Following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, Gen. Bonner Fellers (Matthew Fox) must determine whether Emperor Hirohito should be hanged as a war criminal.
" When it stops preaching, the film is on surer footing, even if for a drama in which peace hangs in the balance, the stakes never seem very high. "
" The subject is intrinsically compelling, yet the central story is padded with an uninvolving love story that functions mostly as obvious symbolism about compassion for the enemy. "
" It's a rich and significant subject for scholars, but not exactly filmic. "
" In the end, probably the best way to watch "Emperor" is to pretend that the Supreme Command of Allied Forces in Japan after World War II was Tommy Lee Jones. "
" Director Webber and the screenwriters, David Klass and Vera Blasi ... largely [waste] Jones and some very nice period details. "
" A methodical but dull fact-based drama set just after World War II. "
" Regrettably, "Emperor" does not match MacArthur's vigor, or mine his legacy. Instead, the movie is Fellers' tale and dryly told. "
" "Emperor" starts slowly and peters out from there. "
" Mr. Jones's performance is the only spark within this otherwise dull, well-mannered exercise. "
" Wrapping a history lesson in a romantic melodrama can make for a lively movie, but only if the love story is juicier than the educational narrative. "
" The effort to put a personal face on the major issue of occupation is as timely as Iraq and Afghanistan, but the execution is clumsy and cliche-ridden. "
" Half crinoline romance, half crusty military-history lesson. "
" A stodgy movie that mixes dubious history with a cliched, Madame Butterfly romance story, set in the period immediately following Japan's surrender in 1945. "
" Despite the promising setup, the filmmakers' execution muddles what's inherently dramatic material. "
" This potentially interesting dilemma becomes thoroughly dull in the hands of director Peter Webber, who stages endless conversations about political fine points without giving us much to look at. "
" Just a dull procedural, with the bland Matthew Fox driving around in a jeep and asking questions and not having them answered. "
" The epigrams fly, but the movie never really takes off. "
" This fascinating historical tale is badly crowded by a bland love story, told mainly in flashbacks. "
" Emperor falls prey to the temptations endemic to historical docudrama: the desire to pack a miniseries' worth of events into one feature-length film, with romance tossed in for added appeal. "
" [Fox is] so deadly serious, you long for a little fun. And that's what Jones supplies. "
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