Japan Times

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3/5 One Night (2019) James Hadfield For all the storminess of its narrative, "One Night" is at its most engaging when it lets in a little light. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2019
3.5/5 Little Miss Period (2019) Mark Schilling The film combines quirky fantasy and quotidian reality to funny, heart-warming and instructive (at least to male viewers) effect. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2019
Love Actually (2003) Kaori Shoji Out of the cacophony of other, newly minted love affairs that promise eternal love forever and ever, theirs stand out like a winter fern among hothouse roses, adding a much-needed zest to the bouquet. EDIT
Posted Nov 5, 2019
3/5 Family of Strangers (2019) James Hadfield Family of Strangers is at its strongest when it aims for naturalism, watching the protagonists' relationships develop against the backdrop of the hospital's daily routines. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2019
3/5 The First Supper (2019) Mark Schilling The film tells truths about its central family that go beyond melodramatic revelations to a messier and more troubling reality. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2019
2.5/5 No Smoking (2019) James Hadfield The impact of the performances is dulled by static camerawork and a drab, washed-out palette. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2019
2.5/5 108: Revenge and Adventure of Goro Kaiba (2019) Mark Schilling The film's comic strategy is that of the pie-throwing battles in the silents: If one pie in the face - or panting body in bed - is funny, 50 are funnier. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2019
2.5/5 Special Actors (2019) James Hadfield An amiable but rather flaccid caper comedy. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
3/5 The Promised Land (2019) Mark Schilling The Promised Land celebrates the natural beauty of its setting, with sweeping drone shots of radiant fields, and even holds out hope, though it comes too late for some. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
2.5/5 Her Blue Sky (2019) Matt Schley Her Blue Sky feels more like a retread than a rediscovery. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
4/5 The Truth (2019) Mark Schilling In Deneuve's bravura performance, it's a struggle for the ages. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
3/5 The Forest of Love (2019) James Hadfield Hinges around an extremely ripe performance by Kippei Shiina as Joe Murata. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
3.5/5 () Mark Schilling There is more to newcomer [Minori] Hagiwara's performance than eyes that could drill through steel. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
2.5/5 () Mark Schilling The disjunction between the film's mundane provincial surface and the overblown romanticism of its story is borderline ridiculous. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2019
2.5/5 () James Hadfield The action is perfunctory, and the film is just a little too eager to descend into sentimentality. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2019
3.5/5 () Matt Schley A significant portion of the characters' charm comes from designer Yukiko Horiguch. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
2/5 () Mark Schilling In [Shun] Oguri's smirking, self-involved performance, a pose is about all we get. [Full review in Spanish] EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
3/5 () Mark Schilling I found myself grinning as [writer and director Koki] Mitani pulled one plot rabbit after another out of his hat - or rather his still nimble brain. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
3.5/5 () James Hadfield Joe Odagiri has made a handsome directorial debut. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
2.5/5 () Mark Schilling Falls back on standard genre tropes. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2019
3.5/5 () Mark Schilling More than just a new talent showcase, Mugen Foundation is an experiment in form. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
2/5 () Matt Schley All in all, the plot is about as lifeless as the animation. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
3.5/5 () Mark Schilling The song-and-dance scene is staged with an energy and panache that recall classic Hollywood musicals, but underscored by [director Shinobu] Yaguchi's own brand of realism. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
3.5/5 () James Hadfield Emoto and Takiuchi have a convincing chemistry as two people totally at ease with each others' bodies, even if they're better at conveying intimacy than uncontrollable lust. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
3/5 () Mark Schilling The story burbles along entertainingly enough, but is contrived in the extreme. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2019
