Most Popular Japanese Military Movies and TV Shows

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1. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

R | 139 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
71 Metascore

World War II American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer

Votes: 391,658 | Gross: $67.21M

2. Unbroken (I) (2014)

PG-13 | 137 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
59 Metascore

After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

Director: Angelina Jolie | Stars: Jack O'Connell, Miyavi, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund

Votes: 135,144 | Gross: $115.64M

3. Pearl Harbor (2001)

PG-13 | 183 min | Action, Drama, History

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
44 Metascore

A tale of war and romance mixed in with history. The story follows two lifelong friends and a beautiful nurse who are caught up in the horror of an infamous Sunday morning in 1941.

Director: Michael Bay | Stars: Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, William Lee Scott

Votes: 299,884 | Gross: $198.54M

4. The Pacific (2010)

TV-MA | 530 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The Pacific Theatre of World War II, as seen through the eyes of several young Marines.

Stars: James Badge Dale, Joseph Mazzello, Jon Seda, Ashton Holmes

Votes: 92,397

5. The Thin Red Line (1998)

R | 170 min | Drama, War

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
78 Metascore

Adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Kirk Acevedo

Votes: 164,455 | Gross: $36.40M

6. Midway (1976)

PG | 132 min | Action, Drama, History

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
48 Metascore

A dramatization of the battle that was widely heralded as a turning point of the Pacific Theatre of World War II.

Director: Jack Smight | Stars: Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford

Votes: 16,717

7. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
87 Metascore

British POWs build a railway bridge across the river Kwai for their Japanese captors, oblivious of the Allies' plans to destroy it.

Director: David Lean | Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa

Votes: 191,924 | Gross: $44.91M

8. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

R | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
89 Metascore

The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, IHARA, Ryô Kase

Votes: 148,806 | Gross: $13.76M

9. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)

R | 123 min | Drama, War

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

During WWII, a British colonel tries to bridge the cultural divides between a British POW and the Japanese camp commander in order to avoid bloodshed.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima | Stars: David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takeshi Kitano

Votes: 13,985 | Gross: $2.31M

10. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

G | 144 min | Action, Drama, History

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
46 Metascore

In 1941, following months of economic embargo, Japan prepares to open its war against the United States with a surprise attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor.

Directors: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda | Stars: Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Jason Robards, Joseph Cotten

Votes: 30,218 | Gross: $29.55M

11. In Harm's Way (1965)

Approved | 165 min | Drama, War

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Naval officer, reprimanded after Pearl Harbor, is later promoted to Rear Admiral and gets a second chance to prove himself against the Japanese.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Tom Tryon

Votes: 7,580 | Gross: $4.20M

12. Emperor (2012)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama, History, War

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
48 Metascore

As the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, General Fellers is tasked with deciding if Emperor Hirohito will be hanged as a war criminal. Influencing his ruling is his quest to find Aya, an exchange student he met years earlier in the U.S.

Director: Peter Webber | Stars: Matthew Fox, Colin Moy, Tommy Lee Jones, Eriko Hatsune

Votes: 12,647 | Gross: $3.35M

13. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)

Unrated | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Time travelers use Godzilla in their scheme to destroy Japan to prevent the country's future economic reign.

Director: Kazuki Ohmori | Stars: Kosuke Toyohara, Anna Nakagawa, Megumi Odaka, Katsuhiko Sasaki

Votes: 5,243

14. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)

Unrated | 103 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The aftermath of the Oxygen Destroyer brings forth Destoroyah, a beast intent on killing Godzilla, who is on the verge of a nuclear meltdown.

Directors: Takao Okawara, Ishirô Honda, Koji Hashimoto, Kazuki Ohmori, Kenshô Yamashita | Stars: Takurô Tatsumi, Yôko Ishino, Yasufumi Hayashi, Megumi Odaka

Votes: 5,045

15. Destination Tokyo (1943)

Approved | 135 min | Adventure, History, War

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In order to provide information for the first air raid over Tokyo, a U.S. submarine sneaks into Tokyo Bay and places a spy team ashore.

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: Cary Grant, John Garfield, Alan Hale, John Ridgely

Votes: 4,363

16. Before We Vanish (2017)

R | 129 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
64 Metascore

Three aliens travel to Earth in preparation for a mass invasion, taking possession of human bodies.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa | Stars: Masami Nagasawa, Ryûhei Matsuda, Hiroki Hasegawa, Masahiro Higashide

Votes: 1,324 | Gross: $0.05M

17. Flying Leathernecks (1951)

Approved | 102 min | Action, Drama, War

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Major Kirby leads The Wildcats squadron into the historic WWII battle of Guadalcanal.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Don Taylor, Janis Carter

Votes: 4,220

18. Isoroku Yamamoto, the Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet (2011)

140 min | Biography, Drama, War

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The life of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto from the early 1930's to his death at the hands of the US military in 1943.

