Best Japanese movies

by igikorn | created - 01 Jan 2018 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

Top Japanese movies to watch

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1. Wood Job! (2014)

116 min | Adventure, Comedy

After failing to get into university, a soft city boy randomly picks a job in forestry.

Director: Shinobu Yaguchi | Stars: Masami Nagasawa, Shôta Sometani, Nana Seino, Hideaki Itô

Votes: 2,073

2. 100 Yen Love (2014)

113 min | Comedy, Drama

32-year-old Ichiko (Sakura Ando) lives at home with her parents, passing the days in self-indulgent grunginess. Ichiko's recently divorced younger sister Fumiko has moved back home with her... See full summary »

Director: Masaharu Take | Stars: Sakura Andô, Hirofumi Arai, Yôzaburô Itô, Miyoko Inagawa

Votes: 1,458

3. Tokyo Tribe (2014)

R | 116 min | Action, Musical

58 Metascore

In an alternate Japan, territorial street gangs form opposing factions collectively known as the Tokyo Tribes. Merra, leader of the Wu-Ronz tribe of Bukuro crosses the line to conquer all of Tokyo. The war begins.

Director: Sion Sono | Stars: Ryôhei Suzuki, Young Dais, Nana Seino, Shunsuke Daitô

Votes: 2,895

4. Lesson of the Evil (2012)

Unrated | 129 min | Horror, Thriller

A popular high school teacher concocts an extreme plan to deal with the rise of bullying and bad behavior among the student body.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Takehiro Hira, Takayuki Yamada, Mayu Matsuoka, Fumi Nikaidô

Votes: 5,028

5. Why Don't You Play in Hell? (2013)

Not Rated | 129 min | Action, Comedy

68 Metascore

A renegade film crew becomes embroiled with a yakuza clan feud.

Director: Sion Sono | Stars: Jun Kunimura, Fumi Nikaidô, Shin'ichi Tsutsumi, Hiroki Hasegawa

Votes: 6,558 | Gross: $0.03M

6. Memoirs of a Murderer (2017)

118 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A television reporter and a detective try to track down a serial killer known as the Tokyo Strangler.

Director: Yû Irie | Stars: Paolo Andrea Di Pietro, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Toyotaka Hanazawa, Mitsuru Hirata

Votes: 1,446

7. Your Name. (2016)

PG | 106 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

79 Metascore

Two strangers find themselves linked in a bizarre way. When a connection forms, will distance be the only thing to keep them apart?

Director: Makoto Shinkai | Stars: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryô Narita, Aoi Yûki

Votes: 157,893 | Gross: $5.02M

8. Outrage Coda (2017)

104 min | Action, Crime, Drama

58 Metascore

Five years after surviving the all-out war between the Sanno and Hanabishi crime families, former yakuza boss Otomo now works in South Korea for Mr. Chang, a renowned fixer whose influence extends into Japan. A relatively minor incident causes tensions to rise between Chang Enterprises and the faraway powerful Hanabishi. The growing conflict gets out of hand and ignites a ferocious power struggle... See full summary »

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Toshiyuki Nishida, Tatsuo Nadaka, Ken Mitsuishi

Votes: 1,724

9. Beyond Outrage (2012)

R | 112 min | Action, Crime, Drama

53 Metascore

As the police launch a full-scale crackdown on organized crime, it ignites a national yakuza struggle between the Sanno of the East and Hanabishi of the West.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Toshiyuki Nishida, Tomokazu Miura, Takeshi Kitano, Ryô Kase

Votes: 5,270

10. Blindly in Love (2013)

117 min | Drama

35-year-old Kentaro is a social misfit and has never dated a woman in his life. He lives with his parents and holds a modest job in city hall. Kentaro doesn't have any friends, nor received... See full summary »

Director: Masahide Ichii | Stars: Gen Hoshino, Kaho, Sei Hiraizumi, Ryôko Moriyama

Votes: 169

11. Nanimono (2016)

Drama

Looking for jobs, five young friends regularly meet at one's apartment. Judging and gauging one another by their ability to land job pits the friends as also competitors. When one of the ... See full summary »

