Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

Watch Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

"Live by the code. Die by the code."
  • R
  • 1999
  • 1 hr 56 min
  • 7.5  (96,243)
  • 68

The movie "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" is a 1999 American crime film directed by Jim Jarmusch. The movie stars Forest Whitaker as a hitman who follows the ancient Samurai code while working for the Mafia, and features an ensemble cast including Henry Silva as a Mafia boss and John Tormey as a close associate. The movie is set in modern-day New York City, where the protagonist, Ghost Dog (played by Whitaker), is a hitman who works for the Italian Mafia. Ghost Dog is a man of few words and a very disciplined individual who follows the ancient Japanese code of the Samurai. He is a lone wolf who lives on the rooftops of the city with his pigeons and communicates with his employers only through carrier pigeon.

Everything changes when Ghost Dog is instructed to kill a high-ranking Mafia boss's daughter, who is having an affair with a member of a rival gang. However, Ghost Dog jeopardizes his relationship with the Mafia when he spares the life of the young girl, leading the Mafia to turn against him.

The movie explores themes of honor, loyalty, friendship, and the place of old codes of ethics in modern society. Ghost Dog's adherence to the Samurai code and his loyalty to his "master" (the Mafia) is contrasted with the moral decay of the Mafia and the social decay of the city in which he lives.

The movie also features a diverse and interesting cast of characters, including a Haitian ice cream vendor who supplies Ghost Dog with weapons, an old-school Italian Mafia boss who sometimes seems out of step with contemporary crime, and a group of young inner-city wannabe gangsters.

Many scenes in the movie feature Ghost Dog training and disciplining himself in the ways of the Samurai, including scenes of him practicing archery and meditating on the rooftops of the New York City skyline. The movie uses poetic language and references to ancient Japanese culture to frame the story of a man who is looking for a way to live in a modern world that is quickly leaving traditional ideas behind.

Throughout the movie, Ghost Dog's fate is tied to that of his master, forcing him to choose between his loyalty to the Mafia and his own moral code. As tensions rise between the Mafia and its rivals, Ghost Dog becomes a pawn in a larger game of criminal power, leading to a climactic confrontation between all the players involved.

The movie is directed by Jim Jarmusch, who is known for his independent film style and off-beat storytelling. Jarmusch's unique sensibility infuses the movie with a dreamlike quality, and the director uses the conventions of the crime movie genre to tell a story that is as much about ideas and emotions as it is about plot and action.

Overall, "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" is a unique and compelling movie that offers a fresh take on the crime movie genre. With strong performances from its cast and a sensitive and intelligent script, the movie is an engaging and thought-provoking exploration of the importance of maintaining a moral code in a world that is increasingly devoid of it.

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is a 1999 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 56 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 68.

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 56 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (96,243)
  • Metascore