Movies

Find the best special screenings, movie events and film fun in Tokyo

Radiance
Film

Radiance

Naomi Kawase’s unusual drama moves at a glacial pace but is partially rescued by strong performances from its leading couple

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
The Night is Short, Walk On Girl
Film

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl

A pretty but occasionally straight-up creepy anime adaptation of the bestselling book

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
Interview: Shinya Tsukamoto
Film

Interview: Shinya Tsukamoto

We discuss Martin Scorsese's 'Silence' with the actor and director

Five films to get you in the mood for Japanese food
Film

Five films to get you in the mood for Japanese food

These delicious films allow you to visually feast on the joys of Japan’s food culture

The best cinemas in Tokyo
Film

The best cinemas in Tokyo

Check out our picks of movie theatres in Shinjuku, Shibuya and Yurakucho

The best movie events right now

Daiei Film Festival
Film

Daiei Film Festival

Marking the 75th birthday of film studio Daiei, now known as publishing giant Kadokawa's filmmaking arm, the company's own cinema in Shinjuku rolls out this 21-flick programme featuring the very best of Daiei-produced film. Focusing particularly on movies with female protagonists, the lineup includes Kon Ichikawa's 1960 Cannes Jury Prize winner Odd Obsession, based on Junichiro Tanizaki's novel 'The Key', and three different film adaptations (1949, 1960 and 1967) of 'Naomi' ('Chijin no Ai'), another Tanizaki classic. For the full programme and schedule, see here (in Japanese only).

Picnic Cinema
Film

Picnic Cinema

Catch a movie outdoors on a hot summer evening at Ebisu's Garden Place, where screenings start from 7.30pm on 12 August days. The free films will be shown on a big screen set up in the middle of the complex, with the programme including light fare like Irish musical comedy Sing Street (2016), Giuseppe Tornatore's Oscar-winning Cinema Paradiso (1988) and 2014 documentary Iris, which tells the story of 95-year-old New York fashion icon Iris Apfel – uplifting and harmless fun, in other words.

Alain Delon Programme
Film

Alain Delon Programme

In the ’60s and ’70s, French charmer Alain Delon was one of the most popular actors practically everywhere in the world – with the notable exception of the US. The Le Samouraï star was big in Japan too, and the recent announcement of his upcoming retirement made national headlines. Bunkamura's Le Cinéma looks back at Delon's career with this five-film programme, which consists of The Last Adventure (1967), Luchino Visconti's The Leopard (1963), Any Number Can Win (1963), La Piscine (1969) and Swann in Love (1984). Note that all films will be shown with Japanese subtitles only.

Qualite Fantastic! Cinema Collection 2017
Film

Qualite Fantastic! Cinema Collection 2017

Shinjuku's Cinema Qualite holds its annual festival in summer this year, again highlighting an international cast of indie flicks, including a few previously unreleased in Japan. Jim Jarmusch's Gimme Danger, a documentary about the emergence of Iggy Pop's band The Stooges, should be worth catching, perhaps along with Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow's 2015 biographical documentary De Palma and Russian war drama Battalion (2015), which tells the story of a women-only unit that fought in World War I. Friends of B-grade horror will want to look out for cult classic Street Trash (1987) and Horrors of Malformed Men (1969), Teruo Ishii's 'ero-guro' creation that's partially based on a story by Edogawa Ranpo. Once released, the full programme can be viewed here (in Japanese only).

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Tokyo's best cinemas

Cinema Novecento
Cinemas

Cinema Novecento

It's a rare occasion indeed when a new small-scale movie theatre opens in the Tokyo area, but that was exactly what happened in February 2015 in Yokohama: Novecento, located in the western part of the city, has a mere 28 seats and screens only 35mm and 16mm films. Old-school cinema fanatics will love the down-to-earth vibe, which makes it easy to strike up conversation with the staff and fellow movie fans, while the associated restaurant ('trattoria') is nice for getting snacks and drinks before or after the movie. The programme here ranges from time-honoured classics to short, privately distributed features, while the space also hosts talks and events like rakugo (traditional comic storytelling) performances. To top it all off, loyal film enthusiasts can try their hand at the projectionist's job during the regular workshops.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Uplink
Cinemas

Uplink

Showing a fascinating mix of movies, particularly indie productions from both Japan and abroad with lots of experimental and short work thrown in as well, Uplink also holds events like talks and live performances.

Shin-Bungeiza
Cinemas

Shin-Bungeiza

A legendary repertory house in Ikebukuro showing a wide range of films, from Japanese classics to Hollywood no-brainers. The all-night screenings on Saturday nights are particularly popular.

Waseda Shochiku
Cinemas

Waseda Shochiku

Catch a double bill at one of the city's oldest cinemas (over 50 years and counting). Films are shown in a variety of languages, with Hollywood flicks featuring as highly as Japanese movies, all presented on classic 35mm prints. There are only double bills on offer, so set aside an afternoon and make the most of it.

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