2005 / 107m - Japan
Action, Fantasy
Shinobi poster


February 23, 2006


February 25, 2022


Films about ninjas/shinobi are tough to do well for some reason, but Shimoyama's 2005 attempt was one of the few that managed to avoid many of the common pitfalls. A good 15 years later, I'm not quite as positive as I was the first time I watched the film, but it's still one of the better in its niche.

The Koga and Iga clan live isolated from the rest of the world. They are fearsome shinobi and the shogun dreads their existence, so he sets them up to fight each other. The two leading shinobi are secretly dating each other, so when they learn they have to lead a team to annihilate the other clan, their conscience is troubled.

The different shinobi skills are pretty cool and the action scenes are plenty of fun, the melodrama that runs underneath the film is less captivating. Some less than adequate CG also aged the film considerably, but the performances are solid and the action on point. It's a good film, just not quite as great anymore.