I Wish


I Wish

Critics Consensus

Elliptical and deliberately paced yet steadily absorbing, I Wish presents a beguiling portrait of childhood that grounds its sweetly nostalgic glow with well-rounded characters and attention to detail.



Total Count: 75


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,252
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Movie Info

Twelve-year-old Koichi lives with his mother and retired grandparents in Kagoshima, in the southern region of Kyushu, Japan. His younger brother Ryunosuke lives with their father in Hakata, northern Kyushu. The brothers have been separated by their parents' divorce and Koichi's only wish is for his family to be reunited. When he learns that a new bullet train line will soon open, linking the two towns, he starts to believe that a miracle will take place the moment these new trains first pass each other at top speed. With help from the adults around him, Koichi sets out on a journey with a group of friends, each hoping to witness a miracle that will improve their difficult lives. -- (C) Magnolia


Koki Maeda
as Koichi
Ohshiro Maeda
as Ryunosuke
Nene Ohtsuka
as Nozomi (Mother)
Joe Odagiri
as Kenji (Father)
Yui Natsukawa
as Kyoko (Megumi's Mother)
Masami Nagasawa
as Ms. Mimura (Teacher)
Hiroshi Abe
as Mr. Sakagami
Yoshio Harada
as Wataru (Grandfather's Friend)
Kirin Kiki
as Hideko (Grandmother)
Isao Hashizume
as Shukichi (Grandfather)
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Critic Reviews for I Wish

All Critics (75) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (70) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for I Wish

  • Jan 08, 2016
    This honestly wasn't a thrilling movie for me, though the child actors are all very good and the sights of Japan in the background are beautiful as always. The story was very slight and its not bad, but it is very long and drags. I may have liked it more if it focused a little more on the adults. Little kid's lives to me are not that interesting to base a whole movie on, but from the ratings, others feel differently. Probably personally wouldn't have watched if it wasn't set in Japan, so I'll admit it wasn't really one for me from the start.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 13, 2012
    This is a very sweet and gentle movie that presents its child characters in a very believable fashion. I think what Hirozaku Koreeda did best was give these kids a certain sense of freedom to be, just what they are, kids. Or at least creating an illusion that he gave them freedom. Because the kids are naturals and Koreeda handles his characters with respect and care, he simply lets you observes the lives of these kids and their lives and how their wishes are affected by the events of their own lives. It is a very smart film and one that doesn't assume that its kid characters are idiots and that's refreshing to see. The characters are never infuriating and you understand their motivations for the things they feel the most need or want. But I do think the pacing will certainly bother some people, it's got a deliberate pace but it is a rewarding experience ultimately. And I do think that a lot of people will also be bothered by the fact that not a lot seems to be happening in the film. Not that the assessment is true. Just because a film is quieter and more observant, that doesn't mean that nothing is happening, it's just a more introspective film rather than a film where everything is explicitly stated. So yea this is a lovely and gentle film and I'd definitely recommend it. It will test some peoples' patience but it is a rewarding film.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Sep 19, 2012
    When a 12-year old Japanese boy hears that if you make a wish at the exact time two bullet trains pass it comes true, he gathers his friends for a trip to the magical spot so he can wish for his broken family to be reunited. Sweet and minor, made with obvious love and care, but my unfulfilled wish was that the film would dump two or three of its meandering subplots and end about 30 minutes sooner.
    Greg S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 09, 2012
    It is a amazing story where innocent children find themselves towards their own fantasies. Twenty years after the wonderful Stand By Me, from Rob Reiner, kids earn an equivalent in the adventures of Ryu and Koichi.
    Júnior D Super Reviewer

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