Top Ten Samurai Films

thelast samurai

6. The Last Samurai

There have been very few western Samurai films made and I believe The Last Samurai is one of the best. With the obvious star power Tom Cruise brings to the table and the stoic strength of Ken Watanabe (in his English language debut no less) this film is a natural winner. Brilliantly directed by Edward Zwick with a dynamic score by Hans Zimmer, The Last Samurai paints a picture of the last days of the Samurai class. While many feel this film romanticizes and glosses over the deeper issues of the caste system in feudal Japan and those rebelling against its dissolution, I feel like in an epic film such as this it’s OK to simplify things for the sake of presenting a way of life that can’t be seen anymore. Its a perfect film for those lovers of historical epics and should not be missed.

Fun Facts:

  • Tom Cruise took Japanese lessons and sword play instruction for two years to prepare for this film
  • Was a greater box office success in Japan than in the US
  • Was based on the real life story of samurai Saigo Takamori
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  • steve hubbell

    Top 10 Samurai films (sort of) listed by release date rather than arbitrary ranking

    1. Seven Samurai (Kurosawa 1954)
    2. Yojimbo (Kurosawa 1962) / Sanjuro (Kurosawa 1963)
    3. Hara Kiri (Kobayashi 1962)
    4. Three Outlaw Samurai (Gosha 1963)
    5. Revenge (Imai 1964)
    6. Sword of the Beast (Gosha 1965)
    7. The Sword of Doom (Okamoto 1966)
    8. Samurai Rebellion (Kobayashi 1967)
    9. Kill! (Okamoto 1968)
    10. Goyokin (Gosha 1969)

    Honorable Mentions….

    11. Thirteen Assassins (Kudo 1963)
    12. The Great Killing (Kudo 1964)
    13. Eleven Samurai (Kudo 1966)
    14. Incident at Blood Pass (Inagaki 1970)

    No remakes, no Hollywood imitations, no animation, just the cream of the crop of samurai films available in the US on officially released DVDs with English subtitles.

    • Going old school I see. Nice list!

    • Niels Koomans


  • Good Man

    Is this list a joke?