Samurai movies, katana in hands, and lots of blood

by svetadomain | created - 04 May 2012 | updated - 04 May 2012 | Public
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1. The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (2003)

R | 116 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

75 Metascore

The blind masseur/swordsman comes to a town in control of warring gangs, and while bunking with a farming family, he meets two women with their own agenda.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Tadanobu Asano, Yui Natsukawa, Michiyo Yasuda

Votes: 44,062 | Gross: $0.85M

2. Jûsan-nin no shikaku (2010)

R | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

84 Metascore

A group of assassins come together for a suicide mission to kill an evil lord.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yûsuke Iseya, Ikki Sawamura

Votes: 56,955 | Gross: $0.80M

3. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama

98 Metascore

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki

Votes: 271,575 | Gross: $0.27M

4. Sengoku jieitai (1979)

85 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

A squadron of Japanese Self-Defense Force soldiers find themselves transported through time to their country's warring states era, when rival samurai clans were battling to become the ... See full summary »

Director: Kôsei Saitô | Stars: Shin'ichi Chiba, Jun Etô, Moeko Ezawa, Ryô Hayami

Votes: 780

5. Tasogare Seibei (2002)

129 min | Drama, History

82 Metascore

As the feudal Japan era draws to a close, a widower samurai experiences difficulty balancing 2 young daughters, an aged mother, clan loyalties, and the sudden reappearance of his childhood sweetheart.

Director: Yôji Yamada | Stars: Hiroyuki Sanada, Rie Miyazawa, Nenji Kobayashi, Ren Osugi

Votes: 20,056

6. Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)

R | 116 min | Action, Crime, Drama

67 Metascore

An African-American Mafia hit man who models himself after the samurai of old finds himself targeted for death by the mob.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Forest Whitaker, Henry Silva, John Tormey, Cliff Gorman

Votes: 77,745 | Gross: $3.31M

7. Kakushi ken oni no tsume (2004)

R | 132 min | Action, Drama, History

76 Metascore

A 19th Century samurai, held in low esteem due to an action by his late father, must resolve his history with a maid and with his close friend.

Director: Yôji Yamada | Stars: Masatoshi Nagase, Takako Matsu, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Yukiyoshi Ozawa

Votes: 5,365 | Gross: $0.04M

8. Harakiri (1962)

Not Rated | 133 min | Action, Drama, History

An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita, Tetsurô Tanba

Votes: 23,172

9. Yojimbo (1961)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôko Tsukasa

Votes: 92,244

10. The Hidden Fortress (1958)

Not Rated | 126 min | Adventure, Drama

Lured by gold, two greedy peasants escort a man and woman across enemy lines. However, they do not realize that their companions are actually a princess and her general.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Misa Uehara, Minoru Chiaki, Kamatari Fujiwara

Votes: 28,524

11. Kagemusha (1980)

PG | 162 min | Drama, History, War

A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ken'ichi Hagiwara, Jinpachi Nezu

Votes: 27,635

12. Ran (1985)

R | 162 min | Action, Drama

96 Metascore

In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû

Votes: 95,391 | Gross: $3.52M

13. Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (1972)

Not Rated | 83 min | Action, Adventure

The story of a Ronin (i.e. a masterless samurai) who wanders the countryside of Japan with his small child, having various adventures.

Director: Kenji Misumi | Stars: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Fumio Watanabe, Gô Katô, Tomoko Mayama

Votes: 5,677

14. Samurai Assassin (1965)

122 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

February 17 to March 3, 1860, inside Edo castle. A group of assassins wait by Sakurada Gate to kill the lord of the House of Ii, a powerful man in the Tokugawa government, which has ruled ... See full summary »

Director: Kihachi Okamoto | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Keiju Kobayashi, Michiyo Aratama, Yûnosuke Itô

Votes: 1,690

15. Throne of Blood (1957)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama

A war-hardened general, egged on by his ambitious wife, works to fulfill a prophecy that he would become lord of Spider's Web Castle.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Minoru Chiaki, Isuzu Yamada, Takashi Shimura

Votes: 38,269

16. Samurai Rebellion (1967)

Not Rated | 128 min | Drama

The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Tsukasa, Gô Katô, Tatsuyoshi Ehara

Votes: 8,772

17. Chûshingura (1962)

207 min | Action, Drama, History

After their lord is tricked into committing ritual suicide, forty-seven samurai warriors await the chance to avenge their master and reclaim their honor.

