Best new Japanese Movies in 2024 & 2023 (Netflix, Prime, Hulu & Cinema List)

List of the latest Japanese movies in 2024 and the best Japanese movies of 2023 & the 2010's. Top Japanese movies to watch on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+ & other Streaming services, out on DVD/Blu-ray or in cinema's right now.

New Japanese movies in 2024 in Cinema & on VOD

Top movies up for release in 2024 in cinema and on VOD

  • All the Long Nights

    DIRECTOR: Shô Miyake
    CAST: Hokuto Matsumura, Mone Kamishiraishi & Ken Mitsuishi
    Misa Fujisawa is finding life harder to manage with her premenstrual syndrome. Once a month, she finds herself exploding with rage at other people. One of those victims is her new co-worker, Takatoshi Yamazoe. While Misa feels self-hatred for her temper, Takatoshi also suffers from his panic disorder. Soon, the two of them realize their different conditions and learn to form a bond when they seem to have such difficulty connecting with the rest of the world. This tender drama comes from director Shô Miyake (And Your Bird Can Sing, Playback) and stars Hokuto Matsumura, Mone Kamishiraishi, and Ryô. Read more

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  • Evil Does Not Exist

    DIRECTOR: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
    CAST: Hitoshi Omika, Ryo Nishikawa & Ryuji Kosaka
    The Mizubiki Village, located not far away from Tokyo, is where Takumi and his daughter Hana reside. They believe they have found their simple spot to enjoy nature, but all of that serenity may be taken away when plans are put in motion for a camping sight. The sight will be close to Takumi’s house and is being observed as a chance for city residents to escape the hustle and bustle of modern living. This contemplative drama comes from director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy) with a script co-written by Eiko Ishibashi. The cast includes Hitoshi Omika, Ryô Nishikawa, Ryûji Kosaka, Ayaka Shibutani, Hazuki Kikuchi, and Hiroyuki Miura. Read more

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Best Japanese movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+ or DVD in 2024

2023, 2022, 2021, 2020 and the 2010's best rated Japanese movies out on DVD, Bluray or streaming on VOD (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+ & More).
  • Monster

    DIRECTOR: Kore-eda Hirokazu
    CAST: Sakura Ando, Eita Nagayama & Soya Kurokawa
    Saori Mugino is a single mother who believes there is something wrong with her young son Minato. The culprit happens to be a teacher, leading to Saori taking charge of the situation. But the more she digs into the situation, the more the mother realizes there’s a complicated tapestry of relationships that have formed over time, threatening to tear apart the bonds of mother/son and teacher/student. Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters), the film stars Sakura Andō, Eita Nagayama, Soya Kurokawa, Hinata Hiiragi, and Yūko Tanaka. Read more

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  • Perfect Days

    DIRECTOR: Wim Wenders
    CAST: Koji Yakusho, Arisa Nakano & Tokio Emoto
    Legendary director Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, Until the End of the World) helms this engrossing drama about driving. A janitor living in Japan finds himself driving from job to job. During his commute, he finds pleasure in rock music. That’s just one of four short stories in this off-beat drama of familiar settings and coming to terms with the past. Written by Wim Wenders and Takuma Takasaki, this engrossing picture stars the talents of Kōji Yakusho, Tokio Emoto, Yumi Asō, Sayuri Ishikawa, Tomokazu Miura, and Min Tanaka. Read more

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  • Call Me Chihiro

    DIRECTOR: Rikiya Imaizumi
    CAST: Kasumi Arimura, Hana Toyoshima & Ryuya Wakaba
    Chihiro sets out to make a name for herself. While working at the Nokonoko Bento shop near the beach, she makes many friends and goes her way with her free-spirited attitude. Her popular status leads to her exploring all there is to the city and finding fun wherever it comes in her day-to-day life. Loaded with charming aspects of city life and working with food, Call Me Chihiro is a slice-of-life tale based on the manga by Hiroyuki Yasuda and directed by Rikiya Imaizumi (What Is Love, Their Distance). The cast includes the talents of Kasumi Arimura, Lily Franky, Miwako Ichikawa, Ryûya Wakaba, and Toshie Negishi. Read more

