4. 13 Assassins
Master filmmaker Takashi Miike returns to this list with the awe inspiring Samurai movie 13 Assassins. Miike is primarily known for his gratuitous horror films such as Ichi the Killer and here in 13 Assassins that horror hand can certainly be felt. This is a bloody film. There’s dismemberments galore. The big, messy showdown at the end of the movie is everything an action lover could want. Everything leading up to that though, is where this film shines. The smaller character moments, the bigger message of disobedience vs duty and honor give a greater significance to the violence at the very end of the film. We don’t get a series of big, bloody action set pieces, but rather Miike is restrained enough to save it all for the end. Of all the more recent Samurai films made, this is most definitely one of the best.
- A 2014 poll placed this film as 94th on the list of Top 100 action films
- A remake of the 1963 film Jûsan-nin no shikaku
- The final, perfectly choreographed battle runs a full 45 minutes