Japanese Crime Movies

Monday, April 4 by Samantha Assad

Japanese crime movies are full of action, intrigue and are often riveting. Japanese cinema has produced a variety of crime films, spanning the decades, and while some are violent bloodbaths, others bring the dreading feeling crime inspires right into your living room.

  1. "Graveyard of Honor" (1975). Inspired by a true story, "Graveyard of Honor" has Rikio Ishikawa (Tetsuya Watari), a dishwasher, who saves the life of a local "godfather." Grateful, the godfather gives Rikio a position in his gang, and the former kitchen worker becomes a rising star in the organization, leaving a large trail of blood in his wake. Before long, he earns himself a five-year stay in prison but remains loyal the entire time, only to find himself without a friend when he is finally released. Angry and bitter, Rikio explodes, destroying everyone around him.
  2. "Rashomon" (1950). A woman (Machiko Kyo) is brutally raped and her husband (Masayuki Mori) viciously murdered, but what exactly happened? In "Rashomon," four differing accounts of the crimes are offered from four different witnesses: the rape victim, the dead husband (though a spirit medium), the rapist himself and a woodcutter who was nearby. All versions contradict, tainted by ego and fear, but only one is the truth.
  3. "Sonatine" (1993). Murakawa (Takeshi Kitano) is a Toyko "yakuza," gangster, is sick of his criminal life. Ordered by his boss to settle a dispute between his clan and an allied clain, Murakawa goes to Okinawa with some fellow clan members with a bad feeling his own boss is setting up him. After the minor dispute is handled, Murakawa and his men are attacked, and he and the survivors flee to a beach house where he finds joy for the first time in years. However, the feeling is fleeting, as trouble begins to erupt both inside and outside the beach house doors.
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