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The Best Ken Watanabe Movies

Updated August 12, 2019 378 votes 72 voters 7.6k views20 items

List RulesVote for your favorite movies, regardless of critic reviews or how big the role was.

List of the best Ken Watanabe movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. Ken Watanabe's highest grossing movies have received a lot of accolades over the years, earning millions upon millions around the world. The order of these top Ken Watanabe movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Ken Watanabe movies will be at the top of the list. Ken Watanabe has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest Ken Watanabe movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining Ken Watanabe films to end the squabble once and for all.

If you think the best Ken Watanabe role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. The greatest Ken Watanabe performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand.

Items on this list include Hei no naka no chûgakkô and Bruce's Fist of Vengeance.

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best Ken Watanabe movies?" and "What are the greatest Ken Watanabe roles of all time?"

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  • 1
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    Memoirs of a Geisha

    Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh

    Released2005

    Directed byRob Marshall

    Memoirs of a Geisha is a 2005 American epic film adaptation of the novel of the same name, produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and Spyglass Entertainment and by Douglas Wick's Red...  more

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  • 2
    49
    15

    Letters from Iwo Jima

    Ken Watanabe, Ryan Kelley

    Released2006

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    Letters from Iwo Jima is a 2006 Japanese-American film directed and co-produced by Clint Eastwood, starring Ken Watanabe and Kazunari Ninomiya. The film portrays the Battle of Iwo Jima from the...  more

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    #350 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#25 of 55 The Best Memorial Day Movies

  • 3
    33
    4

    The Last Samurai

    Tom Cruise, Billy Connolly

    Released2003

    Directed byEdward Zwick

    The Last Samurai is a 2003 American epic film directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick, who also co-wrote the screenplay with John Logan. The film stars Tom Cruise, who also co-produced, as well as...  more

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    #84 of 376 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#420 of 1,506 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 4
    9
    7

    Shanghai

    John Cusack, Gong Li

    Released2010

    Directed byMikael Håfström

    Shanghai is a 2010 American mystery/thriller neo-noir film directed by Mikael Håfström, starring John Cusack and Gong Li. The film was released in China on June 17, 2010. It has never been released...  more
  • 5
    13
    12

    Batman Begins

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    Released2005

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    Batman Begins is a 2005 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character. After training with his mentor (Liam Neeson), Batman (Christian Bale) begins his fight to free ...  more

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  • 6
    9
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    Dandelion

    Ken Watanabe, Kōji Yakusho

    Released1985

    Directed byJuzo Itami

    Dandelion (aka Tampopo) is a 1985 Japanese comedy film by director Juzo Itami, starring Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto, Kōji Yakusho, and Ken Watanabe. The publicity for the film calls it the...  more
  • 7
    16
    19

    Inception

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy

    Released2010

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    Inception is a 2010 science fiction thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Elliot Page, Joseph...  more

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  • 8
    13
    15

    Released2009

    Directed byPaul Weitz

    Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant is a 2009 American film adaptation of the Vampire Blood trilogy of the book series The Saga of Darren Shan by author Darren Shan....  more

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  • 9
    3
    4

    Memories of Tomorrow

    Ken Watanabe, Asami Mizukawa

    Released2006

    Directed byYukihiko Tsutsumi

    Ashita no Kioku/Memories of Tomorrow is a 2006 Japanese drama film starring Ken Watanabe, Higuchi Kanako and directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi. The film is based on a novel of the same title published by...  more
  • 10
    4
    5

    Chūshingura 1/47

    Ken Watanabe, Takako Matsu

    Released2001

    Directed byShunsaku Kawake

    Chushingura 1/47 is a 2001 Japanese historical movie based on the kabuki tale of the Forty-seven Ronin. The film was made for the Fuji TV Network and was directed by Shunsaku Kawamo. The story tells...  more
  • 11
    3
    7

    The Unbroken

    Nao Matsushita, Ken Watanabe

    Released2009

    Directed bySetsurō Wakamatsu

    Shizumanu Taiyō is a 2009 Japanese film directed by Setsurō Wakamatsu. It is also known as The Unbroken in the United States. Shizumanu Taiyō is based on a novel by Toyoko Yamasaki which centers on...  more
  • 12
    2
    7

    The Sea and Poison

    Ken Watanabe, Eiji Okuda

    Released1986

    Directed byKei Kumai

    The Sea and Poison is a 1986 Japanese film directed by Kei Kumai and based on a novel by Shusaku Endo. It tells the true story of downed American fliers in WW II are vivisected by Japanese surgeons...  more
  • 13
    3
    7

    Kizuna

    Ken Watanabe, Houka Kinoshita

    Released1998

    Directed byKichitaro Negishi

    Kizuna is a film directed by Kichitaro Negishi....
  • 14
    1
    7

    Year One in the North

    Ken Watanabe, Sayuri Yoshinaga

    Released2005

    Directed byIsao Yukisada

    Year One in the North is a film directed by Isao Yukisada....
  • 15
    0
    7

    Bruce's Fist of Vengeance

    Ken Watanabe, Bruce Le

    Released1984

    Directed byBill James

    Bruce's Fist of Vengeance is a 1984 Bruceploitation martial arts movie from the Philippines starring notorious Bruce Lee imitator Bruce Le....  more
  • 16
    0
    7

    Hei no naka no chûgakkô

    Ken Watanabe, Hideji Otaki

    Released2010

    Directed byMakoto Kiyohiro

    Hei no naka no chûgakkô is a 2010 Drama film written by Makiko Uchidate and directed by Makoto Kiyohiro....
  • 17
    0
    7

    Hayabusa: Harukanaru kikan

    Ken Watanabe, Renji Ishibashi

    Released2012

    Directed byTomoyuki Takimoto

    Shouwakusei tansaki hayabusa: Harukanaru kikan is a 2012 Drama film written by Takuya Nishioka and directed by Tomoyuki Takimoto....  more
  • 18
    4
    9

    MacArthur's Children

    Ken Watanabe, Masako Natsume

    Released1984

    Directed byMasahiro Shinoda

    MacArthur's Children is a 1984 Japanese film. Describing the impact of the United States' occupation of Japan from the perspective of the inhabitants of a small, rural island community, the film...  more
  • 19
    4
    9

    Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald

    Ken Watanabe, Kyōka Suzuki

    Released1997

    Directed byKōki Mitani

    Welcome Back, Mr.McDonald is a 1997 Japanese film directed by Kōki Mitani. It was popular in Japan upon its release and won 3 Japanese Academy Awards for Best Screenplay, Best Sound, and Best...  more
  • 20
    0
    7

    Tômawari no ame

    Ken Watanabe, Yui Natsukawa

    Released2010

    Tômawari no ame is a 2010 Comedy Drama film written by Taichi Yamada....