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  • Our Apprenticeship

    DIRECTOR: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
    CAST: N/A
    A girl goes from Japan to Paris when she becomes a theater student going abroad. While at theater school, she learns more about other people and their cultures, gaining valuable insight into how the world works. There, she starts forming her values and becomes inspired to keep pursuing her passions when learning of backgrounds that differ from her own. She may also fall in love. Written and directed by the award-winning Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car, The Wheel of Wonder and Fortune), this romantic drama adheres to Hamaguchi’s previous pictures of different languages, cultures and deeply humanist storytelling. Read more

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  • Hell Dogs

    DIRECTOR: Masato Harada
    CAST: Junichi Okada, Kentaro Sakaguchi & Mayu Matsuoka
    Shogo Kanetaka is a cop who has experienced a heavy helping of tragedy. Having endured the pain of watching a loved one perish, he becomes riddled with revenge and gets his chance to go undercover and infiltrate the yakuza. To gain entrance, Shogo will have to fight the yakuza Hideki Murooka. However, the more he learns about Hideki, the more the cop becomes conflicted about his violent quest for vengeance. Directed by Masato Harada (Chronicle of My Mother, Killing for the Prosecution), this crime thriller is based on the comic by Akio Fukamachi and stars Jun'ichi Okada, Kentarô Sakaguchi, and Mayu Matsuoka. Read more

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  • Monster

    DIRECTOR: Hirokazu Koreeda
    CAST: Sakura Ando, Eita Nagayama & Hinata Hiiragi 
    Director Hirokazu Kore-eda helms his latest Japanese film since the revered 2018 Cannes Palme d’Or winner Shoplifters in 2018, the French film The Truth from 2019, and his latest Japanese film, Broker. Monster will mark the director’s second Japanese feature. Produced by the Tokyo-based studios of Gaga and Toho, the film has Genki Kawamura (A Hundred Flowers) attached as a producer and Yûji Sakamoto writing the script for what is likely to be another engrossing humanist drama based on the credentials. Read more

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  • Drive My Car

    DIRECTOR: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
    CAST: Hidetoshi Nishijima, Toko Miura & Reika Kirishima
    Yusuke Kafuku is an actor and director who finds himself getting older is in need of a driver. He contacts his mechanic who recommends a 20-year-old woman to aid as a chauffeur. Yusuke isn’t too sure about trusting driving duties to such a young woman but the two soon form a friendship that only grows with every drive. This slow-paced drama comes from director Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy) and stars Tsuyoshi Gorô, Misaki Kawamura, Osamu Kubota, and Sachio Matsushita. Read more

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  • Suzume’s Door-Locking

    DIRECTOR: Makoto Shinkai
    CAST: N/A
    Suzame is a 17-year-old girl who had a quiet life in Kyushu. All of that changes when he meets a strange man who comes to down in search of doors. The man needs to close a series of doors which need to be shut or Japan may face a major disaster. Suzame takes it upon herself to help out with this door-shutting adventure, where her whole environment begins to change. This animated drama comes from the revered director Makoto Shinkai, known for such anime hits as Your Name and The Place Promised in Our Early Days. Read more

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  • Shin Ultraman

    DIRECTOR: Shinji Higuchi
    CAST: Takumi Saitoh, Masami Nagasawa & Hidetoshi Nishijima
    An intergalactic pursuit leads to Earth, where an alien conflict affects the planet. To make up for the problems caused, the aliens endow one human being with extraordinary powers. That man would become the hero known as Ultraman, armed with the power to grow giant and tackle any giant monster that may threaten the planet. Based on the classic Japanese action series, this superhero reboot comes from director Shinji Higuchi (Shin Godzilla) and screenwriter Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis Evangelion). Read more

