Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this war drama deals with a very serious subject: the defeat of soldiers who know they'll die and that their cause is lost. Thanks to that and the fact that it's deliberately paced and spoken entirely in Japanese (with English subtitles), it will likely appeal only to older teens. The explosive action scenes include brutal battles with shootings, stabbings, and the use of flamethrowers -- resulting in dismemberment, beheading, burning, bloody injuries, and general chaos. Some wounded soldiers appear in distress, and U.S. Marines take and abuse prisoners. A dog is shot off screen (kids can be heard crying), and a beloved horse is killed in an explosion. A character dies of dysentery (off screen, though he's sick for some time). A couple of soldiers write letters home that reveal their awareness of their imminent bad ends. Characters smoke cigarettes, and officers drink in flashbacks.
Flashback discussion of Hanako's pregnancy (Saigo leans into her belly and speaks to their child).
Frequent conversation about death and suicide; captain beats his men to make them work harder; battle images are rough, with explosions and bodies flying, as well as close-range stabbings and shootings; Japanese soldiers kill themselves by holding grenades to their chests (explicit effects); a horse is found dead following a bombing raid; blood effects are jarringly red, as most other imagery is in washed-out greys and blues.
One use of "s--t," in subtitles.
The soliders are mostly noble, though they're confronted by impossible orders, expected to commit suicide rather than surrender (with an eye to future honor); some soldiers (including Americans) are plainly overzealous and weary, killing out of frustration.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Cigarette smoking; occasional, formal drinking by officers.