako Ichikawa

Votes: 5,117

24. Pako to mahô no ehon (2008)

105 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Add a Plot

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima | Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Ayaka Wilson, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Anna Tsuchiya

Votes: 420

25. Shinobi: Heart Under Blade (2005)

R | 107 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Star-crossed lovers must fight on opposing sides in a battle that will determine the next Shogun.

Director: Ten Shimoyama | Stars: Yukie Nakama, Joe Odagiri, Tomoka Kurotani, Erika Sawajiri

Votes: 11,403

26. Happy Flight (2008)

103 min | Comedy

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A great variety of aviation professionals such as pilots, flight attendants, the ground crew, mechanics, dispatchers, controllers, and the bird patrol crew all support a single flight. They... See full summary »

Director: Shinobu Yaguchi | Stars: Seiichi Tanabe, Saburô Tokitô, Haruka Ayase, Kazue Fukiishi

Votes: 382

27. Nobody Knows (2004)

PG-13 | 141 min | Drama

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
88 Metascore

In a small Tokyo apartment, twelve-year-old Akira must care for his younger siblings after their mother leaves them and shows no sign of returning.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda | Stars: Yûya Yagira, Ayu Kitaura, Hiei Kimura, Momoko Shimizu

Votes: 19,088 | Gross: $0.68M

28. Kisaragi (2007)

108 min | Comedy, Mystery

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

One year after the suicide of C-list model Kisaragi Miki, five of her fans come together for a commemorative meeting; fan club leader Iemoto, Oda Yuji, "Snake", Yasuo, and "Strawberry Girl"... See full summary »

Director: Yûichi Satô | Stars: Shun Oguri, Yûsuke Santamaria, Keisuke Koide, Muga Tsukaji

Votes: 807

29. Battle Royale (2000)

Not Rated | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
81 Metascore

In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary "Battle Royale" act.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Tarô Yamamoto, Takeshi Kitano

Votes: 150,739

30. Koroshiya 1 (2001)

R | 129 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
55 Metascore

As sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer Kakihara searches for his missing boss he comes across Ichi, a repressed and psychotic killer who may be able to inflict levels of pain that Kakihara has only dreamed of.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Tadanobu Asano, Nao Ohmori, Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Paulyn Sun

Votes: 45,963 | Gross: $0.01M

31. Toki o kakeru shôjo (2006)

Not Rated | 98 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A high-school girl named Makoto acquires the power to travel back in time, and decides to use it for her own personal benefits. Little does she know that she is affecting the lives of others just as much as she is her own.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda | Stars: Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Mitsutaka Itakura, Ayami Kakiuchi

Votes: 45,667

32. Mibu gishi den (2002)

143 min | Drama

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A samurai goes to extraordinary lengths to provide for his family.

Director: Yôjirô Takita | Stars: Kiichi Nakai, Kôichi Satô, Yui Natsukawa, Takehiro Murata

Votes: 4,263

33. Suwingu gâruzu (2004)

105 min | Drama, Comedy, Music

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A tale of delinquent and lazy school girls. In their efforts to cut remedial summer math class, they end up poisoning and replacing the schools brass band.

Director: Shinobu Yaguchi | Stars: Juri Ueno, Yûta Hiraoka, Shihori Kanjiya, Yuika Motokariya

Votes: 2,883

34. Dare mo mamotte kurenai (2008)

118 min | Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Ryoichi Kimizuka's riveting exploration of the Japanese media's feeding frenzy focuses on a15-year-old girl forced into police protection to escape from the journalistic hordes after her ... See full summary »

Director: Ryôichi Kimizuka | Stars: Kôichi Satô, Mirai Shida, Ryûhei Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida

Votes: 277

35. Tasogare Seibei (2002)

129 min | Drama, History

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
82 Metascore

As the feudal Japan era draws to a close, a widower samurai experiences difficulty balancing 2 young daughters, an aged mother, clan loyalties, and the sudden reappearance of his childhood sweetheart.

Director: Yôji Yamada | Stars: Hiroyuki Sanada, Rie Miyazawa, Nenji Kobayashi, Ren Osugi

Votes: 19,489

36. All About Lily Chou-Chou (2001)

146 min | Crime, Drama, Music

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
73 Metascore

The problematic lives of teenager students for whom the singer Lily Chou-Chou's dreamy music is the only way to escape an alienating, violent and insensitive society.

Director: Shunji Iwai | Stars: Hayato Ichihara, Shûgo Oshinari, Ayumi Itô, Takao Ohsawa

Votes: 6,825 | Gross: $0.02M

37. Love Letter (1995)

PG | 117 min | Drama, Romance

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When exchanging letters two women discover new things about a man they knew.

Director: Shunji Iwai | Stars: Miho Nakayama, Etsushi Toyokawa, Bunjaku Han, Katsuyuki Shinohara

Votes: 5,559