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.



Reviews Counted: 72

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,240


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.9/5

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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

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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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News & Interviews for I Wish

Critic Reviews for I Wish

All Critics (72) | Top Critics (24)

The moving and deeply satisfying work of a director who just keeps on getting better.

Feb 7, 2013 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Every performance works, every character fits, every observation rings true.

Feb 5, 2013 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

What's so remarkable about the happiness the film brings is its simplicity.

Jul 26, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Like a train, "I Wish" is slow to build momentum, then it carries us away in a wondrous rush.

Jun 22, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

You watch it remembering the days when you should have walked but simply had to run, and when you believed that, if you wished hard enough, your dead pet just might come back again.

Jun 21, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4

[The] film is built around performances by two real-life brothers who are as unaffected, spirited and lovable as I can imagine, and one of the pleasures of "I Wish" is simply spending time with them.

May 31, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for I Wish


A delicate film that relies on the talent and charisma of its young actors and makes us easily relate to their dreams and wishes with a simple but honest story, while Koreeda proves again that he knows quite well how to draw natural performances from children.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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 Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


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
Greg S

Super Reviewer

I'm a sucker for movies about siblings, so I really wanted to see this one. It's sort of a modern Ozu movie. It has a similar pace and just like some of Ozu's movies, it's about family in a changing society.

Saskia D.
Saskia D.

Super Reviewer

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