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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  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. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    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.
  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.

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