Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 14 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A cross-cultural journey, an emotional drama and a haunting love story between an ambitious geologist and a Japanese businessman. (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32
  1. 100
    The glory of Japanese Story is that even after a daringly abrupt plot turn, the cast maintains its empathy and lucidity without interruption.
  2. 88
    Gradually the full arc of Toni Collette's performance reveals itself, and we see that the end was there even in the beginning. This is that rare sort of film that is not about what happens, but about what happens then.
  3. This is an origami story, really, about what a construction of chance the big world is.
  4. This is not a conventional love story but a philosophical one.
  5. Japanese Story could have been a two-character play staged in front of a desert mural. It wouldn't have been as pretty, but it's that tight.
  6. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Toni Collette's extraordinary performance, Alison Tilson's sensitive script and Ian Baker's sensational cinematography add up to a surprising film.
  7. Pretentious yet devoid of poetry, left-of-center yet artless, this well-intentioned trudge does not exist to be enjoyed or appreciated so much as to be coddled and patronized as one would a retarded child.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. Nov 22, 2010
    This movie has a lot going for it. Toni Collette and the Japanese visitor were both convincing although Collette overplayed quite a bit at the beginning. Many elements were comedic, and that includes the playing with Australian and Japanese cultural differences. When they got stuck in the desert I thought of the Japanese classic "Woman in the Dunes," and I was so glad about how unpretentious "Japanese Story" was in comparison! Expand

See all 11 User Reviews