Ken Watanabe

Ken Watanabe (born October 21, 1959) is a Japanese stage, film, and television actor. To English-speaking audiences he is known for playing tragic hero characters, such as General Tadamichi Kuribayashi in Letters from Iwo Jima and Lord Katsumoto Moritsugu in The Last Samurai, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Among other awards, he has won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Actor twice, in 2007 for Memories of Tomorrow and in 2010 for Shizumanu Taiyō. He is also known for his roles in director Christopher Nolan's Hollywood blockbusters Batman Begins and Inception. Description above from the Wikipedia article Ken Watanabe, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

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Inception (2010)

Mind blowingComplexAction-packedOriginal

Cobb, a skilled thief who commits corporate espionage by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets is offered a chance to regain his old life as payment for a task considered to be impossible: "inception", the implantation of another person's idea into a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Christopher Nolan
CAST:  Leonardo DiCaprio  •  Joseph Gordon-Levitt  •  Elliot Page  •  Tom Hardy

Cobb, a skilled thief who commits corporate espionage by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets is offered a chance to regain his old life as payment for a task considered to be impossible: "inception", the implantation of another person's idea into a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Christopher Nolan
CAST:  Leonardo DiCaprio  •  Joseph Gordon-Levitt  •  Elliot Page  •  Tom Hardy

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Depressing

As humanity picks up the pieces, following the conclusion of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," Autobots and Decepticons have all but vanished from the face of the planet. However, a group of powerful, ingenious businessman and scientists attempt to learn from past ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Bay
CAST:  Nicola Peltz  •  Mark Wahlberg  •  Stanley Tucci  •  Frank Welker

As humanity picks up the pieces, following the conclusion of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," Autobots and Decepticons have all but vanished from the face of the planet. However, a group of powerful, ingenious businessman and scientists attempt to learn from past ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Bay
CAST:  Nicola Peltz  •  Mark Wahlberg  •  Stanley Tucci  •  Frank Welker

Batman Begins (2005)

Action-packedGrippingAdventurousIntense

Driven by tragedy, billionaire Bruce Wayne dedicates his life to uncovering and defeating the corruption that plagues his home, Gotham City. Unable to work within the system, he instead creates a new identity, a symbol of fear for the criminal underworld - The Batman.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Christopher Nolan
CAST:  Christian Bale  •  Michael Caine  •  Liam Neeson  •  Katie Holmes

Driven by tragedy, billionaire Bruce Wayne dedicates his life to uncovering and defeating the corruption that plagues his home, Gotham City. Unable to work within the system, he instead creates a new identity, a symbol of fear for the criminal underworld - The Batman.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Christopher Nolan
CAST:  Christian Bale  •  Michael Caine  •  Liam Neeson  •  Katie Holmes

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

Mind blowingBeautifulEmotionalMysterious

A sweeping romantic epic set in Japan in the years before World War II, a penniless Japanese child is torn from her family to work as a maid in a geisha house.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Rob Marshall
CAST:  Zhang Ziyi  •  Gong Li  •  Youki Kudoh  •  Mako

A sweeping romantic epic set in Japan in the years before World War II, a penniless Japanese child is torn from her family to work as a maid in a geisha house.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Rob Marshall
CAST:  Zhang Ziyi  •  Gong Li  •  Youki Kudoh  •  Mako

Tampopo (1985)

FunnyBeautifulClassicEnjoyable

A pair of truck drivers happen onto a decrepit roadside fast food stop selling ramen noodles. The widowed owner, Tampopo, begs them to help her turn her establishment into a paragon of the "art of noodle soup making".  (more)

DIRECTION:  Juzo Itami
CAST:  Tsutomu Yamazaki  •  Nobuko Miyamoto  •  Ken Watanabe  •  Koji Yakusho

A pair of truck drivers happen onto a decrepit roadside fast food stop selling ramen noodles. The widowed owner, Tampopo, begs them to help her turn her establishment into a paragon of the "art of noodle soup making".  (more)

DIRECTION:  Juzo Itami
CAST:  Tsutomu Yamazaki  •  Nobuko Miyamoto  •  Ken Watanabe  •  Koji Yakusho

The Last Samurai (2003)

BeautifulEpicDramaticEmotional

Nathan Algren is an American hired to instruct the Japanese army in the ways of modern warfare, which finds him learning to respect the samurai and the honorable principles that rule them. Pressed to destroy the samurai's way of life in the name of modernization ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Edward Zwick
CAST:  Tom Cruise  •  Ken Watanabe  •  William Atherton  •  Chad Lindberg

Nathan Algren is an American hired to instruct the Japanese army in the ways of modern warfare, which finds him learning to respect the samurai and the honorable principles that rule them. Pressed to destroy the samurai's way of life in the name of modernization ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Edward Zwick
CAST:  Tom Cruise  •  Ken Watanabe  •  William Atherton  •  Chad Lindberg

Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald (1997)

