The Best Samurai Movies Enriched With Action!


If you are looking for some great sword action, then, without a doubt, Samurai movies offer the best action. Many entertainment franchises have outdone themselves in producing the best of these Asian cultured movies. As we all know, the results have been tremendous and entertaining to watch.

Samurai movies come as action movies and build up the causes of action, which are unique and bring out the creative culture associated with them. The Samurai movies list features the best Samurai movies over the years.

Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning (2021)

Director: Keishi Ohtomo

Writer: Nobuhiro Watsuki

Cast: Masanobu Andô, Towa Araki, Kasumi Arimura

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

Being one of the best Samurai movies on Netflix, the plot is of a retired assassin named Battosai who gives up swordsmanship after falling in love with a girl he saved from some thugs. So naturally, this does not go unnoticed by the Shogunate supporters who won’t hear of his quitting.

Bright: Samurai Soul (2021)

Director: Kyohei Ishiguro

Writer: Michiko Yokote

Cast: Simu Liu, Victoria Grace, Matthew Yang King

IMDb Rating: 5.6/10

The plot is about a sacred wand belonging to the elves. The timeline covered is during the Shogunate’s transition to the Meiji period. A lone Samurai named Izo and an orc named Raiden team up to save the young girl who carries the wand.

Modest Heroes (2018)

Directors: Yoshiyuki Momose, Akihiko Yamashita, Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Writer: Yoshiyuki Momose, Akihiko Yamashita, Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Cast: Alex Cazares, Jessica DiCicco, Scarlett Estevez

IMDb Rating: 6.6/10

The storyline joins three shorts in portraying their modest heroism. The first is two kids on a risky mission to look for their father. The second is a boy battling his allergy to eggs, and the third is a man who gets the chance to be a hero even after being ignored his whole life.

Rurouni Kenshin: The Final (2021)

Director: Keishi Ohtomo

Writer: Nobuhiro Watsuki

Cast: Takeru Satoh, Shin’nosuke Abe, Melinda Antaramian

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Kenshin Himura, a retired swordsman, and assassin have decided to live a peaceful life with Kaoru, who owns a swordsmanship school. However, things take a turn when his favorite place to eat gets destroyed, and a note with the word “Junchu” is left.

Crazy Samurai Musashi (2020)

Director: Yûji Shimomura

Writer: Atsuki Tomori

Cast: Tak Sakaguchi, Kento Yamazaki, Yôsuke Saitô

IMDb Rating: 4.6/10

The story follows an old beef between the Yoshioka family and Miyamoto Musashi. First, Musashi defeats Yoshioka’s family master and his younger brother. Then, the family teamed up with 400 men to take revenge and redeem their name. Now Musashi has to defeat them in his most famous battle.

Samurai Marathon (2019)

Director: Bernard Rose

Writer: Akihiro Dobashi, Bernard Rose, Hiroshi Saitô

Cast: Takeru Satoh, Nana Komatsu, Mirai Moriyama

IMDb Rating: 6.1/10

When the American imperialists are closing in on Japan, the Emperor calls for a marathon to assess and train his troops for the incoming war. The contest draws attention from many, and spies get sent. The starring is a mule who unfolds the hidden agenda, and to save lives, he runs.

Blade of the Immortal (2017)

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Hiroaki Samura, Tetsuya Oishi

Cast: Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sôta Fukushi

IMDb Rating: 6.8/10

Manji’s sister gets murdered brutally, and her death haunts him. This is even worse after he gets cursed with immortality after a legendary battle. The only way to avoid being haunted is by fighting evil. He does this by helping an orphan girl avenge the death of her parents.

47 Ronin (2013)

Director: Carl Rinsch

Writer: Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini, Walter Hamada

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki

IMDb Rating: 6.3/10

This movie earns a place as one of the best samurai movies in English. The plot features a half-breed who is taken in by Lord Asano. Years later, Lord Asano gets bewitched into hurting another Lord named Kira. After realizing the setup, the half-breed and other samurais set off for revenge.