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  • Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    DIRECTOR: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
    CAST: Kotone Furukawa, Ayumu Nakajima & Hyunri
    Stories of loss and loss permeate in this collection of romantic stories. These three stories cover such themes of love triangles that form in the most unexpected relationships, seductions that don’t go according to plan, and a romantic misunderstanding that brings about some unorthodox results. Seen through the eyes of three women, this romantic anthology comes from writer and director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Asako I & II) and stars Kotone Furukawa, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, and Katsuki Mori. Read more

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  • Aishu Cinderella

    DIRECTOR: Ryôhei Watanabe
    CAST: Tao Tsuchiya, Tanaka Kei & Coco
    Koharu’s life seemed to proceed smoothly for a working well within the public sector. Her future appeared bright until disaster struck and sent it all tumbling down. A domino effect of bad luck befalls her which places her life and her home in jeopardy. To make matters worse, her husband is cheating on her with someone at his work. However, she may just find the perfect man who comes into her life at just the right time to love and support her. But will she marry such a white knight or is there something more beyond the surface? Read more

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  • True Mothers

    DIRECTOR: Naomi Kawase
    CAST: Hiromi Nagasaku, Arata Iura & Aju Makita
    Naomi Kawase directs this bittersweet Japanese drama about the power of family. The film concerns a pair of parents who have adopted a five-year old child and have tried to raise the child as their own. But when the child’s birth mother seems to be having second thoughts, the parents worry that their newly established family may be cut short. Nominated for Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards, the film stars Hiromi Nagasaku, Arata Iura, Aju Makita, and Miyoko Asada. Read more

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  • My Father the Bride

    DIRECTOR: Momoko Fukuda
    CAST: Honoka Matsumoto, Kenta Hamano & Itsuji Itao
    Tokachan has spent much of her adulthood in Tokyo but is heading on a long trip back home to her island of a hometown for the anniversary of her mother’s death. What she didn’t count on expecting upon her arrival was a new man in the family. And that man happens to be the husband of her father, a troubling development considering this new man is also wearing her mother’s clothing in this stirring Japanese homecoming drama. Read more

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  • After the Sunset

    CAST: Shihori Kanjiya, Maho Yamada, Masaru Nagai, Satoru Kawaguchi
    Akane has a change of scenery when she travels from the city of Tokyo to a small island for her new job as a waitress. Serving up meals to fishermen, Akane becomes accepted by the community. At the same time, local Satsuki who is currently seeking to obtain custody for full adoption of her foster son. Satsuki soon learns that this may be a difficult task given that the boy’s biological mother has just arrived on the island in this stirring family drama. Read more

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  • Weathering With You

    DIRECTOR: Makoto Shinkai
    CAST: Kotaro Daigo, Nana Mori
    Three years after the groundbreaking, international success of 'Your Name'. director/writer Makoto Shinkai returns with another fascinating, visually overwhelming modern fairytale. 'Weathering With You' tells the story of a boy who falls in love with a girl who can control the weather. Read more

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  • Shoplifters

    DIRECTOR: Hirokazu Koreeda
    CAST: Lily Franky, Sakura Andô, Mayu Matsuoka, Jyo Kairi
    Japanese master Hirokazu Koreeda is back with another touching and poignant family portrait. 'Shoplifters' evolves around an eccentric yet loving family of shoplifters taking in a young orphan girl. Winner of the Palm D'Or at Cannes 2018. Read more

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  • The Night I Swam

    DIRECTOR: Kohei Igarashi, Damien Manivel
    CAST: Chisato Kogawa, Keiki Kogawa, Takara Kogawa, Takashi Kogawa
    A quiet, contemplative and almost zen-like account of a six-year old boy walking through the snowy landscapes of Aomori, Japan, looking for his fisherman father. 'The Night I Swam' is without dialogue, but it is one hell of a treat to all your senses. Read more

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  • Vision

    DIRECTOR: Naomi Kawase
    CAST: Juliette Binoche, Masatoshi Nagase
    A French journalist travels to Japan with a very special mission; she has to track a flower that only blossoms once every 997 year. Read more

