Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) USA
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Image Cover
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Director:Jim Jarmusch
Studio:Artisan Entertainment
Producer:Richard Guay
Writer:Jim Jarmusch
Rating:4.0 (222 votes)
Date Added:2010-05-18
Aspect Ratio:1.77:1
Sound:Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages:English, French
Jim Jarmusch  ...  (Director)
Jim Jarmusch  ...  (Writer)
Forest Whitaker  ...  
Henry Silva  ...  
John Tormey  ...  
Cliff Gorman  ...  
Dennis Liu  ...  
Robby Müller  ...  Cinematographer
Jay Rabinowitz  ...  Editor
Tags: Buddhism drama

Summary: Forest Whitaker makes an unlikely modern samurai with his laser-sighted pistols, shabby street clothes, and oddly graceful gait--but then "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" is an unusual film. Quirky, contemplative, and at times absurd, it's just the kind offbeat vision we've come to expect from the fiercely independent Jim Jarmusch ("Stranger than Paradise", "Dead Man"). Whitaker is Ghost Dog, a mysterious New York hit man who lives simply on a tenement rooftop and follows a code of behavior outlined in "Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai" (passages of this book are interspersed throughout the film). When the local mob marks him for death in a complicated code of Mafiosi-style honor, Ghost Dog sends a cryptic message to his foes. "That's poetry. The poetry of war," remarks mobster Henry Silva, with sudden respect upon reading the verse. He could be describing the ethereal beauty of Jarmusch's vision, full of wonderful imagery (a night drive across town seems to float in time) and off-center humor. Though it briefly stalls in a series of assassinations (Jarmusch is no action director), it settles back into character-driven drama in a quietly epic showdown, equal parts samurai adventure, spaghetti western, and existential crime movie. The film is likely too unconventional and offbeat for general audiences, but cult-movie buffs and Jarmusch fans will appreciate his idiosyncratic vision. He finds a strange sense of honor in the clash of Old World traditions, and salutes his heroes with a skewed but sincere respect. "--Sean Axmaker"