1.5/5 () James Hadfield Director [Doris] Dorrie's muddle of spirituality, Freudian psychology, politics and family history occasionally recalls the work of Alejandro Jodorowsky, but she's never able to sustain the spell for long. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2019
2.5/5 () Mark Schilling The film is more about atmospherics and attitudinizing than compelling storytelling. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2019
() Patrick St. Michel It's an energy that carries over to the songs and the audience, resulting in a special night that can now be revisited whenever fans want. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019
4/5 Melancholic (2018) Mark Schilling Darkly funny, viscerally thrilling and improbably heartwarming. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019
3/5 Weathering With You (2019) James Hadfield Weathering With You doubles down on a lot of what made its predecessor such a hit with audiences. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2019
4/5 A Girl Missing (2020) Mark Schilling [Koji Fukada] gives his actors space to create wordless moments that speak eloquently. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2019
2/5 Tôkyô gûru 'S' (2019) Mark Schilling In the end, though, Tokyo Ghoul 'S' is strenuously predictable. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2019
3/5 Under Your Bed (2019) James Hadfield I wasn't entirely convinced by the film's resolution... Still, it's compulsive viewing. Like its voyeur protagonist, Under Your Bed won't let you look away. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2019
3.5/5 Five Million Dollar Life (2019) Matt Schley Remarkably well-constructed, especially for a first-time director. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2019
2.5/5 Strawberry Song (Ichigo No Uta) (2019) James Hadfield The film hits some poignant notes along the way, but if Strawberry Song was a band, I'd suggest it find a different singer. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019
2.5/5 Diner (2019) Mark Schilling A bacchanalia of the senses that threatens to end in stupefaction and silliness, Diner becomes a cracked ode to feminine power. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019
3/5 The Journalist (2019) James Hadfield That a film like this even exists is heartening, even if the end product is far from perfect. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2019
3/5 Bento Harassment (2019) Mark Schilling The opening scenes of Bento Harassment offer fresh twists on the perennial theme of inter-generational strife as well as on familiar foodie movie tropes. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2019
3/5 Handling Method for Grumpy Women (2019) Mark Schilling As Ai, [Akari] Hayami is earnest and direct, but not annoyingly didactic. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
4/5 Kimi to, nami ni noretara (2019) Matt Schley Even within a more standard framework, though, [director Masaaki] Yuasa's voice shines through. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
3/5 The Way of the Gun (2000) Giovanni Fazio The violence here seems about par for the course with this sort of film, while the thin characterizations and pulp-fiction setting don't allow for any real emotional impact. EDIT
Posted Jun 17, 2019
3.5/5 () Mark Schilling A uniquely-Kurosawa mix of showbiz comedy, woman-in-jeopardy thriller and romantic drama with [Atsuko] Maeda's lonely-but-intrepid heroine serving as the strong connecting thread. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
4/5 We Are Little Zombies (2019) James Hadfield It's a bravura finish to an extremely accomplished debut. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
3/5 Erica 38 (2019) Mark Schilling [Miyoko] Asada fully inhabits the character, from her surface affability and relentless drive to her essential hollowness. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019
3.5/5 Lupin the Third: Fujiko Mine's Lie (2019) Matt Schley [Lupin the Third. creator Kazuhiko] Kato has passed, but his creation is in the hands of a director who gets what makes Lupin and his frenemies so cool in the first place. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
2.5/5 () Mark Schilling These subplots are mostly filler of a familiar sort. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
3/5 Farewell Song (Sayonara kuchibiru) (2019) James Hadfield For once, I'm cautiously hopeful for a sequel. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2019
3.5/5 Jesus (Boku wa Iesusama ga Kirai) (2018) Mark Schilling Less a snarky sacrilege than a projection of Yura's own limited understanding - a kid-sized savior, if you will. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2019
3.5/5 Hamabe no gêmu (Jeux de plage) (2019) Mark Schilling I left the screening room laughing. EDIT
Posted May 20, 2019
2/5 () James Hadfield Although the Breakers have a few ups and downs on the way to their eventual triumph, the arc of the film's sporting drama is surprisingly shallow. EDIT
Posted May 20, 2019