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critics consensus

Certainly not for the impatient, Aleksandr Sokurov's deliberately paced look at Hirohito in the waning days of World War II is both enlightening and admirable in its restraint. Read critic reviews

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The Sun Photos

Movie Info

Emperor Hirohito (Issei Ogata) of Japan meets with Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1945.

Cast & Crew

News & Interviews for The Sun

Critic Reviews for The Sun

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (3)

  • Sokurov, who also acted as director of photography, films the character and his surroundings with the eye of a newly arrived visitor to another world.

    November 18, 2011 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    November 17, 2011 | Rating: 4/5
  • Working from Yuri Arabov and Jeremy Noble's script, Sokurov has a wonderful time not simply with Hirohito and history, but with his filmmaking, which can be oblique to the point of being stultifying. Here he plays with scale.

    April 1, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Alexander Sokurov's The Sun demands and rewards patience.

    March 25, 2010 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Finds beauty, madness and outright bizarreness in the sight of a lost, slightly freakish man attempting to understand his altering reality.

    December 7, 2009 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • The Sun took four years to reach American theaters, but the long delay hasn't diminished the force of Sokurov's experimentation.

    November 19, 2009 | Rating: A | Full Review…
  • Sokurov, who also acted as director of photography, films the character and his surroundings with the eye of a newly arrived visitor to another world.

    November 18, 2011 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    November 17, 2011 | Rating: 4/5
  • Working from Yuri Arabov and Jeremy Noble's script, Sokurov has a wonderful time not simply with Hirohito and history, but with his filmmaking, which can be oblique to the point of being stultifying. Here he plays with scale.

    April 1, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Alexander Sokurov's The Sun demands and rewards patience.

    March 25, 2010 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • A brilliant film.

    September 24, 2020 | Rating: 3.5/4.0 | Full Review…
  • An astounding work of intimate detail that should not be missed.

    October 16, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Sun

  • Dec 28, 2009
    Elegiac portrait of Japan's Emperor Hirohito at the end of World War II. A fascinating character study, portraying the Emperor as a sheltered child, faced with the impossible task of sacrificing his dignity and and the pride of his people by renouncing his status as a deity in order to allow the Allies to land in Japan and end the war without further aggression. Strikingly filmed in muted tones.
    Matthew L Super Reviewer
  • Nov 28, 2009
    "The Sun" is a surprisingly lightweight movie, considering its setting at the end of World War II. The tone is deeply ironic, wondering how Emperor Hirohito(Issei Ogata) could allow the atrocities of an inhuman war to be fought in his name if he was so cultured, educated and interested in the sciences which clashes with the divinity forced upon him.(Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't Hirohito just a figurehead?) In fact, his palace design owes more to Western than Japanese ideas. Upon his desk are the busts of Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin and Napoleon.(Well, the last one did not turn out so well.) In fact, Hirohito seems positively hurt at American anti-immigration legislation, partially blaming that for the war. And as General Douglas MacArthur(Robert Dawson) meets with Hirohito and does not find the devil he was expecting, the emperor discovers a world devastated just outside of his door that he was hardly aware of since most of his learning comes from books and tutors.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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