10 Greatest Samurai Films Of The 21st Century

1. When The Last Sword Is Drawn

13 Assassins 2010

In times of upheavel, the Shogunate governments of Japan would often find themselves organising or trading blows with new organisations who prove to be thorns in their hold over the nation. The Shensengumi was a special police force in the Tokugawa age to protect Kyoto representives. This lays the groundwork for our last entry: "When the Last Sword Is Drawn", which distances itself from other more thoughtful productions.

Two Samurai in this unit guide the story; Kiichi Nakai as Yoshimura Kanichiro and Kōichi Satō as Saitō Hajime. One is a cold blooded killer and the other a thief unable to control his emotions. The two find themselves clashing in the final days of Tokugawa, willing to do whatever it takes to protect those they hold close to them.

When the Last Sword of Drawn stands out for being far more gritty than other films on this list. It portrays its two main leads as more ruthless than most, willing to break their own honour and codes to fight for those close to them. There's an inner conflict that exists between their own personal motives and loyalty to their own clans.


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