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Surprise! Godzilla Minus One Is Officially Streaming on Netflix

After months of false starts, Godzilla Minus One has finally found a streaming home.

Godzilla chases a tugboat in Godzilla: Minus One
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It’s been six months since Godzilla Minus One emerged — seemingly out of nowhere — to become one of the best films of 2023. Toho took a big risk in rebooting its 70-year-old franchise, and the monster that’s always been at the center of the action. Since the very first Godzilla in 1954, the eponymous kaiju has slowly but surely become a character to root for: a hilarious meme, an unlikely athlete, and even a protector of the innocent. But Minus One reminded us all why Godzilla was originally a tool of horror, and delivered a fantastically heartfelt disaster movie in the process.

Minus One’s theatrical run was impressive, but ultimately brief. Though its glowing word-of-mouth helped extend the film’s time in theaters, and eventually bolstered its visibility during awards season, Minus One hasn’t gotten much exposure since. Even after securing the franchise’s first Academy Award in March, there was no word on when Minus One would be available on home video... at least in the United States. But after months of false starts and speculation, Godzilla Minus One is finally, officially available to stream.

Minus One cleverly gives Godzilla the Jaws treatment, scaling back screentime with the kaiju to focus on the characters that will ultimately be fighting for their survival. Like the original Godzilla of 1954, Minus One takes place in the aftermath of World War II. Japan is left reeling from the two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and as its citizens rebuild, a handful are beginning to question their role in their nation’s most infamous traditions.

Koichi Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki) is just one citizen torn between duty and self-preservation. A kamikaze pilot that flees the front lines — and later barely survives an encounter with Godzilla — Shikishima is no stranger to shame. He keeps his head down after the war, forging a surprising connection with another survivor (Minami Hamabe) and her adopted infant daughter. Minus One deftly traces the beginning of this found family, allowing their bond to grow stronger and ultimately become the heart of the film.

When Godzilla resurfaces years later, threatening the new life that Shikishima worked so hard to claim, our hero is forced to finally take a stand. This time, though, he finally knows what he’s fighting for — and with the help of a few like-minded war veterans, Shikishima will end up defeating a few generational habits along with Godzilla himself.

Ryunosuke Kamiki is just one of many characters bolstering Minus One’s human element.


A lot of ink has been spilled about the “human element” in monster movies. While Toho’s U.S.-based contemporaries in the MonsterVerse are still working to make their human cast members feel relevant and necessary, Godzilla Minus One effortlessly builds out a group of characters that you want to root for. The film has more soul and heart than any kaiju flick that’s dropped in the last decade; it doesn’t hurt that Godzilla himself is also scarier than he’s been in years.

Fittingly, Godzilla Minus One’s streaming debut came out of nowhere. The film dropped on Netflix on June 1 with little warning, but it quickly took the streamer by storm, becoming its most-streamed title in just a few days. Its popularity on Netflix shouldn’t come as a surprise: audiences have been clamoring to watch Minus One however possible, with or without the support of an official channel. It’s become the most pirated film of the year for this reason — but with the project now streaming on Netflix, fans and novices finally get the chance to enjoy the film and support the filmmakers in one fell swoop.

Godzilla Minus One is now streaming on Netflix.

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