The Last Samurai (2003)

Director: Edward Zwick

Writer: John Logan, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz

Cast: Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

The movie appears as one of the modern samurai movies that revolve around an army veteran hired by Americans to pursue profitable contracts with the Japanese Emperor. The veteran gets defeated, but his courage saves his life. He has to choose aside.

Mifune: The Last Samurai (2015)

Director: Steven Okazaki

Writer: Stuart Galbraith IV, Steven Okazaki

Cast: Wataru Akashi, Kyôko Kagawa, Takeshi Katô

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

Keanu Reeves narrates the legendary work of Toshiro Mifune, taking viewers through the best pieces he was involved in. The best film clips get compiled to show some of the best parts. In addition, his interviews gave honest remarks on his work and how it performed.

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (2011)

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Kikumi Yamagishi, Yasuhiko Takiguchi

Cast: Kôji Yakusho, Munetaka Aoki, Naoto Takenaka

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

To save his clan’s status, a samurai requests permission to perform Seppuku in front of Lord Ii. However, he discovers that another man from his clan had attempted the same in the previous year but died tragically. So now, he seeks revenge for the death of the samurai.

The Hidden Blade (2004)

Director: Yôji Yamada

Writer: Yôji Yamada, Yoshitaka Asama, Shûhei Fujisawa

Cast: Masatoshi Nagase, Takako Matsu, Hidetaka Yoshioka

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

After Yaichiro bids his friends Munezo and Samon farewell, the plot focuses on Munezo and his honorable deeds in saving a mistreated maid and serving his home. Yaichiro is sent back after disgrace from the high position he had taken up and now has to kill to prove his loyalty.

13 Assassins (2010)

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Kaneo Ikegami, Shoichirou Ikemiya, Daisuke Tengan

Cast: Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yûsuke Iseya

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

Many are displeased after the peace of the nation is threatened by Lord Naritsugu, the half-brother to the shogun. Shinza assembles a team to kill Naritsugu. The security personnel discovers his intent. Shinza now has to take a dangerous route with his mission.

Sword of the stranger (2007)

Director: Masahiro Andô

Writer: Fumihiko Takayama

Cast: Tomoya Nagase, Yuri Chinen, Kôichi Yamadera

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

In one of the best Japanese samurai movies, the Ming, a foreign dynasty, plot the murder of a young boy and his dog. The duo comes across a stranger who vows to keep them safe and take them to a Buddhist temple. Unfortunately, they are unaware of the elite Ming team pursuing them.

Silence (2016)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Jay Cocks, Martin Scorsese, Shûsaku Endô

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

Two priests seek answers on the whereabouts of their mentor and set off to Japan to look for him. The sight there of those who have foreign beliefs is only bloodshed and mystery. One of the priests has to renounce his faith to save the prisoners.

Killing (2018)

Director: Shin’ya Tsukamoto

Writer: Shin’ya Tsukamoto

Cast: Shin’ya Tsukamoto, Yû Aoi, Sôsuke Ikematsu

IMDb Rating: 6.4/10

A young samurai without a master is hosted in a rice-farming village. While at the village, a gang intrudes, and after provocation, his friend gets killed. He fails to avenge his sister, who gets disrespected because he had never killed before. But the following events will have him revoke his stand.

The Wolverine (2013)

Director: James Mangold

Writer: Mark Bomback, Scott Frank

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Tao Okamoto

IMDb Rating: 6.7/10

It emerged as one of the best modern samurai movies with its timeline. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) gets threatened by an ultimate enemy who has discovered his physical capabilities and wishes to mimic them. After a life-or-death battle for his immortal-like self, the aftermath is a stronger wolverine.

Hirokin: The Last Samurai (2012)

Director: Alejo Mo-Sun

Writer: Alejo Mo-Sun

Cast: Wes Bentley, Jessica Szohr, Angus Macfadyen

IMDb Rating: 3.3/10

Hirokin is a lone samurai who lost his family to the planet’s evil ruler during the post-apocalypse. Despite putting on a spirited fight, he gets left for dead in a desert. Now he has to choose between vengeance for his family or the freedom of his people.

