films seen
average score
Japan - 77 years old
Alive and kicking
more info

One of Japan's most (in)famous and essential directors, known for his comedy-fueled crime cinema, quirky sense of humor and dry delivery. Besides directing, he's also an avid actor, writer and editor, a true renaissance man in other words.



2002 / 114m - Japan
Drama, Romance
Dolls poster

Dolls is a tragedy wrapped up in a very stylish and atmospheric cocoon, allowing the audience to be swamped by its sadness, but without ever letting go off the beauty that surrounds it.


Kikujiro no Natsu
1999 / 121m - Japan
Comedy, Drama
Kikujiro poster

Kitano's humor is simple, somewhat childish and often improvised, but thanks to the typical editing and his superb comical body language it works wonders.


1997 / 103m - Japan
Drama, Crime
Fireworks poster

The perfect showcase for Kitano's versatility. It's funny, poetic, violent and leaves you with a perfect dramatic punch in the gut that lingers long beyond the end credits.


1993 / 94m - Japan
Comedy, Crime
Sonatine poster

The blend of sudden violence with quirky fun forms an explosive cocktail that's not only great to watch, but helps to get a feel for what would otherwise be lifeless characters.


2005 / 108m - Japan
Takeshis' poster

It's a feast of recognition, a wonderful comedy and a completely unique film that could've been made by only one man in this entire world. Takeshis' is Takeshi Kitano.


2010 / 109m - Japan
Outrage poster

The first hour or so provides a solid setup, introducing all characters and factions related to the Yakuza gang, while the final 30 minutes are the icing on the cake.


2000 / 114m - USA
Brother poster

Brother is not an American Kitano film, it's a Kitano film set in America. If you liked Sonatine, Hana-bi, and Boiling Point then you really can't go wrong with this one.

Glory to the Filmmaker

Kantoku: Banzai!
2007 / 108m - Japan
Glory to the Filmmaker poster

Glory to the Filmmaker is one big happy mess of filmmaking, referencing many other directors, resembling many more, but defying them all by making something totally unique and totally Kitano.

Achilles and the Tortoise

Akiresu to Kame
2008 / 119m - Japan
Achilles and the Tortoise poster

A must for Kitano fans and probably art fans alike (as all paintings were made by Kitano himself and are apparently based on existing paintings).

Getting Any?

1995 / 108m - Japan
Getting Any? poster

The only genuine comedy feature Kitano ever directed. While comedy it a big part of his oeuvre, it tends to come second in his films. Expect plenty of dry, absurd and crazy comedy sketches, held together by a slim storyline. It's funny though and that's what really matters. Not Kitano's best, but thoroughly entertaining.

Outrage: Beyond

Autoreiji: Biyondo
2012 / 110m - Japan
Outrage: Beyond poster

Outrage: Beyond falls just a little short of its predecessor. Because of the fact that it feels like the middle section of a full-blown trilogy the ending isn't as convincing as it could've been.

Kids Return

Kizzu Ritân
1996 / 107m - Japan
Crime, Sport
Kids Return poster

One of Kitano's more basic dramas, even then he finds ample ways to let it shine. Certainly not his most dashing or distinctive film, but the characters are all lovely, performances are strong, the atmosphere is pleasantly meandering and Hisaishi's soundtrack is once again a big asset. I've seen this film a couple of times now and it has never disappointed me. Quality film making.


2003 / 116m - Japan
Comedy, Action
Zatôichi poster

Never watched a classic Zatoichi, even then it's obvious Kitano made this character and this franchise his own. Some very typical comical elements, a superb soundtrack, short bursts of stylized violence and Kitano taking up the lead. It's everything you'd expect from a Kitano film, only set in world of samurais and blind masseurs.

A more than respectable finish to Kitano's Outrage trilogy. It's like watching chess, only without knowing which pieces are controlled by what player. Slick, harsh and with a wry sense of humor, Kitano remains the master of the Yakuza film.

A Scene at the Sea

Ano Natsu, Ichiban Shizukana Umi
1991 / 101m - Japan
Comedy, Drama, Sport
A Scene at the Sea poster

A beautiful little drama. Kitano's style is already in full effect here. The quirky yet loveable characters, the stark cinematography, the dry comedy, Hisaishi's perfectly complimentary score that gives the film its heart. It may not be able to compete with Kitano's best work, but it's so pleasant that the unexpected ending floored me again.

Boiling Point

3-4x Jûgatsu
1990 / 96m - Japan
Comedy, Crime
Boiling Point poster

Violent Cop

Sono Otoko, Kyôbô ni Tsuki
1989 / 103m - Japan
Thriller, Crime
Violent Cop poster


2023 / 131m - Japan
Neck poster

Kitano's historic war epic is a bit too straight-faced for my liking. It's a quality film, but there isn't as much Kitano in here as I'd hoped. If you like Kurosawa's samurai films then this may be up your alley, as it seems to go for a similar balance of action and intrigue, with a dash of sly comedy on the side.

Read all

Oda Nobunaga is a fearless warlord, but he's made many enemies throughout the years and he feels that his luck may be running out. Rather than offer his reign to his dim-witted sons, he tells his direct subordinates that whoever serves him best will inherit his land. This upsets the power balance.

The cast is top-notch, it's fun to see Kitano on screen again and with Asano, Nishijima, and Kase circling him there's no lack of talent. The comedy bits are a little limited though and the story isn't all that interesting. Hisaishi is being missed too and there's no real need to go beyond the 2-hour mark. It's not a bad film, just not a very memorable one.

Ryuzo and His Seven Henchmen

Ryûzô to 7 Nin no Kobun Tachi
2015 / 125m - Japan
Comedy, Action
Ryuzo and His Seven Henchmen poster