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The Sea of Trees (2015)

PG-13 | | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery | 26 August 2016 (USA)
1:57 | Trailer
A suicidal American befriends a Japanese man lost in a forest near Mt. Fuji and the two search for a way out.


Gus Van Sant


Chris Sparling
4,296 ( 897)
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew McConaughey ... Arthur Brennan
Ryoko Seta Ryoko Seta ... Airport Desk Agent
Sienna Tow Sienna Tow ... Girl in Airport
Naoko Marshall Naoko Marshall ... Flight Attendant
Michiko Tomura Michiko Tomura ... Woman on Train
Yusuke Tozawa Yusuke Tozawa ... Man on Train
Abe Lee Tsunenori Abe Lee Tsunenori ... Taxi Driver (as Tsunenori Lee Abe)
Ken Watanabe ... Takumi Nakamura
Joe Girard ... Man at Convenience Store (as Joseph Girard)
Jazmin Domenech Jazmin Domenech ... Young Woman
Luke DeWolfe Luke DeWolfe ... Young Man
Naomi Watts ... Joan Brennan
Katie Aselton ... Gabriella Laforte
Nada Despotovich Nada Despotovich ... Maryanne Wescott
Christopher Tarjan Christopher Tarjan ... Gil Cramer


Arthur Brennan treks into Aokigahara, known as The Sea of Trees, a mysterious dense forest at the base of Japan's Mount Fuji where people go to commit suicide. On his journey to the suicide forest, he encounters Takumi Nakamura, a Japanese man who has lost his way after attempting suicide. The two men begin a journey of reflection and survival, which affirms Arthur's will to live and reconnects him to his love for his wife. Written by G.BRILLIANT

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Love will bring you home.


Drama | Fantasy | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, some disturbing images and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Aokigahara Forest near Mount Fuji in Japan, otherwise known as the "suicide forest" sees an average of 3 suicides a week. It is also said to be haunted by multiple "Yurei" - Japanese ghosts who are angry at their own deaths. This premise was previously explored in the short film Shawn4Ever (2012). See more »


When Arthur comes home to find Joan asleep on the sofa, the tea kettle starts to whistle. He comments that she could have burned down the house but this is in error as 1) she had only fallen asleep in the time between turning the fire on under the kettle and 2) she awoke to the kettle's whistle. See more »


Takumi Nakamura: There are answers for this in science?
Arthur Brennan: There are answers for everything in science.
Takumi Nakamura: But not in God?
Arthur Brennan: God is more our creation than we are his.
See more »


References Man vs. Wild: Working the Wild (2011) See more »


Uma Prece (A Prayer)
Written by Luiz Bonfá (as Luiz Bonfa)
Performed by Luiz Bonfá (as Luiz Bonfa)
From the recording entitled Solo in Rio 1959, SFW40483
Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, (p) (c) 2005
Used by permission
(c) Irmãos Vitale SA Indústria e Comércio. Administered by Peer International Corporation.
See more »

User Reviews

Ignore the critics. This film is worth the watch!
27 August 2016 | by julian-640-544058See all my reviews

OK, so the critics panned this film as boring and lack luster with some very harsh comments, but my curiosity was sparked by the unusual plot so I gave it a go.

Ten minutes into the film, I was near ready to give up on it and agree with it detractors, as it was very slow moving at the start, however, as the story developed I became interested in the 'why' and committed myself to discover the answers.

Matthew McConaughey offers a very good performance as does Ken Watanabe, both of whom demonstrate their desperation, frustration and hopefulness with convincing commitment. Naomi Watts completes the group of well matched, well directed talent. I found the cinematography to be excellent as well.

I did figure out the plot twist before it was revealed, but the way the director exposed it, I thought, was quite brilliant, and, just when I thought the film was over, we are presented with still another surprise that actually made me smile.

All and all, Sea of Trees delivered as both entertainment and a moral study from which every observer can benefit. I enjoyed it, and, given a chance, I think most views will as well.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Japanese

Release Date:

26 August 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sea of Trees See more »

Filming Locations:

Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,877, 28 August 2016

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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