Movies Like The Boy and the Heron (2023) On Netflix Japan

Staff & contributors

Chasing the feel of watching The Boy and the Heron ? Here are the movies we recommend you watch right after.

The Boy and the Heron isn’t Hayao Miyazaki’s best film, nor is it his most accessible, seeing as the director himself has admitted to getting lost in the world he’s built here. But it is his most personal film to date (apparently he’s out of retirement!) and consequently, it’s one of the most complex Ghibli films to exist. It eschews structure for pure, raw emotion so instead of dialogue and plots, you get wonderfully abstract fantasy worlds and protagonists with near-imperceptible depths. You don’t have to get the story to understand the heaviness, grief, joy, and hope that Mahito, and in turn Miyazaki, feel. You only have to see the delicate turns in the characters’ expressions and their wildly imaginative adventures.

Borrowing heavily from yakuza films of the past, The Blood of Wolves feels like a movie plucked straight out of the 1970s and given a slick coat of 2010s neo-noir shine. The film never tries to reinvent the recipe it's working with, but it doesn't have to when its violence is still satisfyingly brutal, its plot endlessly twisty, and its morality grey. At the center is a brash and sleazy performance from the great Koji Yakusho, whom you can never really clock as being in control or out of his depth. It might only hold special value for hardcore fans of the genre, but it provides enough solid thrills for the more casual viewer.

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Actor: Abe Junko, Eiji Takigawa, Gorō Ibuki, Hajime Inoue, Issei Okihara, Joey Iwanaga, Junko Abe, Katsuya, Ken'ichi Yajima, Kenichi Takito, Kenichi Takitoh, Kōji Yakusho, Kyūsaku Shimada, Marie Machida, Megumi, Pierre Taki, Renji Ishibashi, Ryuji Sainei, Shidô Nakamura, Shun Nakayama, Takahiro Kuroishi, Takaki Uda, Takamitsu Nonaka, Taketo Tanaka, Takuma Otoo, Taro Suruga, Tomorowo Taguchi, Tomoya Nakamura, Tori Matsuzaka, Yôko Maki, Yosuke Eguchi, Yutaka Takenouchi

Director: Kazuya Shiraishi