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  • The Kirishima Thing

    DIRECTOR: Daihachi Yoshida
    CAST: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Ai Hashimoto Suzuka Ohgo
    The Kirishima Thing is a very nice film to watch, and also at the same time a film only Japanese people seem to able to make. The film itself is not that different, but there’s something about the atmosphere that’s really strange here and makes this one of the best films set in high school I’ve seen. It opens very mysterious with a lot of scenes getting repeated from a couple of different viewpoints, as the film keeps following other characters in the same time period. The great opening of this film creates a feel reminiscent of Gus van Sant’s masterpiece Elephant (2003). If you saw Elephant, don’t be scared. I didn’t spoil anything, as The Kirishima Thing tells a whole different story. The film is an interesting depiction of hierarchies in high school, the roles adolescents are forced into and what happens when a leading figure stops accepting his. Read more

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    RATING: 74/100

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  • The Drudgery Train

    DIRECTOR: Nobuhiro Yamashita
    CAST: Mirai Moriyama Kengo Kôra Atsuko Maeda
    Probably the most conventional Japanese film in this list. So for people who are not that comfortable with both extremes of Japanese cinema, often defined as a cinema of on the one hand very crazy ‘fucked up’ films and on the other hand very contemplative and slow films wherein “nothing ever seems to happen”, The Drudgery Train should be a good recommendation. It’s a nice japanese drama with a cool main character and some good dialogue. Actually, there’s not much to complain about this film. So if you’re kind of bored with all the European or American faces you see all the time, you should try this one. Read more

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    RATING: 69/100

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  • Still The Water

    DIRECTOR: Naomi Kawase
    CAST: Nijirô Murakami Jun Yoshinaga Miyuki Matsuda
    Naomi Kawase’s Still the Water was met with mixed results at Cannes last year, which actually only made us more curious. Kawase’s herself stated that this film is her ‘masterpiece’. Kawase’s films balance at the edge of soulful contemplation and kitschy esotericism. Still the Water, a patiently told story about a blossoming love between to troubled teenagers at a remote Japanese island is both, but nonetheless a satisfying viewing experience altogether. Read more

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    RATING: 68/100

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  • Like Father, Like Son

    DIRECTOR: Hirokazu Koreeda
    CAST: Masaharu Fukuyama Machiko Ono Yôko Maki
    Director Koreeda is unparalleled in contemporary cinema when it comes to honestly portraying family life. In tone, he shifts from deeply tragic (Nobody Knows, 2004)) to light hearted (I Wish, 2011) but his significant style is always easy to recognize. Like Father, Like Son tells the gripping story of a businessman who finds out his son was swapped with another boy right after birth in the hospital. He is faced with a horrible dilemma; ‘adopt’ his true son or carrying on with the boy he raised as his own? Read more

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    RATING: 78/100

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  • Umi yori mo mada fukaku (After the Storm)

    DIRECTOR: Hirokazu Koreeda
    CAST: Hiroshi Abe Yôko Maki Satomi Kobayashi
    It's amazing how Japanese helmer Koreeda keeps up this pace. After The Storm is yet another beautiful, patient little gem. The films tells the gripping tale of once famous writer trying to connect with his estranged and reluctant son during a stormy summers night. Read more

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    RATING: 76/100

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  • Outrage Beyond

    DIRECTOR: Takeshi Kitano
    CAST: Toshiyuki Nishida Tomokazu Miura Takeshi Kitano
    Takeshi Kitano is, in my opinion, perhaps the greatest Japanese director of the last 20 years. His films like Sonatine (1993), Fireworks (1997) and Kikujiro (1999) are simply masterpieces. It is true, however, that Outrage (2010) and its sequel Outrage Beyond are nothing compared to his work in the 90s. Still, these two yakuza films are great pieces of entertainment. With its tight editing, sophisticated cinematography and its unpretentious and simple plot, you’re in for two quite nice films. And there’s even a third Outrage film on the way (Not that I’m really looking forward to a second sequel, but still). Just like Outrage, Outrage Beyond is mainly about people killing each other off until there’s almost no one left standing. All yakuza’s seem a bit paranoid and because of this the film’s portrayal of yakuza life feels a bit sad. It’s that melancholic feel to it that makes it better than your average kind of gangster movie and at the same time makes you remember you’re watching a Takeshi Kitano film. Read more

