Top 5 Japanese Movies


Every country has their own form of cinema, but Japanese films have arguably had the most influence on American movies over the years. Here are the top 5 best Japanese films of all time (in my opinion).

1.  Akira (1988) (Sci-fi/Action)

Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira is regarded as one of the greatest anime films of all time, and it’s themes and messages still apply today. Unmatched animation, a truly masterful score, and underlying social commentary all make Akira just as good today as the day it came out. While the graphic animation may be unappealing to some viewers, fans of anime and science fiction should definitely give it a watch.

 2. Good Morning (1959) (Drama/Comedy)

Yasujirō Ozu’s Good Morning is a heartwarming, emotional, and even comedic film about two kids who will get a television by any means necessary. While familial struggles may be a recurring theme in Ozu’s filmography, Good Morning arguably does it best. The lighthearted tone and the immersive acting make Good Morning an overall enjoyable and wholesome film experience. 

3. Yojimbo (1961) (Adventure/Drama)

Many films have re-used the story of Yojimbo over the years (including Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars). The story of a lone samurai pitting two clans against each other for his own gain remains an inspiration on cinema today, and many directors have cited it as one of their favorites (including Sergio Corbucci and Terry Gilliam). With it’s impeccable cinematography and darkly comedic tone, Yojimbo remains arguably the best samurai film of all time.

4. Godzilla (1954) (Horror/Sci-fi)

With approximately 40 official sequels to date, Ishirō Honda’s Godzilla redefined monster movies of the 1950’s. It’s practical effects were top of the line in the 50’s, and hundreds were terrified of the film that audiences today might find more cheesy than scary. While the tense climax is what makes the film famous, the overall story and characters within it are interesting and played well by their actors.   

5. House (1977) (Horror/Comedy)

 Surreal horror was a popular subgenre in the 1970’s, and Nobuhiko Obayashi does it best in the film House. While the overall plot and characters may be thin, the insane visuals and at times comedic symbolism make House truly unforgettable. If you’ve ever wanted to see a man turn into a pile of bananas, House is the film for you.