A radio play is going to go on air at a Tokyo radio station. It is a weepy melodrama written by housewife Miyako, who is the winner of the competition run by the station. Suddenly, the hot-tempered lead actress Nokko decides she wants the name of her character to ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Koki Mitani
CAST:  Toshiaki Karasawa  •  Kyoka Suzuki  •  Keiko Toda  •  Masahiko Nishimura

A radio play is going to go on air at a Tokyo radio station. It is a weepy melodrama written by housewife Miyako, who is the winner of the competition run by the station. Suddenly, the hot-tempered lead actress Nokko decides she wants the name of her character to ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Koki Mitani
CAST:  Toshiaki Karasawa  •  Kyoka Suzuki  •  Keiko Toda  •  Masahiko Nishimura

MacArthur's Children (1984)

In this drama at the end of World War II, the inhabitants of a small Japanese fishing village must come to terms with their nation's defeat and the sudden occupation of General MacArthur and his troops.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Masahiro Shinoda
CAST:  Takaya Yamauchi  •  Ken Watanabe  •  Yoshiyuki Omori  •  Shiori Sakura

In this drama at the end of World War II, the inhabitants of a small Japanese fishing village must come to terms with their nation's defeat and the sudden occupation of General MacArthur and his troops.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Masahiro Shinoda
CAST:  Takaya Yamauchi  •  Ken Watanabe  •  Yoshiyuki Omori  •  Shiori Sakura

The Unbroken (2009)

A drama based on the 1985 plane crash that caused 520 deaths, the worst aviation event in Japanese history.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Setsurô Wakamatsu
CAST:  Ken Watanabe  •  Kyoka Suzuki  •  Mitsuko Kusabue  •  Takashi Kashiwabara

A drama based on the 1985 plane crash that caused 520 deaths, the worst aviation event in Japanese history.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Setsurô Wakamatsu
CAST:  Ken Watanabe  •  Kyoka Suzuki  •  Mitsuko Kusabue  •  Takashi Kashiwabara

The Sea and Poison (1986)

Downed American fliers in WW II are vivisected by Japanese surgeons in medical experiments.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kei Kumai
CAST:  Eiji Okuda  •  Ken Watanabe  •  Takahiro Tamura  •  Kyōko Kishida

Downed American fliers in WW II are vivisected by Japanese surgeons in medical experiments.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kei Kumai
CAST:  Eiji Okuda  •  Ken Watanabe  •  Takahiro Tamura  •  Kyōko Kishida

Kekkon Annai Mystery (1985)

A 19-year-old girl Hiroko Terasawa working in a matching agency promises her client Masakazu Sekine that she'll pose as his fiancée for a remarkable cash reward. Hiroko moves to Sekine's mansion and prepares to attend the family's meeting. However, this only turns ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Yoshikuni Matsunaga
CAST:  Noriko Watanabe  •  Ken Watanabe  •  Hayato Tani  •  Tamio Kawachi

A 19-year-old girl Hiroko Terasawa working in a matching agency promises her client Masakazu Sekine that she'll pose as his fiancée for a remarkable cash reward. Hiroko moves to Sekine's mansion and prepares to attend the family's meeting. However, this only turns ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Yoshikuni Matsunaga
CAST:  Noriko Watanabe  •  Ken Watanabe  •  Hayato Tani  •  Tamio Kawachi

Space Travelers (2000)

Three bank robbers, who declare themselves to be Space Travelers, take six persons as hostages when they are surrounded by the police. Among the hostages, there is a terrorist with a hidden bomb. In order to escape, the robbers ask the hostages to pretend to be ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Katsuyuki Motohiro
CAST:  Teruo Takeno  •  Shigemitsu Ogi  •  Isao Nonaka  •  Ito Yozaburo

Three bank robbers, who declare themselves to be Space Travelers, take six persons as hostages when they are surrounded by the police. Among the hostages, there is a terrorist with a hidden bomb. In order to escape, the robbers ask the hostages to pretend to be ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Katsuyuki Motohiro
CAST:  Teruo Takeno  •  Shigemitsu Ogi  •  Isao Nonaka  •  Ito Yozaburo

Unforgiven (2013)

GrippingEnjoyable

Set in Hokkaido, Japan in the 1880s. Jubei Kamata (Ken Watanabe), who is on the side of the Edo shogunate government, kills many people. His name is infamous in Kyoto. When the battle at Goryoukaku is about to be finished, Jubei disappears. 10 years later, Jubei ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lee Sang-il
CAST:  Ken Watanabe  •  Jun Kunimura  •  Koichi Sato  •  Yuya Yagira

Set in Hokkaido, Japan in the 1880s. Jubei Kamata (Ken Watanabe), who is on the side of the Edo shogunate government, kills many people. His name is infamous in Kyoto. When the battle at Goryoukaku is about to be finished, Jubei disappears. 10 years later, Jubei ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lee Sang-il
CAST:  Ken Watanabe  •  Jun Kunimura  •  Koichi Sato  •  Yuya Yagira

Dawn of a New Day: The Man Behind VHS (2002)

A Japanese film that tells the tale of the birth of VHS. It follows Kagatani Shizuo, an electronics employee who rallies his coworkers to save their jobs by increasing sales. They do this by developing the VHS standard. They battle with Sony and their standard and ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kiyoshi Sasabe
CAST:  Toshiyuki Nishida  •  Ken Watanabe  •  Naoto Ogata  •  Ryoko Shinohara