Director: Daisuke Miura | Stars: Kasumi Arimura, Fumi Nikaidô, Masaki Okada, Takeru Satoh

Votes: 440

12. Boys on the Run (2010)

114 min | Comedy, Drama

Toshiyuki Tanishi (Mr Tanishi) is a 29-year-old chronic masturbator and toy vending machine salesman - he is socially awkward and down on his luck. Things change when he meets Chiharu a ... See full summary »

Director: Daisuke Miura | Stars: Kazunobu Mineta, Mei Kurokawa, Ryûhei Matsuda, You

Votes: 323

13. Hana and Alice (2004)

135 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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: 3,555

14. The Blue Bird (2008)

105 min | Drama

A substitute teacher arrives to take the second year class of a junior high school in turmoil after one of its pupils attempts suicide.

Director: Kenji Nakanishi | Stars: Hiroshi Abe, Kanata Hongô, Ayumi Itô, Hajime Inoue

Votes: 260

15. Sway (2006)

120 min | Crime, Drama

On the anniversary of the death of the mother of a hip and happening Tokyo-based photographer, the son returns to his hometown for the funeral. What follows is a return to the past that is ... See full summary »

Director: Miwa Nishikawa | Stars: Joe Odagiri, Teruyuki Kagawa, Masatô Ibu, Hirofumi Arai

Votes: 798

16. Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (2003)

116 min | Drama, Romance

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: 1,322

17. Gozu (2003)

R | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

58 Metascore

A yakuza enforcer is ordered to secretly drive his beloved colleague to be assassinated. But when the colleague unceremoniously disappears en route, the trip that follows is a twisted, surreal and horrifying experience.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Yûta Sone, Kimika Yoshino, Shôhei Hino, Keiko Tomita

Votes: 10,675 | Gross: $0.05M

18. Audition (1999)

R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

69 Metascore

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Jun Kunimura

Votes: 67,888

19. 13 Assassins (2010)

R | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

84 Metascore

A group of assassins come together for a suicide mission to kill an evil lord.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yûsuke Iseya, Ikki Sawamura

Votes: 59,470 | Gross: $0.80M

20. Tokyo Sonata (2008)

PG-13 | 120 min | Drama

80 Metascore

An ordinary Japanese family slowly disintegrates after its patriarch loses his job at a prominent company.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa | Stars: Teruyuki Kagawa, Kyôko Koizumi, Yû Koyanagi, Kai Inowaki

Votes: 8,302 | Gross: $0.28M

21. Creepy (2016)

Not Rated | 130 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

76 Metascore

Takakura is a former detective. He receives a request from his ex-colleague, Nogami, to examine a missing family case that occurred 6 years earlier. Takakura follows Saki's memory. She is ... See full summary »

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa | Stars: Hidetoshi Nishijima, Yûko Takeuchi, Toru Baba, Ryôko Fujino

Votes: 3,584

22. After the Storm (2016)

Not Rated | 118 min | Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

After the death of his father, a private detective struggles to find child support money and reconnect with his son and ex-wife.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda | Stars: Hiroshi Abe, Yôko Maki, Satomi Kobayashi, Lily Franky

Votes: 8,033 | Gross: $0.27M

23. Harmonium (2016)

Not Rated | 120 min | Drama

84 Metascore

Toshio hires Yasaka in his workshop. This old acquaintance, who has just been released from prison, begins to meddle in Toshio's family life.

