In August 1945, the U.S. Army went to Japan, where it took charge of rebuilding the nation it had just destroyed. Set amid the rubble of Tokyo, Emperor captures the moral paradox of that moment. Tommy Lee Jones plays Gen. Douglas MacArthur as a gruffly literate conqueror-statesman who keeps his humanity hidden, and Matthew Fox is all square-jawed silent cunning as Gen. Bonner Fellers, who is investigating whether to try Emperor Hirohito as a war criminal. Emperor explores the delicate postwar dance of revenge, justice, and realpolitik, yet its focus on the issue of Hirohito’s guilt or innocence (did he order the attack on Pearl Harbor? Or did he, in fact, oppose the Japanese military machine?) makes it a rather thin dramatic experience. The film keeps cutting to flashbacks of Fellers’ doomed relationship with a Japanese college student (Eriko Hatsune), and here too the romance never quite transcends the history lesson. B-
EMPEROR Tommy Lee Jones stars as General Douglas MacArthur in this historical war film (Kirsty Griffin)
Genre: Historical; Starring: Matthew Fox, Tommy Lee Jones; Director: Peter Webber; Release Date Wide: 03/08/2013; Runtime (in minutes): 106; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Distributor: Lionsgate
Posted March 15 2013 — 12:00 AM EDT
- 'Chicago Med' has two new showrunners
- Fox changes name of its new series 'The Frankenstein Code'
- Chaka Khan set for 'Dancing With the Stars'
- Why Wayne Brady freaked out at the chance to play drag queen Lola in 'Kinky Boots'
- 'American Dad!' renewed for two seasons
- Nicki Minaj will open the MTV VMAs on Sunday
- Miley Cyrus addresses Nicki Minaj's VMAs comments in new interview
- 'American Horror Story: Hotel' First Look: 11 EW exclusive photos
- 17 photos of people you forgot hung out at the VMAs
- 24 Movies With Great Opening Scenes
- 'Survivor: Cambodia—Second Chance' Cast Photos Revealed!
- Where is the cast of 'Can't Hardly Wait' now?
- Miley Cyrus, Taylor & Selena, The Voice Crew & More!