A Japanese film that tells the tale of the birth of VHS. It follows Kagatani Shizuo, an electronics employee who rallies his coworkers to save their jobs by increasing sales. They do this by developing the VHS standard. They battle with Sony and their standard and ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kiyoshi Sasabe
CAST:  Toshiyuki Nishida  •  Ken Watanabe  •  Naoto Ogata  •  Ryoko Shinohara

Godzilla (2014)

EpicAction-packedClassic

Ford Brody, a Navy bomb expert, has just reunited with his family in San Francisco when he is forced to go to Japan to help his estranged father, Joe. Soon, both men are swept up in an escalating crisis when an ancient alpha predator arises from the sea to combat ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gareth Edwards
CAST:  Bryan Cranston  •  Elizabeth Olsen  •  CJ Adams  •  Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Ford Brody, a Navy bomb expert, has just reunited with his family in San Francisco when he is forced to go to Japan to help his estranged father, Joe. Soon, both men are swept up in an escalating crisis when an ancient alpha predator arises from the sea to combat ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gareth Edwards
CAST:  Bryan Cranston  •  Elizabeth Olsen  •  CJ Adams  •  Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Hayabusa: The Long Voyage Home (2012)

In May 2003, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (or JAXA) launched an unmanned spacecraft of their own development to retrieve samples from an asteroid. Seven long years later, Hayabusa achieved its goal and was the first of any kind of craft launched from ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tomoyuki Takimoto
CAST:  Ken Watanabe  •  Yosuke Eguchi  •  Yui Natsukawa  •  Yukiyoshi Ozawa

In May 2003, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (or JAXA) launched an unmanned spacecraft of their own development to retrieve samples from an asteroid. Seven long years later, Hayabusa achieved its goal and was the first of any kind of craft launched from ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tomoyuki Takimoto
CAST:  Ken Watanabe  •  Yosuke Eguchi  •  Yui Natsukawa  •  Yukiyoshi Ozawa

A School Behind Bars (2010)

"A School Behind Bars" centers around Asahi Junior High School, which is located within Nagano Matsumoto Boy's prison in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture - the only public school in Japan that is located inside a prison. The school's students are all prisoners ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Makoto Kiyohiro
CAST:  Joe Odagiri  •  Kei Suma  •  Seiji Chihara  •  Shota Sometani

"A School Behind Bars" centers around Asahi Junior High School, which is located within Nagano Matsumoto Boy's prison in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture - the only public school in Japan that is located inside a prison. The school's students are all prisoners ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Makoto Kiyohiro
CAST:  Joe Odagiri  •  Kei Suma  •  Seiji Chihara  •  Shota Sometani

T.R.Y. (2003)

At the turn of the 20th Century amongst tension between China and Japan, a Japanese swindler in Shanghai plans to profit by selling weapons. He steals arms from the Japanese military and sells them to the rich Chinese.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kazuki Ōmori
CAST:  Hitomi Kuroki  •  Ken Watanabe  •  Shao Bing  •  Yuji Oda

At the turn of the 20th Century amongst tension between China and Japan, a Japanese swindler in Shanghai plans to profit by selling weapons. He steals arms from the Japanese military and sells them to the rich Chinese.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kazuki Ōmori
CAST:  Hitomi Kuroki  •  Ken Watanabe  •  Shao Bing  •  Yuji Oda

Year One in the North (2005)

In 1868, after the fall of the Shogun-dominated Japan, the new government orders people from Awaji, near Kobe, to re-locate to the northern part of Hokkaido. These people once supported the now displaced Samurais of the older days. After two years, over 500 of them ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Isao Yukisada
CAST:  Ken Watanabe  •  Sayuri Yoshinaga  •  Etsushi Toyokawa  •  Toshirō Yanagiba

In 1868, after the fall of the Shogun-dominated Japan, the new government orders people from Awaji, near Kobe, to re-locate to the northern part of Hokkaido. These people once supported the now displaced Samurais of the older days. After two years, over 500 of them ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Isao Yukisada
CAST:  Ken Watanabe  •  Sayuri Yoshinaga  •  Etsushi Toyokawa  •  Toshirō Yanagiba

Bonds (1998)

Tetsuro Haga is a troubled gangster, living under the assumed identity Ise for ten years, to escape jail for gunning down his cruel adoptive father. His life begins to unravel when a journalist following him takes an interest in the wife of a boyhood chum, and the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kichitaro Negishi
CAST:  Koji Yakusho  •  Ken Watanabe  •  Yumi Asô  •  Yousuke Saito

Tetsuro Haga is a troubled gangster, living under the assumed identity Ise for ten years, to escape jail for gunning down his cruel adoptive father. His life begins to unravel when a journalist following him takes an interest in the wife of a boyhood chum, and the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kichitaro Negishi
CAST:  Koji Yakusho  •  Ken Watanabe  •  Yumi Asô  •  Yousuke Saito
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