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Gojira (1956)



Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 67
Fresh: 63 | Rotten: 4

More than straight monster-movie fare, Gojira offers potent, sobering postwar commentary.


Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 24
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 2

More than straight monster-movie fare, Gojira offers potent, sobering postwar commentary.



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Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 9,080


My Rating

Movie Info

(1954) When a Japanese steamer sinks in flames after the sea seems to erupt, survivors talk of a legendary monster...Godzilla! The picture that started it all, returning to the big screen uncut and uncensored in a dazzling 60th anniversary restoration.

Jul 28, 2006


Rialto Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (67) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (63) | Rotten (4) | DVD (9)

It's a terse, lean terror with a big, swinging tail.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While the acting is hit-and-miss and the story jumps around somewhat confusingly, Honda's film is a one-of-a-kind experience all the way through, one that stands the test of time better than I had expected.

April 18, 2014 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Clever storytelling manages to confront tragedy from any number of angles, and sometimes swinging at it from the side can be the most affecting.

April 16, 2014 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Honda's satire is cutting, with several characters resigned to living with the threat of constant cataclysm.

April 15, 2014 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Seen afresh in this cut, with Honda's pulp poetry restored, this ballad of destruction reveals itself as one of the most exciting, enjoyable and moving of them all.

October 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Honda may not have created the most convincing-looking monster in cinema history, but he managed to give his sci-fi/horror movie a social relevance, particularly in postwar Japan.

August 20, 2004
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Beautifully restored 2014 version titled "Godzilla: The Japanese Original" screened. Despite the film's obvious and dated special effects, it remains a potent metaphor.

May 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Dearest
Movie Dearest

Rarely has the open wound of widespread devastation been transposed to celluloid with greater visceral impact.

April 13, 2014 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

A masterpiece: even in its most generic elements, it's never just a monster movie, but a fantastic depiction of how humans survive and struggle.

October 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

I would be surprised if any recent digital monster proves as malleable and as enduring as this great gorilla-whale (goriro + kujira = Gojira, AKA Godzilla) who created an entire genre.

February 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

This Criterion edition is the textbook definition of "must-own," provided you're a serious horror fan.

February 1, 2012 Full Review Source: FEARnet

For all its rubbery fakeness and sometimes silly plotting, the film nevertheless cuts right to the bone of nuclear anxiety

January 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

I'm waiting for the reboot that makes use of the meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi for its metaphorical roots.

October 11, 2011 Full Review Source:

Alternates between the majestic evocation of modernist shock and the primitivist illusionism of someone in a baggy lizard suit tearing through a diorama

February 7, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion

one of the all time greatest monster movies

May 2, 2008

...surprisingly solemn and bitter. It is explicitly a post-Hiroshima nightmare writ large...

February 13, 2008 Full Review Source:

A dark, deeply disturbing film with the specter of World War II and the atomic bomb hanging over nearly every scene.

November 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

a pioneering behemoth in the history of Japanese cinema, leaving giant footprints in its trail that many have followed but few have filled so impressively.

July 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

It's exciting, sober, plausible and never unintentionally comic.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

The special effects for this re-released 1954 film by Ishiro Honda may now look a bit creaky, but the storytelling is muscular and the post-nuclear parable it offers is passionate and fascinatingly ambiguous.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Guardian

Por trás da história absurdamente divertida, o filme revela uma sociedade às voltas com o trauma da bomba atômica e a busca desesperada pela promessa de paz entre os povos.

June 5, 2006
Cinema em Cena

Everything you have heard about Godzilla is true

April 14, 2006 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Audience Reviews for Gojira

With a score that will leaving you cheering, miniatures that will literally make your heart race into believing it is real, "Gojira" (Godzilla) is terrific for it's time. As the myth of Godzilla comes to life and they realize it is more than just a belief, the people of Japan must work together and discover a way to destroy Godzilla once and for all, as he tears down and burns every inch of Japan. The script of this film seems obvious to a fault, but the action makes up for every flaw or laughable edit. I can't complain much about this film, because back in 1954 there was only so much available budget-wise to make this a great film, and for it's time, it is a brilliant film. I loved every minute of this film, but it just needs a little more work on it's thinly written screenplay. "Gojira" (Godzilla) is a fantastic piece of classic cinematic history.
May 15, 2014
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

There ain't nothing like watching a guy in a rubber suit squashing cardboard buildings. But as silly as its special effects may be in 2014, Gojira is a timeless masterwork. The 650 foot monster is never portrayed as purely evil. Because it evolved out of misguided nuclear testing, the creature becomes a complex metaphor for the anxieties that plagued Japan in the wake of the H-bomb and World War 2. The film captures this in dark and honest fashion.
May 12, 2014

Super Reviewer

A pretty cool movie, and the start to the entire Godzilla franchise. So, if you like the movies, you really need to go back and watch this one. It's not the best creature movie of the 50s, but I liked it.
March 24, 2013

Super Reviewer

The 1954 Japanese monster film, Gojira aka Godzilla is a landmark picture. Like King Kong, which was released in 1933, this movie set the standards for a new breed of monster films. This is a classic of the genre and it should be sought out by genre fans. The film was made at a time where Japan was still reeling from the years of the war where two Atom bombs were dropped to effectively end the war. In many ways, Gojira is an allegory to that time, and you clearly understand why. Brilliantly directed by Inoshiro Honda and with wonderful special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya, Gojira is a memorable and highly entertaining film that remains one of the best monster films ever filmed. In terms of effective horror, this is a great picture that has lots to offer for viewers looking for a good time. The standout scenes are understandably the scenes where Godzilla appears and in my opinion, he is the one that is clearly the star of the movie. Watching this film, you realize that the film is simple in its concept and works well due to the thrill of watching Godzilla wreck havoc in Tokyo. The direction is wonderful and along with King Kong, includes some genuine drama in the horror elements to create something truly unforgettable. This is a stunning film that I thoroughly enjoyed and it is in a league of its own. Godzilla's legacy has spawned countless movies and merchandise, and like King Kong, has become an icon of horror monster cinema. This is a flawless monster film that is a classic that should be seen by horror fans and it will definitely entertain anyone looking for awesome monster carnage. After watching this film, you'll understand why Godzilla is such an iconic monster. You're also most likely to cheer him on as he destroys everything in his path. A definite must for horror fans.
March 13, 2013
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Daisuke Serizawa: Ogata, humans are weak animals.
    – Submitted by Dinofoux O (5 months ago)
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