(2012)

Critic Reviews

48

Metascore

Based on 33 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
The real star of the film is the magnetic, forceful and charismatic Matthew Fox, who steals the entire film as easily as if he were pitching a softball.
75
As is the case with most of the elements in Emperor, the cliches are relatively few and spaced apart, and the tearjerking and profound moments are authentic and well-earned.
75
In the end, probably the best way to watch Emperor is to pretend that the Supreme Command of Allied Forces in Japan after World War II was Tommy Lee Jones. If you do that, the movie works surprisingly well.
67
Emperor explores the delicate postwar dance of revenge, justice, and realpolitik, yet its focus on the issue of Hirohito's guilt or innocence (did he order the attack on Pearl Harbor? Or did he, in fact, oppose the Japanese military machine?)
63
This true-ish story adds a romantic subplot to the prosecution of Japanese war criminals by American general Douglas MacArthur, but neither the love nor the war are completely baked.
63
Only near the end, when MacArthur and Hirohito meet in person, do we get fireworks. And that's thanks to Jones, who makes sure this old soldier will never die in our memory. As for this tepid movie, it just fades away.
63
Some of the film's most illuminating scenes involve Aya's uncle, General Kajima (Toshiyuki Nishida), who schools Fellers on the sense of duty that is ingrained in Japanese culture.
63
Tommy Lee Jones gives us a saltier version of MacArthur than the image-conscious general ever let on to.
50
This one's likely to vex both history buffs and those who require some drama with their drama.
40
Director Peter Webber (“Girl With a Pearl Earring”) fills the film with conciliatory emotion and jarring vistas of post-atomic landscapes. Unfortunately, Emperor needs more good ol'-fashioned swagger.
40
So it seems like the next logical step in telling a story with a relationship to truth might be that if you're going to fudge things, at least make it entertaining. Please, pull an "Argo."

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