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    RATING: 67/100

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  • Lesson of the Evil

    DIRECTOR: Takashi Miike
    CAST: Takayuki Yamada Shôta Sometani Fumi Nikaidou
    Famous Japanese director Takashi Miike (Audition (1999), Visitor Q (2001), Ichi The Killer (2001)) is perhaps the most prolific film director in the world. Being a filmmaker since 1991, the guy has already directed more than 70 films (on the other hand, you could count his screenwriting credits on one hand). And he’s still keeping himself busy, only in 2012 and 2013, Takashi Miike already directed no less than 5 films. But unfortunately, only Lesson of the Evil was actually worth something. For Love’s sake (2012) definitely had its moments, but overall it was way too kitschy for my taste. Ace Attorney (2012), a film adaptation of the video game of the same name, was way too childish, and Shield of Straw (2013) (incomprehensibly nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes last year) was nothing more than a dumb action movie with a very weak and ridiculous story. His latest, The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji (2013), I haven’t seen yet, but sure will, as I think of Miike as one of the most interesting film directors out there. Although I’m not the greatest fan of his work. Lesson of the Evil is one of his most fun films I’ve seen, as it is one hell of a morally twisted movie. You start out thinking it’s very sweet and gentle, as it follows a good-natured teacher in high school. But later on, you notice the character of the teacher is not as kind as you initially thought, and the movie itself gradually begins to get more like its title suggested in the first place. Read more

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    RATING: 67/100

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  • Why Don’t You Play in Hell?

    DIRECTOR: Sion Sono
    CAST: Jun Kunimura Fumi Nikaidou Shin'ichi Tsutsumi
    The best Japanese film of these past two years is directed by probably the most playful filmmaker in Japan, called Shion Sono (Suicide Circle (2001), Love Exposure (2008), Cold Fish (2010)). After a couple of rather disappointing films (Guilty of Romance (2011) and The Land of Hope (2012) were both not that special), Sono came back with, in my opinion, his best film up-to-date (I admit I haven’t seen all of his films, but I’m getting there). It’s just so much fun to watch this. As usual with the greatest of Sono’s films there’s so much happening, you cannot possibly keep track. You just have to go along for the ride and never try to look back or even take a pause to get some breath, there’s just no time. Read more

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    RATING: 72/100

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  • Hikari

    DIRECTOR: Naomi Kawase
    CAST: Masatoshi Nagase Ayame Misaki
    A young woman who works as a voice-over copywriter falls in love with a visually disabled photographer. Read more

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  • Survival Family

    DIRECTOR: Shinobu Yaguchi
    CAST: Fumiyo Kohinata Eri Fukatsu Yuki Izumisawa
    When electricity stops working in Tokyo, the whole city is about to collapse. Yoshiyuki Suzuki and his family have only one option; leave the city in order to survive. Read more

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    RATING: 75/100

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  • Laplace’s Witch

    DIRECTOR: Takashi Miike
    CAST: Shô Sakurai, Suzu Hirose, Sôta Fukushi, Rei Dan
    A Mysterious young woman is connected to several murder crime scenes. Upon investigation things get very supernatural in this Japanese thriller. Read more

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- Best Japanese TV Series out in 2024 & 2023 on Netflix & on TV Related: Best new Chinese Movies in 2024 & 2023 (Netflix, Prime, Hulu & Cinema List) Ever since the days of Ozu and Kurosawa, Japan has a film tradition that differs in many ways from both Europe and America. Which is why Japan as a film country is so damn interesting. Check out our recent favorites! Logically, a list of the best Japanese films of the 2010s is a must at every proper film site that takes itself seriously. Focusing on the more arty films (and there are plenty of experimental, innovative films out there) we have tried to frame Japanese cinema as best as we could, and as diversely as possible.

(Films not in the list, but still worth the mention: Miss Zombie (2013) by Hiroyuki Tanaka, Helter Skelter (2012) by Mika Ninagawa and I’m Flash (2012) by Toshiaki Toyoda.)