Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)

2015 #3
Jim Jarmusch | 111 mins | TV | 16:9 | France, Germany, USA & Japan / English & French | 15 / R

Ghost Dog: The Way of the SamuraiWhen it comes to hitman movies, I’d’ve said there’s Léon and then there’s everything else. Now, I’d happily slot Ghost Dog in that gap.

This idiosyncratic drama-thriller sees reclusive samurai-inspired mob assassin Forest Whitaker hunted by his employers after a hit goes wrong (through no fault of his own). A sometimes funny, sometimes contemplative, sometimes innovatively violent movie, there are parallels with Léon, especially when Whitaker befriends a young girl, but it remains its own beast.

A somewhat meditative pace will kill enjoyment for some, but, for me, it’s perfectly balanced on the line between indie drama and crime actioner.

5 out of 5

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai placed 17th on my list of The 20 Best Films I Saw For the First Time in 2015, which can be read in full here.

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