Unforgiven (2013)

Director: Sang-il Lee

Writer: David Webb Peoples, Sang-il Lee

Cast: Ken Watanabe, Shioli Kutsuna, Jun Kunimura

IMDb Rating: 7.0/10

Sang-il Lee, playing as a villain, chooses to reinterpret the Oscar-winning film – unforgiven – but as a Japanese film. Jubee, a retired samurai, lives on a remote farm, but the government interferes with their peace. He now has to break the promise to his late wife never to take the sword.

Ichi (2008)

Director: Fumihiko Sori

Writer: Kan Shimozawa, Taeko Asano

Cast: Haruka Ayase, Shidô Nakamura, Yôsuke Kubozuka

IMDb Rating: 6.6/10

Ichi, the only daughter of Zatoichi, is skilled in playing the three-stringed shamisen despite being visually impaired. Even more impressive, she is a swift swords-person and uses the skill to quest for justice. She set off to avenge her father’s tragic death with the help of another swordsman who matches her skill.

Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno (2014)

Director: Keishi Ohtomo

Writer: Nobuhiro Watsuki, Sean Whitley, Kiyomi Fujii

Cast: Takeru Satoh, Emi Takei, Tatsuya Fujiwara

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

The plot is a duel between an assassin and a warrior with differing intentions on the government. Makoto is the assassin who is obsessed with tearing it down, whereas Kenshin struggles to protect Kaoru and, later, the nation itself. Who will emerge victoriously?

Yamada: The Samurai of Ayothaya (2010)

Director: Nopporn Watin

Writer: Nopporn Watin, Viroj Sukchu

Cast: Seigi Ozeki, Kanokkorn Jaicheun, Sorapong Chatree

IMDb Rating: 6.0/10

The plot is about a mercenary attacked by a band of treacherous Japanese ninjas. A group of Siamese warriors rescue him and nurse him back to health. Still unaware of who attacked him, he befriends the soldiers and pledges his loyalty to the King of Ayothaya.

Bunraku (2010)

Director: Guy Moshe

Writer: Boaz Davidson, Guy Moshe

Cast: Josh Hartnett, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson

IMDb Rating: 6.2/10

The plot is about two men seeking revenge against the tyrannous group of nine led by Nicola and his evil wife. The people lived in fear of the group, and no one had dared to attack and end their reign. The movie now follows a heated action between the two warriors and the gang.

The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (2003)

Director: Takeshi Kitano

Writer: Takeshi Kitano, Kan Shimozawa

Cast: Takeshi Kitano, Tadanobu Asano, Yui Natsukawa

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

Tekashi Kitano directs and stars in yet another brilliant samurai movie. The blind Zaitochi is branded as a gambler and massages people for a living. This is despite being precise with the sword more than anyone on the land. Now he teams up with two girls to avenge their parents.

Sukiyaki Western Django (2007)

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Takashi Miike, Masa Nakamura

Cast: Hideaki Itô, Kôichi Satô, Quentin Tarantino

IMDb Rating: 6.2/10

The plot is about a warrior with great precision with his revolver. He has excellent skills and finds just the right opportunity to make wealth out of it. Two warring clans fight for a hidden treasure. He offers his service to the clan, giving him a better share of wealth.

The Warrior’s Way (2010)

Director: Sngmoo Lee

Writer: Sngmoo Lee, Scott Reynolds

Cast: Jang Dong-Gun, Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush

IMDb Rating: 6.3/10

Yang leaves the sword, and instead of killing the infant queen of his rival clan, he flees to raise her elsewhere. He opens a laundry, and his son gets attracted to Lynn. Now the peace is interfered with by gunmen who terrorize the town and want to kill Lynn.

Sword of Vengeance (2015)

Director: Jim Weedon

Writer: Julian Unthank, Matthew Read

Cast: Stanley Weber, Annabelle Wallis, Karel Roden

IMDb Rating: 4.4/10

Samurai movies inspired the English-based film, and its production showed how accurate it was despite receiving critics. A former slave, self-branded as Shadow Walker, rallies up with a band of exiled rebel farmers to end the treacherous reign of Durant.

