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What are the best Yakuza movies?

A
Dave - Binge.co Contributor

The Yakuza are members of a transnational organized crime syndicate that originated in Japan. The police and the media refer to them as boryokudan, meaning "violent groups". The yakuza though call themselves ninkyo dantai, which means "chivalrous organization". The yakuza are notorious for their strict codes of conduct and their organized feudalistic nature. This is on top of some unconventional rituals that they practice such as yubitsume. It's a ritual for atonement by way of cutting a part of one's little finger to show sincere apology and remorse. Members of the yakuza are quite distinguishable from the average person. They have heavily-tattooed bodies and slicked hair. Despite their appearance though, they're considered as one of the wealthiest and most sophisticated criminal organizations. The yakuza maintained a large presence and operated internationally during the height of its history. Its members reached more than 200,000 during the 60s.

That number has dropped drastically to about 39,000 based recent figures from the National Police Agency back in 2016. The Yakuza have been a part of media and culture in many different ways such as in films. It has even created its own niche genre in the Japanese film industry. Yakuza movies mainly fall under two archetypes in movies. They are portrayed as honorable and respectable men for one. Then, they are viewed as criminals who use fear and violence as their means of operation the other. Regardless of how they are portrayed, there is no denying that they are an enigmatic group of people and will always be a part of Japanese culture. If you want to see some of these yakuza movies, check out our list below where we list a few of the best ones.

8 comments
  1. 1Sonatine

    19

    Sonatine is a 1993 Japanese crime-action movie directed, written, and starring Takeshi Kitano. The Yakuza film also stars Aya Kokumai and Tetsu Watanabe. The film was released on April 10, 1998, in the United States.

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  1. 2Battles Without Honor and Humanity

    15

    Battles Without Honor and Humanity or The Yakuza Papers is a 1973 Japanese crime film directed by Kinji Fukasaku and written by Kazuo Kasahara. The movie stars Bunta Sugawara, Hiroki Matsukata, and Kunie Tanaka.

  2. 3Street Mobster

    12

    Street Mobster is a Japanese action film written and directed by Kinji Fukasaku. The Yakuza movie features Bunta Sugawara, Noboru Ando, and Mayumi Nagisa. The film was released in Japan on May 6, 1972.

  1. 4Cops vs Thugs

    7

    Cops vs Thugs is a 1975 Japanese action movie directed by Kinji Fukasaku and written by Kazuo Kasahara. The Yakuza film stars Bunta Sugawara, Tatsuo Umemiya, and Hiroki Matsukata.

  2. 5Outrage

    6

    Outrage is an international arthouse and drama film directed by Shundo Ohkawa. It was first released on December 2, 2011, by Magnolia studios with an MPAA rating of R. It starred Takeshi Kitano, Kippei Shiina, and Ryo Kase.

  3. 6Dead or Alive

    4

    Dead or Alive is a 1999 Japanese action movie directed by Takashi Miike and written by Ichiro Ryu. The Yakuza film stars Sho Aikawa, Riki Takeuchi, and Renji Ishibashi.

  4. 7Boiling Point

    4

    Boiling Point is a 1990 Japanese action-comedy movie directed, written, and starred by Takeshi Kitano. The Yakuza film also features Yurei Yanagi and Yuriko Ishida.

  5. 8Graveyard of Honor

    0

    Graveyard of Honor is a 2002 Japanese Yakuza movie directed by Takashi Miike and written by Shigenori Takechi. The thriller action film stars Narimi Arimori, Yoshiyuki Daichi, and Hirotaro Honda.

8 comments

  • #1
    A
    Anonymous
    June 13, 2018
    "Kitano's character here was on some next level madhouse insanity, I was fuming mad when I discovered why his character was forcefully removed from the yakuzas, following the story made me despise his role (I love the actor though so this movie is on my rewatch list)"
    Refering to:
    7
    Boiling Point
  • #2
    A
    Anonymous
    June 13, 2018
    "I'm a huge fan of Takeshi kitano's works and I can say that this is his most daring and tasteful project of all time. The story is insanely brilliant and his acting is spot on!"
    Refering to:
    1
    Sonatine
  • #3
    A
    Anonymous
    June 13, 2018
    "I love yakuza movies but this was WAY TOO GOREY for my taste however i enjoyed the fight scenes, especially the last scene, it sticks with me."
    Refering to:
    6
    Dead or Alive
  • #4
    A
    Anonymous
    June 13, 2018
    "Corruption at it's breaking point, this film made me reevaluate how we perceive gangsters and policemen in this society."
    Refering to:
    4
    Cops vs Thugs
  • #5
    A
    Anonymous
    June 13, 2018
    "this movie defines the yakuza genre of the present generation and it's such an interesting watch."
    Refering to:
    5
    Outrage
  • #6
    A
    Anonymous
    June 13, 2018
    "Okita (sugawara's character) is a strong protagonist to follow and this is one of my favorites!"
    Refering to:
    3
    Street Mobster
  • #7
    A
    Anonymous
    June 13, 2018
    "THE BEST YAKUZA FILM I'VE EVER SEEN. I RECOMMEND IT TO ANYONE WHO WANTS A GOOD TIME."
    Refering to:
    2
    Battles Without Honor and Humanity
  • #8
    A
    Anonymous
    June 13, 2018
    "MAN THIS WAS TRIPPY IT REALLY HIT ME HARD. THE VIOLENCE AND STORY PULLED ME IN."
    Refering to:
    8
    Graveyard of Honor
This list is about What are the best Yakuza movies
RankAnswersTypeVotesPrice
1SonatineMovies 19 Paid
2Battles Without Honor and HumanityMovies 15 Paid
3Street MobsterMovies 12 Paid
4Cops vs ThugsMovies 7 Paid
5OutrageMovies 6 Paid
6Dead or AliveMovies 4 Paid
7Boiling PointMovies 4 Paid
8Graveyard of HonorMovies 0 Paid
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