Action / Drama / History / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 31%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 46%
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 11713


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August 08, 2013 at 02:54 PM



Tommy Lee Jones as General Douglas MacArthur
Matthew Fox as General Bonner Fellers
Kelson Henderson as Adjutant to MacArthur
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
809.70 MB
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 7 / 5
1.64 GB
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 1 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Prismark10 6 / 10

To find the guilty men

Emperor mixes fact with fiction and introduces a clichéd love story subplot which detracts from the film.

The film follows US Army Brigadier General Bonner Frank Fellers (Matthew Fox) who spent time in Japan before the outbreak of the war and ordered by General Douglas MacArthur (Tommy Lee Jones) to decide whether Emperor Hirohito regarded as a living god by the Japanese should be tried and hung as a war criminal. In the mean time the US Forces are rounding up the guilty men who were in power in Japan when it allied itself with the Germans.

Mixed with this interesting aspect of the plot is a dull romance angle of trying to find a Japanese student he fell in love with in a messed up post war Japan which has just been nuked.

The machinations and politicking regarding whether the Emperor should be tried is fascinating and helped by a broad, brash performance by Lee Jones.

Matthew Fox though is rather hindered by the script which fails to make his character interesting because of the fictionalized part of the story. The subplot introduces characters in flashbacks that explains why Japan is the country it is to help us understand why it did what it did in the war.

It is a shame that the film dilutes a momentous story to make it rather anodyne.

Reviewed by BoomerDT 7 / 10

Interesting, when it stays focused

When I came upon this on Netflix, I figured it was just an another bio about MacArthur, but being a fan of Tommie Lee Jones I thought I'd give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised that instead of this being focused on the General, it was about the US Army's occupation of Japan, just less than a month after the atomic bombs dropped on the island convinced Hirohito to order his militarists to capitulate before facing complete destruction. MacArthur and the Army have a difficult situation, they are occupying and enforcing martial law with a relatively small force, on the home island of our foe, whose population had been very willing to fight to the death rather than surrender just a few weeks earlier. He also has the responsibility of rounding up and bringing Japan's war criminals to trial and he assigns Brigadier General Bonner Fellers, an expert on Japan, the task of leading the investigation and to gather the information to decide whether Emperor Hirohito should also bear the same responsibility as Tojo and the other militarists who directed Japan's brutal war campaign in SE Asia and the S Pacific. Fellers, played by Mathew Fox, has been advised by MacArthur that he and the American public want to see Hirohito stand trial as a war criminal. But Fellers has pointed out that the peace in Japan is tenuous and that arresting the Emperor, seen as a deity to the population, could be disastrous as it may incur full scale rioting among the population, which would be exactly the opportunity Stalin and the Russians are looking for.

Unfortunately, rather than just be focused on this story, the film has to meander to a totally contrived and BS love story, as Fellers is trying to find his ex-love, a Japanese girl he had met in college in the US and that he continued his relationship with when he was assigned as a military attaché in Japan before the war. There are a number of flashbacks, as Fellers tries to understand their love affair in the context of the differences between western and Japanese culture, something that has been done a number of times in films. I really don't understand the purpose, especially because this story simply wasn't true-Fellers had married an American woman in 1925 who had lived in Japan with him. The story of whether to bring Hirohito to trial is a good one and the scene where he meets with MacArthur is fascinating. Great job by Jones who plays MacArthur as the American Caesar for all it's worth.

Reviewed by Thaneevuth Jankrajang 7 / 10

Historical, Not Historic

I had to view "Emperor" twice before rendering a judgment. The first time went by. Not so much in any way, but something lingered. In the meantime, I visited Japan and read the Pulitzer prize-winning book by Herbert Bix: Hirohito and The Making of Modern Japan. The second viewing was thus clearly different. This film is much like a chapter torn out of the entire book. No wonder some viewers find the film "dry", "textbook-like", or with some other unsatisfactory notes. I believe I can tell why. While the book lays an excellent ground on why we should care about this man-god called and believed by most Japanese as "Emperor, Son of The Sun", if we want to understand this part of human history, the film chooses to disregard the background and assume that the viewers are already interested. This well-made film fails at making us care enough, except the ones already do. I am one of the ones who do care. The film delicately tells a story of a great nation forced on its knees. A pain of a 2,000-year-old nation being dominated by a very young superpower with no real culture of its own. A tough choice between sacrificing oneself or the Emperor they claim to be so devoted to with their lives. However, the heart of this film is also quite well-portrayed. It is that a sheer power is always submissive to a great culture. The American leadership chose not to destroy Japan not only because it was strategically wrong, but also because the culture of Japan was and is one of the triumphs of all mankind. Destroying such a human creation is to destroy a portion of oneself. Emperors have power not only to destroy but also to protect, that is.

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