Director: Izuru Narushima | Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Hiroshi Abe, Shûichi Azumaya, Mitsugorô Bandô

Votes: 909

19. The Land of Hope (2012)

Not Rated | 133 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An earth-quake causes a nuclear crisis in a fictive Japanese prefecture. In wake of the disaster, the members of the Ono family who reside just outside the border of the mandatory ... See full summary »

Director: Sion Sono | Stars: Isao Natsuyagi, Naoko Ohtani, Jun Murakami, Megumi Kagurazaka

Votes: 966

20. Atragon (1963)

TV-Y7 | 94 min | Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

When an ancient underground civilization and their snake-like guardian plots to reclaim the surface world, those of the surface fights back.

Director: Ishirô Honda | Stars: Tadao Takashima, Yôko Fujiyama, Yû Fujiki, Kenji Sahara

Votes: 824

21. Flat Top (1952)

Approved | 83 min | Drama, War

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

During the Korean War, aboard the U.S.S. Princeton, Navy Commander Dan Collier reminisces about his first assignment on the same aircraft carrier in the war against Japan.

Director: Lesley Selander | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Richard Carlson, William Phipps, John Bromfield

Votes: 395

22. Aircraft Carrier Ibuki (2019)

134 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

5.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Japan builds its first aircraft carrier, the Ibuki, to deal with escalating world tensions.

Director: Setsurô Wakamatsu | Stars: Hidetoshi Nishijima, Kuranosuke Sasaki, Tetsuya Chiba, Ensuke Date

Votes: 18

23. Ajin Part 1: Shoudou (2015)

106 min | Animation, Adventure, Horror

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

For high schooler Kei - and for at least forty-six others - immortality comes as the nastiest surprise ever. Sadly for Kei, such a feat doesn't make him a superhero. In the eyes of both the... See full summary »

Director: Hiroaki Andô | Stars: Mamoru Miyano, Mikako Komatsu, Hôchû Ôtsuka, Takahiro Sakurai

Votes: 800

24. Know Your Enemy - Japan (1945)

Not Rated | 63 min | Documentary, History, War

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A comprehensive look at the war in the Pacific during World War II. Shot as a propaganda film by acclaimed Hollywood director Frank Capra

Directors: Frank Capra, Joris Ivens | Stars: John Beal, Howard Duff, Walter Huston, Knox Manning

Votes: 613

25. The Ode to Joy (2006)

130 min | Drama, History, Music

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

German soldiers are transported to a prisoner-of-war camp in Japan after the First World War.

Director: Masanobu Deme | Stars: Ken Matsudaira, Bruno Ganz, Hiroshi Abe, Jun Kunimura

Votes: 637

26. Spy Sorge (2003)

182 min | Action, Thriller, War

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A foreign spy using the Sorge alias is assigned to Tokyo the capital of Japan just prior to the outbreak of World War II and in the midst of the Japanese imperial ambitions in Eastern Asia.... See full summary »

Director: Masahiro Shinoda | Stars: Iain Glen, Masahiro Motoki, Kippei Shîna, Takaya Kamikawa

Votes: 213

27. Kabei: Our Mother (2008)

Not Rated | 133 min | Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Based on childhood days of Teruyo Nogami.

Director: Yôji Yamada | Stars: Tadanobu Asano, Mayumi Tanaka, Rei Dan, Sayuri Yoshinaga

Votes: 1,152 | Gross: $0.01M

28. The Hundred Regiments Offensive (2015)

111 min | War

4.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

The Japanese has invaded far into china, defeating the Kuomintang (KMT) soldiers many times and pushing them back into Central China. There was a general sentiment among anti-Japanese ... See full summary »

Directors: Haiqiang Ning, Yuzhong Zhang | Stars: Guoqiang Tang, Wufu Wang, Zeru Tao, Zhibing Liu

Votes: 80

29. A Place in Hell (1969)

107 min | War

5.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

After the U.S. defeat in the Philippines, Madison leads a rag-tag group of U.S. soldiers against the Japanese occupiers. In this WW II drama, the Japanese set an island trap for the American troops.

Director: Giuseppe Vari | Stars: Guy Madison, Maurice Poli, Hélène Chanel, Sandro Pizzochero

Votes: 82

30. Purple Heart Diary (1951)

Approved | 73 min | Drama

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A trio of singers is entertaining wounded soldiers of WWII. They encourage a mutilated soldier in his love to a nurse.

Director: Richard Quine | Stars: Frances Langford, Judd Holdren, Ben Lessy, Tony Romano

Votes: 16

31. Tômei ningen (1954)

70 min | Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi

6.5
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A car strikes an unseen object; blood spreads from an invisible source which becomes visible as the bleeding man dies. He carries with him a suicide note dedicated to his only friend, who ... See full summary »

Director: Motoyoshi Oda | Stars: Seizaburô Kawazu, Miki Sanjô, Minoru Takada, Yoshio Tsuchiya

Votes: 86

32. Hiroshima: Why the Bomb Was Dropped (1995 TV Movie)

Documentary

7.1
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Documentary addressing controversial questions surrounding the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan at the end of World War II. Includes interviews with historians and analysis of records left by participants in the decision.

