10 Greatest Samurai Films Of The 21st Century

The modern samurai tales viewers should hunt down.

13 Assassins 2010

There's a perpetual, near mythical fascination in Japanese Samurai. For hundreds of years, these clans of warriors were a commanding presence in Japan, not to mention a representation of peak prowess in combat.

Swordplay, archery, horseback riders and martial arts all combined to make these fighters some of the most feared and respected of their time. At first, their reputation was spoken about and immortalised in written records. From the 20th Century onwards, the various clans began to make their way into other media over time, their mark on history continuing to resonate.

While their golden age may have long passed, their legacy looms large and in the film industry, countless directors have brought their exploits to the big screen. Akira Kurosawa was the first to pioneer the samurai production while also bringing many innovations to film production. Since then, many a filmmaker has worked to bring the warriors to life.

With the recent release of Ghost of Tsushima, many have been talking about the sub-genre again. If you're looking for great modern films to scratch that Japanese , this list has got you covered.

10. 13 Assassins

13 Assassins 2010

As a remake of the 1963 production of the same name, the 2010 version of 13 Assassins is a solid modern update with high respect for the original film. When making the film, director Takashi Miike took special care to avoid bogging the film down in additional material and worked to replicate its initial success.

In the twilight years of the Tokugawa Shongunate, the titular Samurai assassins are hired to stand against Matsudaira Naritsugu of the Akashi Domain, whose status as the half-brother of the Shogun allows him to commit brutal crimes.

With its political intrigue established, 13 Assassins makes its focus clear, showing the build-up and planning towards its ultimate confrontation. While initially the group is capped at eleven, they are soon joined by two other warriors who lend their own skills. What's most impressive about the modern film is how it covers a wide spectrum of combat skills and tactics, emphasising how powerful these soldiers once were.

The film's action comes to a head in the town of Ochiai, where the thirteen use of combination of traps, cunning tactics and their own individual skills to take on a force of 200 combatants. With its bloody climax, 13 Assassins stands out a brilliant remake and great film in its own right.


A tough but fair writer and critic broadly covering games, movies and just about every type of entertainment media. Spent a good part of the last seven years blogging and more recently, making amateur videos under "The Cainage Critique". You can follow my work on my website https://robc25.wixsite.com/thecainagecritique and my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCftJ6WcozDaECFfjvORDk3w