The Sun

Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 1 out of 12

Where To Watch

Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    Sokurov, who also acted as director of photography, films the character and his surroundings with the eye of a newly arrived visitor to another world.
  2. 100
    The result is not to make the emperor sympathetic so much as it is to tug at the mask of despotic glory. In the end, he is only a man.
  3. 100
    This 2005 masterpiece by Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov transforms the story of Emperor Hirohito at the close of World War II into a melancholy meditation on power and its loss.
  4. The Sun sheds only so much literal light on its chosen subject; it's a film of shadows and silence, the calm before and after the storm. But everything you see and hear carries weight and an eerie poetic undercurrent.
  5. 90
    Though he successfully humanizes Hirohito, who is shown happily shedding his divinity, Sokurov doesn't entirely exonerate him. He contrives a shock ending that, as measured as everything else in this engrossing, supremely assured movie, acknowledges one last blood sacrifice on the emperor's altar.
  6. The movie is best understood not in banal docudrama terms but as an impressionistic portrait of a man who, stripped of power, is revealed as grotesquely human.
  7. 88
    This emperor verges on dementia, having no apparent clue how to function.
  8. This precision-controlled film once again highlights Alexander Sokurov's mastery of the medium. The third entry in his Men in Power series employs refined performances, a controlled script, excellent sound and fluid camerawork.
  9. 75
    Fives us behind-the-scene looks at Hirohito, the man and the ruler. The diminutive leader comes off sympathetically, as a man concerned with the welfare of his people.
  10. 70
    As usual, Sokurov's unhurried pacing will test the patience of more fidgety viewers, although the script is more accessible than some of his recent efforts.
  11. The setting, largely confined to the laboratory building and underground bunker of the otherwise bombed-out Imperial Palace, makes for somewhat claustrophobic viewing but effectively enhances the hermetically sealed feeling of Hirohito's royal life.
  12. 30
    Reflecting on Sokurov’s other recent work – like “Russian Arc” for example – The Sun is a giant step down. It’s an outrageously long-winded drama that’s awfully directed with the skill of a high school play.

Awards & Rankings

There are no user reviews yet.