Best Movies by Farr
Letters From Iwo Jima Poster
Released Runtime Category
2007 140 War
Director Language
Clint Eastwood Japanese
Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryō Kase

Letters From Iwo Jima

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What's it About

Near the end of World War II, as American forces prepare to take the tiny strategic island of Iwo Jima, U.S.-educated Lt. General Kuribayashi (Watanabe) oversees the digging of tunnels and deep foxholes for his soldiers, who will fight to defend the honor of Japan, though they are outnumbered and certain to lose the battle. Short on supplies, and uncomfortably cramped into their hidey-holes, the Imperial Army enlistees — who come from all walks of life — write home to their loved ones, as the shadow of death looms.

Why we love it

Eastwood's follow-up to "Flags of Our Fathers"”, which examined the same battle from the perspective of U.S. soldiers, stands as an even greater accomplishment; this is a war film of tremendous insight and compassion. Kuribayashi, sensitively played by Watanabe, is a cunning leader and a man of principle, opposed to the war but committed to fulfill his duty. The men serving under him — like private Saigo (Ninomiya), a baker who longs to return to his pregnant wife, and Olympic equestrian Baron Nishi (Tsuyoshi Ihara) — complete the picture of ordinary men sent to make the ultimate sacrifice. Eastwood's "Letters" doesn't revise WWII history so much as illuminate an aspect of it we've never seen: the humanity of the enemy.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"