Stars: Peter Jennings, Gar Alperovitz, Barton Bernstein, McGeorge Bundy

Votes: 36

33. Not Forgotten (2000)

121 min | Drama, War

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of 3 Men who served together in the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII. The story is told in flashbacks from modern day Japan to scenes on the island they are defending. In modern... See full summary »

Director: Makoto Shinozaki | Stars: Tatsuya Mihashi, Minoru Ôki, Tomio Aoki, Keiko Utsumi

Votes: 39

34. Kessen no ôzora e (1943)

89 min | Action, Adventure, War

5.9
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A local family' house also serves as a gathering place for air force cadets. The family's boy is weak and often unhealthy. The boy wants to become a pilot as well given how he is exposed to... See full summary »

Director: Kunio Watanabe | Stars: Minoru Takada, Setsuko Hara, Yuriko Hanabusa, Masaru Kodaka

Votes: 16

35. Iwo Jima (1973)

98 min | Documentary, War

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Star: Ryô Nakanishi

36. Mt. Tsurugidake (2009)

139 min | Adventure, Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1907, a group of men climb an unconquered peak in the last unmapped region of Japan.

Director: Daisaku Kimura | Stars: Tadanobu Asano, Teruyuki Kagawa, Ryûhei Matsuda, Yukiyoshi Ozawa

Votes: 173

37. Shôri no hi made (1945)

59 min | Comedy, War

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Toho All-Star Cast.

Director: Mikio Naruse | Stars: Roppa Furukawa, Ken'ichi Enomoto, Entatsu Yokoyama, Achako Hanabishi

Votes: 8

38. Walang kamatayan (1946)

Action, Drama, War

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AT LAST it is...HERE... this mighty picture of courage and valor of our own guerrillas. A human document of the beastly atrocities committed during the Japanese regime. A picture dedicated to those who have not died in vain.

Director: Tor Villano | Stars: Luz-v-Min, Fred Penalosa, Rolando Liwanag, Gregorio Ticman

39. The Ghost of Iwojima (1959)

88 min

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Director: Jûkichi Uno | Stars: Shinsuke Ashida, Izumi Ashikawa, Sanae Ishida, Masayoshi Miyasaka

40. Reeds That Rustle in the Wind (1951)

War

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It is 1941 and World War II is in full swing. The Japanese military is enlisting all the men in the land. A newlywed lawyer, whose marriage is a mere couple of months' long, is informed by ... See full summary »

Director: Masahisa Sunohara | Stars: Mitsuru Chiaki, Kan Hayashi, Chieko Higashiyama, Yoshi Katô

41. Sham Nation (1987)

52 min | Sci-Fi

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Director: Yoshihiro Nishimura

42. Kaigun (1963)

101 min | Drama, War

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A tale of two best friends in the WWII era Japan. Takao is a young man enthusiastic about joining the navy to fight for his country. He convinces his best friend Shinji to join him.

Director: Shinji Murayama | Stars: Michiko Araki, Shin'ichi Chiba, Fusatarô Ishijima, Yoshi Katô

43. Summer of the Moonlight Sonata (1993)

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A fictional film that is nonetheless inspired by an account of two Japanese soon-to-be kamikaze pilots has the two stop by a local school near their base one last time to play the piano ... See full summary »

Director: Seijirô Kôyama | Stars: Tokue Hanazawa, Mako Ishino, Tetsuko Kobayashi, Norikatsu Nagano

44. Koi no fuunjî (1945)

Drama

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It is 1868 Japan and the dawn of the new Meiji era. A military officer from Kyushu, who is honest, monk-like, stoic, straight-edge and does not consort with women lest he becomes weak, ... See full summary »

Director: Kajirô Yamamoto | Stars: Susumu Fujita, Setsuko Hara, Takashi Shimura, Ken'ichi Enomoto

45. History Specials (2010– )
Episode: Pearl Harbor: 24 Hours After (2011)

TV-PG | 88 min | Documentary, History, War

8.2
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Discover the untold story of the events that occurred immediately after President Roosevelt received the call that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. New evidence from the FDR Library reveals ... See full summary »

Stars: Steve Gillon, Franklin D. Roosevelt, David Woolner

Votes: 18

46. Sanford and Son (1972–1977)
Episode: Sergeant Gork (1976)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Fred regales young Roger with tall tales of his World war II exploits that draw more from the late movie than the history books.

Director: William R. Wyse | Stars: Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson, LaWanda Page, Don Bexley

Votes: 52

47. Battlefield (1995– )
Episode: The Battle of Midway

Documentary, History, War

A documentary look at the WWII battle of midway. The events leading up to the battle, the national and war leaders involved, and the critical events that lead to the outcome.

Directors: Andy Aitken, Dave Flitton, Justin McCarthy | Star: Tim Pigott-Smith



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