Director: Hiroshi Inagaki | Stars: Yûzô Kayama, Chûsha Ichikawa, Tatsuya Mihashi, Akira Takarada

Votes: 1,725

18. Goyôkin (1969)

PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A guilt-haunted samurai warrior attempts to stop a massacre taking place.

Director: Hideo Gosha | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Tetsurô Tanba, Yôko Tsukasa, Ruriko Asaoka

Votes: 1,750

19. Sanjuro (1962)

Not Rated | 96 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi, Yûnosuke Itô

Votes: 25,000

20. Kill! (1968)

Not Rated | 115 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

Two ronin - an ex-samurai and an ex-farmer - get caught up in a local official's complex game of murder and betrayal.

Director: Kihachi Okamoto | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Etsushi Takahashi, Yuriko Hoshi, Tadao Nakamaru

Votes: 2,191

21. Sword of the Beast (1965)

Not Rated | 85 min | Action, Drama

After killing a counselor of his clan, a fugitive samurai befriends a couple poaching the shogun's gold in the mountains.

Director: Hideo Gosha | Stars: Mikijirô Hira, Gô Katô, Shima Iwashita, Toshie Kimura

Votes: 2,127

22. Ame agaru (1999)

91 min | Drama

During a downpour, a generous ronin and his supporting wife are stranded at a country inn. The ronin comes to the attention of a lord who wants to hire him as an instructor for his men, who treat the ronin with disrespect.

Director: Takashi Koizumi | Stars: Akira Terao, Yoshiko Miyazaki, Shirô Mifune, Fumi Dan

Votes: 3,400

23. Bushi no ichibun (2006)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, Romance

A look at the relationship between a young blind samurai (Kimura) and his wife, who will make a sacrifice in order to defend her husband's honor.

Director: Yôji Yamada | Stars: Takuya Kimura, Rei Dan, Mitsugorô Bandô, Takashi Sasano

Votes: 2,883 | Gross: $0.02M

24. Sword of the Stranger (2007)

Not Rated | 103 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

A swordsman from a strange land is caught in a struggle between morality, righteousness, and devotion as he reluctantly agrees to take a raggedy boy and his dog to a remote, Buddhist temple.

Director: Masahiro Andô | Stars: Tomoya Nagase, Yuri Chinen, Kôichi Yamadera, Akio Ôtsuka

Votes: 12,472

26. Shogun Assassin (1980)

R | 85 min | Action, Adventure

When the wife of the Shogun's Decapitator is murdered and he is ordered to commit suicide by the paranoid Shogun, he and his four-year-old son escape and become assassins for hire, embarking on a journey of blood and violent death.

Directors: Robert Houston, Kenji Misumi | Stars: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Kayo Matsuo, Minoru Ôki, Shôgen Nitta

Votes: 8,677

27. Zatôichi: The Last (2010)

Action, Drama

A blind master swordsman attempts to lead a quiet life with his wife but he is provoked back into battle.

Director: Junji Sakamoto | Stars: Shingo Katori, Takashi Sorimachi, Satomi Ishihara, Chieko Baishô

Votes: 319

28. Ichimei (2011)

Not Rated | 128 min | Drama

76 Metascore

An tale of revenge, honor and disgrace, centering on a poverty-stricken samurai who discovers the fate of his ronin son-in-law, setting in motion a tense showdown of vengeance against the house of a feudal lord.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Munetaka Aoki, Naoto Takenaka, Hikari Mitsushima

Votes: 6,389 | Gross: $0.06M

29. Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island (1956)

Not Rated | 105 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

Musashi Miyamoto is challenged to a duel by a confident swordsman Sasaki Kojiro. He agrees to fight him in a year's time.

Director: Hiroshi Inagaki | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Mariko Okada, Kôji Tsuruta, Kaoru Yachigusa

Votes: 4,749

30. Rashômon (1950)

Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband are recalled from the perspectives of a bandit, the bride, the samurai's ghost and a woodcutter.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura

Votes: 127,422 | Gross: $0.10M



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