Emperor movie poster

An admirable film, well cast, that seeks, Graham Greene-like, to poke around in the smoking aftermath of World War II: Now what? Now generals must behave like politicians, including Supreme Commander General Douglas MacArthur (a craggy, cagey Tommy Lee Jones), who appears intent on a full conversion to political life despite his scorn for voters. And now other generals must behave like detectives, including Bonner Fellers (a fine, soldierly Matthew Fox), tasked with finding out just how much the Japanese emperor had to do with Pearl Harbor and the war that followed. But alas, “admirable” is not the same as “compelling.” It’s not fair to say that the film doesn’t know whether it wants to be a political drama, a detective story, or a love story; it wants to be all three. But while the stories build on one another, they also tend to get in each others' way. 2012.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.


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