Top Ranked Films from Japanby LawrenceJoseSinclair | created - 29 Jun 2011 | updated - 30 Jun 2011 | Public
I took all the film polls I could find (representing over 1800!), threw them into a spreadsheet, and ranked the results. I then published a Top Ranked 1000 Films and an alpha list of all 2260 titles that made polls on my blog. I'm now making and post sub-lists like top of each decade, and each country, like this one from Japan. I only listed those that made the top 1000. The complete lists can be seen at [link]http://worldsbestfilms.blogspot.com[/link] .. "Your results may vary"
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1. Seven Samurai (1954)
Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.
Votes: 263,745 | Gross: $0.27M
The archetype of the modern action film. Ironically, it was first titled "The Magnificent Seven", then when the U.S. western remake of that name came out, the title was changed to Seven Samurai. A science fiction remake was also made, Battle Beyond the Stars.
2. Rashômon (1950)
Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view.
Another Kurosawa classic, this examines a crime from various witnesses, and shows that each is tainted by his own perspective.
3. Ran (1985)
R | 162 min | Action, Drama
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.
Votes: 92,294 | Gross: $3.52M
A later Kurosawa, from his color epic period. Personally, I prefer his black and white films, but this and Kagemusha are very 'Shakespearean'.
5. Spirited Away (2001)
PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
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.
Votes: 505,655 | Gross: $10.06M
This is currently the top ranked film from 2000-2010, just ahead of all three installments of Lord of the Rings.
6. Ugetsu (1953)
Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy, War
A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.
Votes: 16,623 | Gross: $0.01M
One of the most haunting and unusual love stories of all time.
9. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Not Rated | 89 min | Animation, Drama, War
A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.
So far, the best anime I've seen, an adult anti-war story.
10. Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
Not Rated | 124 min | Drama
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.
12. Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
PG | 119 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.
Votes: 258,478 | Gross: $4.71M
13. Princess Mononoke (1997)
PG-13 | 134 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy
On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.
Votes: 268,954 | Gross: $2.38M
15. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
G | 86 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy
When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.
16. Yôkihi (1955)
Approved | 98 min | Drama, History, Romance
In eighth century China, the Emperor is grieving over the death of his wife. The Yang family wants to provide the Emperor with a consort so that they may consolidate their influence over ... See full summary »
17. High and Low (1963)
Not Rated | 143 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.
Another Kurosawa film in black and white
18. Late Spring (1949)
Not Rated | 108 min | Drama
Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.
19. Ponyo (2008)
G | 101 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
A five-year-old boy develops a relationship with Ponyo, a young goldfish princess who longs to become a human after falling in love with him.
Votes: 98,917 | Gross: $15.09M
20. In the Realm of the Senses (1976)
NC-17 | 109 min | Biography, Drama, Horror
A passionate telling of the story of Sada Abe, a woman whose affair with her master led to a sexual obsession which then came to a violent end.
A classic of erotocism that becomes a crime story.
21. Nobody Knows (2004)
PG-13 | 141 min | Drama
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.
Votes: 19,258 | Gross: $0.68M
22. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939)
Not Rated | 148 min | Drama, Romance
The adopted son of a legendary actor, and an aspiring star himself, turns to his infant brother's wet nurse for support and affection - only for her to give up everything for her beloved's glory.
25. Ukigumo (1955)
123 min | Drama, Romance
A tragic social drama set in post war Japan and concerns a lonely woman trying to find purpose and stability in a devastated Tokyo.
Better known as Floating Clouds in the west
26. Dersu Uzala (1975)
G | 142 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
The Russian army sends an explorer on an expedition to the snowy Siberian wilderness where he makes friends with a seasoned local hunter.
A Kurosawa film in color, an adventure about a Siberian guide
27. Castle in the Sky (1986)
PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.
28. Kagemusha (1980)
PG | 162 min | Drama, History, War
A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place.
31. The Hidden Fortress (1958)
Not Rated | 126 min | Adventure, Drama
Lured by gold, two greedy peasants escort a man and woman across enemy lines. However, they do not realize that their companions are actually a princess and her general.
I believe George Lucas said this influenced Star Wars.
33. Harakiri (1962)
Not Rated | 133 min | Action, Drama, History
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.
There are, unfortunately, many films with this title, make sure you see the one from director Masaki Kobayashi (others may also be worth seeing..)
34. Children of Hiroshima (1952)
97 min | Drama, War
Post war Hiroshima: It's been four years since the last time she visited her hometown. Takako faces the after effects of the A-bomb when she travels around the city to call on old friends.
Known in the west as Children of Hiroshima
35. Akira (1988)
R | 124 min | Animation, Action, Drama
A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop.
Votes: 125,783 | Gross: $0.55M
What, anime from someone other than Hayao Miyazaki? he's gonna hear about this!
36. Red Beard (1965)
Not Rated | 185 min | Drama
In 19th century Japan, a rough tempered yet charitable town doctor trains a young intern.
Yet another b&w film from Kurosawa. After Seven Samurai, Stray Dogs is my favorite.
37. Kuroi ame (1989)
Not Rated | 123 min | Drama
The story of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, based on Masuji Ibuse's novel.
There are many films with this title, including the western one with Michael Douglas released the same year as this Japanese film! Good grief..