Director: Kôji Fukada | Stars: Tadanobu Asano, Mariko Tsutsui, Taiga Nakano, Momone Shinokawa

Votes: 1,753 | Gross: $0.02M

24. Scoop! (2016)

119 min | Adventure, Mystery

Shizuka Miyakonojo (Masaharu Fukuyama) is a 40 something paparazzi photographer. He is a skilled cameraman who has a gambling addiction and is in debt. An ex journo for a weekly picture ... See full summary »

Director: Hitoshi Ône | Stars: Masaharu Fukuyama, Lily Franky, Rika Izumi, Moemi Katayama

Votes: 396

25. Himeanole (2016)

99 min | Crime, Thriller

Getting two stories in one, Himeanôru depicts the story of co-workers where one of them is gunning to make a cafe's waitress his. When the co-worker visits the said cafe to see the waitress... See full summary »

Director: Keisuke Yoshida | Stars: Gaku Hamada, Gô Morita, Aimi Satsukawa, Ryusuke Komakine

Votes: 489

26. If Cats Disappeared from the World (2016)

103 min | Drama, Fantasy

Young mailman finds out he has no time left due to a terminal disease. Suddenly he is approached by a devil that offers him to live more time if he eliminates something from the world. ... See full summary »

Director: Akira Nagai | Stars: Mauro Caiazza, Gaku Hamada, Mieko Harada, Anna Ishii

Votes: 1,862

27. My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday (2016)

111 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Takatoshi Minamiyama majors in art at an university in Kyoto. On the train to the school, he sees Emi Fukuju and falls in love with her at first sight. Gathering up all his courage, he ... See full summary »

Director: Takahiro Miki | Stars: Sôta Fukushi, Nana Komatsu, Masahiro Higashide, Yûki Yamada

Votes: 2,965

28. Bakuman (2015)

119 min | Comedy

Moritaka Mashiro, a junior high student, forgets his notebook in class. His classmate Akito Takagi, notes Mashiro's drawings in it and asks him to become a manga artist to his stories. ... See full summary »

Director: Hitoshi Ône | Stars: Takeru Satoh, Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Nana Komatsu, Hirofumi Arai

Votes: 1,272

29. Too Young to Die (2016)

125 min | Comedy, Music

The official trailer for TOO YOUNG TO DIE!, a supernatural comedy about an unlucky high school student who dies in a bus crash during a school trip only to be press-ganged into a demonic ... See full summary »

Director: Kankurô Kudô | Stars: Tomoya Nagase, Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Aoi Morikawa, Kenta Kiritani

Votes: 536

30. Ichi the Killer (2001)

R | 129 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

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 achieving.

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

Votes: 50,098 | Gross: $0.02M

31. Golden Slumber (2010)

139 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

Aoyagi meets an old friend and ends up framed for the murder of the prime minister.

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura | Stars: Yûko Takeuchi, Nao Ohmori, Shihori Kanjiya, Teruyuki Kagawa

Votes: 963

32. Battle Royale (2000)

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

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: 162,816

33. Kisaragi (2007)

108 min | Comedy, Mystery

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: 913

34. Nobody Knows (2004)

PG-13 | 141 min | Drama

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: 22,760 | Gross: $0.68M

35. Survive Style 5+ (2004)

120 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

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: 8,945

36. Visitor Q (2001)

R | 84 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror

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: 14,322

37. Gemini (1999)

84 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A successful doctor, Yukio's picture perfect life is gradually wrecked, and taken over by his avenging twin brother, who bumps off his family members one by one and reclaims his lover who is now Yukio's wife.

Director: Shin'ya Tsukamoto | Stars: Masahiro Motoki, Ryô, Yasutaka Tsutsui, Masako Motai

Votes: 2,023

38. Villain (2010)

139 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A young woman's murder provokes reflection on the ugliness and villainy of modern society.

Director: Sang-il Lee | Stars: Eri Fukatsu, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Akira Emoto, Hisashi Igawa

Votes: 1,228

39. Kamikaze Girls (2004)

102 min | Comedy

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: 6,611

40. Helter Skelter (2012)

127 min | Drama, Horror

Top star Lilico undergoes multiple cosmetic surgeries to her entire body. As her surgeries show side effect, Lilico makes the lives of those around her miserable as she tries to deal with her career and her personal problems.

Director: Mika Ninagawa | Stars: Yôsuke Kubozuka, Erika Sawajiri, Lily Franky, Kiko Mizuhara

Votes: 1,804

41. Linda Linda Linda (2005)

TV-PG | 114 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

7.5