What are the Best Samurai Movies?

  • If you are like me and are still a 10-year-old at heart, you probably love yourself some good sword-fighting swashbuckling adventures. And Japanese cinema has some incredible movies that will scratch that particular itch. Here are a few!


    Starting with the most famous, The Seven Samurai. This is one of the most famous, and most important works of Japanese cinema. Masterfully directed by the incredible Akira Kurosawa, The Seven Samurai may not be the most action packed on this list, but the action is paced and shot so masterfully it still holds up today.

    Yojimbo. Another Kurosawa classic, Yojimbo is, in my opinion, the greatest action film ever made. The main character is so iconic, that once you finish the movie you’ll realize he has influenced nearly every action movie anti-hero since.

    Zatoichi. This is a long running series of films about a simple blind masseur, who is secretly a deadly master swordsman.

    Lone Wolf and Cub. The story of a ronin, alone masterless samurai, who travels with his young son and their various adventures.

    Modern Movies

    In the last few years, we have seen a resurgence of samurai movies.

    13 Assassins. An intense, bloody tale of 13 Samurai recruited to kill a corrupt official. Directed by Takashi Miike, the last 20 minutes are a protracted fight scene that pays homage to the classic chanbara movies.

    The Rurouni Kenshin Trilogy. A trilogy of movies based on the world-famous comic and anime series of the same name. The fight scenes are super fast paced, well shot, and fun.

    Check Them Out

    Get yourself over to a nearby DVD rental place, iTunes, or other streaming services to find most of these.