Action / Drama / History


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Tommy Lee Jones as General Douglas MacArthur
Matthew Fox as General Bonner Fellers
Kelson Henderson as Adjutant to MacArthur
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809.70 MB
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
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1.64 GB
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 0 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by akritchever 8 / 10

An enjoyable, if a bit dry, historical film

Just saw Emperor at TIFF tonight. It was an enjoyable, well made, historical film, but a tad dry. Starring Tommy Lee Jones as General Douglas MacArthur and Matthew Fox as MacArthur's subordinate officer General Fellers, it is set against the backdrop of the early occupation of Japan by U.S. forces after World War 2. MacArthur is faced with a dilemma: he has to prosecute thirty Japanese war criminals - the masterminds of the war - but a question of what to do with Emperor Hirohito looms over him. To leave him alone would invite displeasure from American public and politicians, to arrest and try him for war crimes would endanger the occupation and break the tenuous peace. Jones' MacArthur assigns the task to Matthew Fox's character as he is an expert on Japan - now Fox's character has only 10 days to investigate the Emperor's involvement and come to a decision. In the meantime, the viewers also see flashbacks from Fellers' past, and there is a subplot involving Feller looking for his lost lover.

Tommy Lee Jones is plainly having lots of fun as the blustering larger- than-life Douglas MacArthur, and Matthew Fox delivers a good performance with moments of extreme intensity. Masayoshi Haneda plays a translator and aide and manages to pull off a role that has dignity despite the harrowed and dishevelled appearance of the character. Eriko Hatsune - the love interest of the film - has a fragile beauty but is too reserved throughout the movie to deliver much of an emotional impact. The film was shot in New Zealand and Japan (in fact it's the first movie to film inside the Japanese Imperial Palace) and it's gorgeous - the ruins of bombed out Tokyo are especially impressive, and of course the Imperial Palace as a backdrop is fascinating.

The quibble I had with the movie is that it tries to create a sense of urgency and suspense, but since it's based on historical events it largely fails. Anyone who has taken history in high school should know how it turned out. With the exception of a couple of scenes, there also isn't much of an emotionally charged drama going on either. Although I enjoyed it, I cannot deny that it moved at a more sedate pace and lacked great urgency and suspense.

Reviewed by Jim Smith 9 / 10

Very Good Movie

This movie provides a very good depiction of a historically significant event that is all but ignored in movies and text. Seamless transitions between history and entertainment, the cast of this movie (especially the Japanese ones) expertly capture the complexity of what is the Japanese culture and psyche during post WWII reconstruction. Tommy Lee Jones also does an amazing portrayal of MacArthur in copying his mannerisms and affect.

This is a movie for people who appreciate historical context, attention to detail, and subtle references packaged with solid, proportioned acting.

Reviewed by Mary Smith 9 / 10

Compelling and Thought Provoking

I recently saw Emperor at a preview ahead of the upcoming March 8 opening. I found it well paced, carefully constructed, and beautifully shot. The interwoven sequences work tightly together. The protagonist's personal past and present personify the larger struggle over how to treat a brutal enemy that's been justifiably vanquished at horrific cost to both sides. Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox deliver emotional performances as military leaders pivoting from years of war to peace. It's an absorbing story that puts you in their characters' shoes, and is compelling and thought provoking even though you know the historical outcome.

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