Uzumasa Limelight (2014)

Director: Ken Ochiai

Writer: Hiroyuki Ono

Cast: Seizô Fukumoto, Chihiro Yamamoto, Masashi Gôda

IMDb Rating: 6.2/10

It is the adorable story of Kamiyama Seiichi, who appeared in Kyoto studio filming as a “drop-dead” actor for forty years. What now threatens his career is when the studio wishes to replace such roles with younger talents. His fight to keep his role is the main theme.

Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends (2014)

Director: Keishi Ohtomo

Writer: Nobuhiro Watsuki, Sean Whitley, Kiyomi Fujii

Cast: Takeru Satoh, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Emi Takei

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

Without any account of what happened to him, Kenshin wakes up in his master’s house, where he is told waves washed him to land. They don’t know that Kenshin has gotten branded a wanted outlaw to be executed. What happened?

Kill Bill: Vol 1 (2003)

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino, Uma Thurman

Cast: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

After discovering she is pregnant with Bill’s child, ‘The Bride’ flees to Texas to start a new life. There, she finds a new guy to whom they agree to get married. Unfortunately, the man gets gunned down by Bill, a Deadly Viper Assassination Squad leader. After a four-year coma, she seeks revenge.

Kill Bill: Vol 2 (2004)

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino, Uma Thurman

Cast: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen

IMDb Rating: 8.0/10

After the first sequel, where ‘The Bride’ was after revenge for the disappearance of her baby and murder of her lover, she is now in pursuit of the remaining survivors of the squad of assassins. These are Bill’s younger brother and Elle. This will be the path that takes her to the mastermind – her ex-husband Bill.

Afro Samurai: Resurrection (2009)

Director: Fuminori Kizaki

Writer: Eric S. Calderon, Leo Chu, Joshua Hale Fialkov

Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Lucy Liu, Mark Hamill

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

The movie is arguably one of the best modern samurai movies, and the plot builds up after the body of Afro Samurai’s father gets stolen from its grave. This is despite having been assassinated by a notorious gunman named Justice. Afro, a little boy then, sets off to take revenge.

After the Rain (1999)

Director: Takashi Koizumi

Writer: Akira Kurosawa, Shûgorô Yamamoto

Cast: Akira Terao, Yoshiko Miyazaki, Shirô Mifune

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Following the rains in a countryside inn, Ihei and his wife Tayo make the people happy through their generosity. Being a skilled samurai and fencing expert, he gets noticed by Lord Shigeaki, who assigns him as fencing instructor of his men. His arrival, however, is not met ell by others in the castle.

Blind Fury (1989)

Director: Phillip Noyce

Writer: Ryôzô Kasahara, Charles Robert Carner

Cast: Rutger Hauer, Terry O’Quinn, Brandon Call

IMDb Rating: 6.4/10

After serving as a vet in the Vietnam war, Nick is left blinded but with great command of a sword and other senses. Back in the U.S., he visits a friend but is just in time to save the friend’s son from a kidnapping. They now drive to Las Vegas to save his friend.

Shinobi: Heart Under Blade

Director: Ten Shimoyama

Writer: Kenya Hirata, Fûtarô Yamada

Cast: Yukie Nakama, Joe Odagiri, Tomoka Kurotani

IMDb Rating: 6.9/10

The plot features the 400-year war between two Shinobi clans, Manjidani Koga and Tsubagakure Iga. However, Lord Hanzou commands that there should be peace between the two clans. Instead, the war rages again after two significant leaders kill each other in a contest that was to be a friendly one.


With such great samurai movies, the Asian culture is well represented and recreated by actors from other regions showing that they embrace the creativity and art of swordsmanship. The movies on the list will surely keep you entertained if you are a fan of samurai movies.

For the fans of Japanese content, watch channels from Japan and enjoy amazing tv shows, movies and much more. Other than Samurai movies, there is a vast collection of Japanese shows and Japanese movies on Netflix to catch up. Don’t miss them specially the Anime films!

Joshua Garner

Joshua calls himself nerd+geek who is also passionate about football. He enjoys comics, animes, and science fiction. He finds his comfort in writing about suspense, thrillers and science fiction shows and movies.

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