Close Netflix: 5 Samurai Movies You Should Watch Before You Die

In this list you will discover some of the most impressive samurai movies that have ever existed.

Samurai films are a rarity— it is more common to come across anime or video games. However, the impact it has had on Western culture is undeniable.

So much so that the famous “western” genre is actually an adaptation of the samurai genre. The idea of tense duels. The mysterious outlaws. It’s all there in samurai cinema.

If you’re looking for films about samurai, either to spend the weekend or just to watch tonight, you’re in the right place.

 

Samurai practicing with sword

5 – Blade of the Immortal

Blade of the Immortal is the adaptation of Hiroaki Samura’s famous manga. It tells the story of a samurai who has received a curse that makes him immortal. In order to end the curse and regain his mortality, he must kill 1000 evil men.

As you can expect from the premise, this is a dizzying film full of action and bloody duels with Japanese swords. The scenery seems to be taken from a Japanese work of art, and both the editing and the performances are spot on.

Definitely a great option to spend a night of popcorn and jaw-dropping sword fights.

 

4 – Killing (2018)

Killing is a different movie. It has its almost obligatory dose of artistic violence, as you would expect from any samurai film. However, the focus of the film is not so much on the fighting itself, but on the consequences of fighting.

Directed by acclaimed director Shinya Tsukamoto, Killing tells the story of a young aspirant who is accepted as an apprentice by a veteran samurai. However, things take a violent turn when thugs threaten the family with which the young Tsuzuki lived.

It’s a film without any big displays. No large armies or exotic locations. It’s an invitation to reflect on the consequences of the act of taking a life and how people deal with it.

 

3 – 13 Assassins

Only watch this movie if you’re ready to enjoy incredible action scenes in the purest samurai style.

In 13 Assassins, Takashi Miike tells the story of a group of samurai who come together with the goal of eliminating a cruel warlord who harms his own people. Shimada will be in charge of leading his samurai through waves of ruthless bodyguards to reach Naritsugu, the warlord.

It’s a blood-soaked movie full of shocking scenes that will take your breath away. It begins by slowly building up tension, accumulating different characters and plots. Then it explodes into one of the best battle sequences we’ve seen in the history of samurai films.

 

2 – Yojimbo & Sanjuro

Well, we’re doing a little cheating on this position. These are two movies. However, we feel that if you watch the first one then you should also watch the second one.

The films are about the story of a ronin. In the first one, he is involved in a war between two samurai clans. In the second, his opponent will be the corruption of a ruthless superintendent.

Both films tell original stories, full of charismatic characters with whom it is impossible not to fall in love. And both are directed by the same director, Akira Kurosawa— considered the best Japanese filmmaker.

If you are a lover of the samurai genre, you can’t miss these two films.

 

1 – Seven Samurai

Understood as the most important samurai film, Seven Samurai has marked a before and after in the cinema.

The title may remind you of The Magnificent Seven. That’s because the famous western is a direct adaptation of Seven Samurai. Both tell the story of a group of outlaws who decide to take the law into their own hands and defend a village of innocent farmers.

The main difference is that Seven Samurai is a film like no other. Not only does it present scenes of non-stop action, but it also explores the social conflicts of feudal Japan and what it really means to be a samurai.

Considered by many to be the most important film in samurai cinema, Seven Samurai is a film that we can’t help but return to year after year.

 

Bonus Short Film: Oni

We love samurai cinema. That’s why we decided to make our own short film.

Oni tells the story of a modern samurai who asks himself a simple question: What is the meaning behind the legends of the Oni?

His research will lead him to rediscover what the famous Japanese demons mean, and to reveal the truth behind the stories.

Featuring Hollywood-level stars such as Toru Uchikado (Castlevania Series) and Masashi Odate (The Last Samurai), Oni is a short film that features mystery, demons, and an exciting final sword duel.

You can watch Oni right now by clicking here.