My 25 Favourite Japanese Feature Films

View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Woman in the Dunes (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
An entomologist on vacation is trapped by local villagers into living with a woman whose life task is shoveling sand for them. (123 mins.)
 
2.
Rashomon (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view. (88 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
3.
Seven Samurai (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves. (207 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
4.
Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In medieval Japan, a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression. (124 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
 
5.
Tokyo Story (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them. (136 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
 
6.
Ikiru (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer. (143 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
7.
Harakiri (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn. (133 mins.)
 
8.
Ran (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him. (162 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
9.
Branded to Kill (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A hit-man, with a fetish for sniffing boiling rice, fumbles his latest job, putting him into conflict with his treacherous wife, with a mysterious woman eager for death and with the phantom-like hit-man known only as Number One. (91 mins.)
Director: Seijun Suzuki
 
10.
Ugetsu (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century. (96 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
 
11.
I Was Born, But... (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The Yoshi family - husband and wife Kennesuke and Haha, a middle manager at an office and a housewife respectively... (100 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
 
12.
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wonderous forest spirits who live nearby. (86 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
13.
Funeral Parade of Roses (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The trials and tribulations of Eddie and other transvestites in Japan. (107 mins.)
 
14.
Akai tenshi (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
During the Sino-Japanese War, a young army nurse gives sympathy to her patients and falls in love with an impotent doctor who's addicted to morphine. (95 mins.)
 
15.
The Insect Woman (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Life story of a woman born in poverty trying to succeed. Through her many schemes, she faces her ups and downs in a cyclical nature, fueled mostly by self-interest. (123 mins.)
Director: Shôhei Imamura
 
16.
High and Low (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom. (143 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
17.
Tokyo Drifter (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
After his gang disbands, a yakuza enforcer looks forward to life outside of organized crime but soon must become a drifter after his old rivals attempt to assassinate him. (89 mins.)
Director: Seijun Suzuki
 
18.
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II. (89 mins.)
Director: Isao Takahata
 
19.
The Face of Another (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A businessman with a disfigured face obtains a lifelike mask from his doctor, but the mask starts altering his personality. (124 mins.)
 
20.
Spirited Away (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts. (125 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
21.
Double Suicide (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A doomed love between a paper merchant and a courtesan. (142 mins.)
 
22.
Yojimbo (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town. (110 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
23.
Mind Game (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
After a deadly encounter with two yakuza, a loser with a crush on his childhood girlfriend goes to heaven and back, embarking on a psychedelic self-discovery experience with her and his friends. (103 mins.)
 
24.
Blind Beast (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A blind sculpter and his mother kidnap a young model. (86 mins.)
 
25.
Zatoichi (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The blind masseur/swordsman comes to a town in control of warring gangs, and while bunking with a farming family, he meets two women with their own agenda. (116 mins.)
Director: Takeshi Kitano