Ichi the Killer

Released 2001


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Movie Summary

Takashi Miike
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Ichi the Killer is a Japanese thriller brought to you by Takashi Miike. The movie is based off of a manga series written by Hideo Yamamoto. The oppressive boss of one of the most feared Yakuza groups in Tokyo goes missing, with 3 million yen in his pocket. Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano), the leading henchmen of the same Yakuza group, rallies every member of the gang to help find the boss who has gone missing. Kakihara is a brutal henchman with a thirst for sadomasochism, who will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of his boss's disappearance. His mob first goes after a rival mob, torturing many of its members, but Kakihara soon discovers he is after the wrong lead. He is eventually lead to a young man named Ichi (Nao Omori), an asexual, eccentrically-dressed martial arts artist who holds a lengthy record in killing. Kakihara now hunts Ichi as he has reason to believe Ichi knows what happened to the big boss. Who will be the victor in this gruesome fight - the psychotic, and unusual Ichi, or the sadomasochistic Kakihara? Watch to find out!moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 50

    The New York Times Dave Kehr

    The direction occasionally rises to the level of marginal competence, but for most of the film it is hard to tell who is chasing who or why.

  • 50

    Variety Dennis Harvey

    Completely over-the-top yakuza actioner -- featuring nonstop mayhem, gore, torture and S&M -- duly reflects its comic book origins in both style and barely coherent narrative frenzy.

  • 38

    New York Daily News Elizabeth Weitzman

    This time around, the cult director dispenses with the feminism, the satire, and even the issues, so he can concentrate on his true passion: the dissecting.

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Action & Adventure


Foreign Language, Thrillers