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Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

War | 141 minutes
3,60 1.311 votes

Genre: War / Drama

Duration: 141 minuten

Alternative title: Iou Jima Kara no Tegami

Country: United States

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Stars: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya and Shido Nakamura

IMDb score: 7,8 (170.622)

Releasedate: 19 December 2006

Letters from Iwo Jima plot

"The battle of Iwo Jima seen through the eyes of the Japanese soldiers."

During World War II in 1945, Iwo Jima was the scene of bloody fighting between Japanese and American soldiers for two months. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi fought for his Japan against the American forces for 40 days. Soon, the general and his troops learn that they are on a suicide mission.

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Full Cast & Crew

Actors and actresses

General Tadamichi Kuribayashi

Colonel Baron Nishi

Private Shimizu

Lieutenant Ito

Lieutenant Fujita

Captain Tanida

Private Nozaki

Lieutenant Okubo

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avatar van Fisico

Fisico (moderator films)

  • 8628 messages
  • 4832 votes

The great value of the diptych Flags of our fathers and these Letters from Iwo Jima lies not in the individual films in themselves, but in the combination of the two, in which Eastwood conceived the brilliant idea of illuminating the battle of Iwo Jima from two different perspectives. : one from an American point of view and one from the corner of a Japanese eye.

The motivation - namely honorably defending Japanese sacred ground - is well displayed. The Japanese soldiers' willpower, motivation and surrender for their own country was fascinating to watch. Because of this alone, the Americans had a tough time with these Japanese, so that the capture of the island took longer than expected. The general who studied in the United States is familiar with those typical dilemmas that seem rather clichéd. Interesting were the conflicts with his subordinates.

The level is not reached throughout the film, so the film balances between mediocre and good. The battle scenes are strong and the gray dark lighting also contributes to the drabness of the war. It's also great that the soldiers speak Japanese and not, for example, English. The film gives a nice insight into the battle on Iwo Jima and that from the "eye of the enemy". A typical Eastwood with often decent to good films without really speaking of an unforgettable topper.

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avatar van Shadowed


  • 8904 messages
  • 5552 votes


Letters from Iwo Jima doesn't get a better opening word from me than "boring", because that was it. Eastwood can direct very strong and realistic cinema, but war films of this caliber may not have been made for him. Especially since, despite the Japanese cast, this film feels rather American in almost every way.

The directing style does have its advantages, because the location and the filters are very beautiful. The war has some nice, clear images of exploding houses or fields. It all looks pretty raw, but Eastwood can never use that rawness to his advantage, probably because the directing is ultimately too distant, unfortunately.

The acting is quite mediocre and not a single character of the many faces knows how to be interesting. Eastwood gives each character an almost American background as the strong sentiment seems to have run away from an American war film. I, as someone who isn't a fan of that, quickly struggles.

The war itself is also portrayed relatively dull with a lot of banging but few hitting targets. Figuratively then, because many bullets do hit the target in this film. It's not exciting anywhere and the slow bits in between the war just slow things down. Of the 140 minutes that the film lasts, about 100 minutes are uninteresting gibberish that never succeeds, especially during the first hour.

It's a shame that these kinds of movies really just miss everything. It's not compelling, clever, or exciting. The characters are terribly interchangeable and the acting is top notch, both the Japanese and the Americans act like wet newspapers. Eastwood has made better movies, and can direct better too. This was not his best directing moment unfortunately. Far from even.

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avatar van Film Pegasus

Film Pegasus (moderator films)

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I haven't seen the Flags of our Fathers counterpart yet, so I'll start with the Japanese view of events. Or at least Eastwood's view of the Japanese view. I did not know the events, but for America this was apparently an important blow. And for Japan too, of course, but with a lesser result.

The concept is good though. We see the battle not from the standpoint of the heroic Americans, but from the Japanese. And with the other film Flags of Our Fathers opposite you have 2 films about the same battle opposite each other. The fact that Eastwood chooses this battle and not Pearl Harbor shows that American invasion.

The film focuses on the characters for a long time, but doesn't really bring it in. It remains a lead-up to the final battle. It is well portrayed, but the focus is soon back on the characters. It also doesn't really come across as a tribute to those people, which quickly happens with an American film. The whole thing remains a bit distant and I personally don't like the color filter that was used. The battle itself is well done. But unfortunately the impact is somewhat lacking.

If Flag of our Fathers is of the same caliber, I'm afraid I won't be setting it up so quickly. Will be something for later then.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original