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Takeshi "Beat" Kitano

The indefatigable Takeshi Kitano is not only a triple film threat (as a writer, director and actor), he also appears on Japanese TV shows several nights a weeks and is an active journalist, novelist and poet.

Born Jan. 18, 1947, in Tokyo, Kitano got his start in show business as half of the comedy team the Two Beats, which became popular during the 1970s stand-up comedy explosion. His comedic success led to roles in movies, including 1983's Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, in which Kitano memorably played a concentration camp jailer.

In 1989, Kitano added directing to his credits when the helmsman of a picture Kitano was about to star in fell ill. The result -- Violent Cop -- earned him international acclaim. Since then, he has penned, directed, edited or appeared in nearly a film per year, including Boiling Point (1990), Johnny Mnemonic (1995) and Brother (with Omar Epps, 2000).

30 titles Sort by: Best Movies | Streamable | Notable | Average Rating | Genre | Alphabetical


Beyond Outrage  2014  3.6 ★ 112 mins Action & Adventure Rated: R  until 01-Jan-2025   
This sequel to the yakuza thriller Outrage depicts a brutal war between the Sanno and Hanabishi crime families, both now more powerful than ever. With the gangs branching into legitimate trade, a police detective tries to turn them on one another.


Outrage  2010  3.5 ★ 109 mins Action & Adventure Rated: R  until 01-Jan-2025   
Writer, director and actor Takeshi "Beat" Kitano returns to his roots in this gripping gangster drama that details the intense rivalry between two powerful yakuza syndicates and the efforts of a small crew to prevent a full-blown war from erupting.


Outrage  2010  3.5 ★ 109 mins Action & Adventure Rated: R RT:83%  until 01-Jan-2025 
Writer, director and actor Takeshi "Beat" Kitano returns to his roots in this gripping gangster drama that details the intense rivalry between two powerful yakuza syndicates and the efforts of a small crew to prevent all-out war from erupting. Packed with unpredictable characters and volatile confrontations, this exciting Japanese crime film also features Tomokazu Miura, Sôichirô Kitamura and Jun Kunimura.


Achilles and the Tortoise  2008  3.8 ★ 119 mins Dramas Rated: PG
This third installment in filmmaker Takeshi Kitano's trilogy about creativity and self-reflection tells the story of Machisu (played by Kitano and others), a determined artist who pursues his passion for painting despite his lack of talent. Inspired as a child by his factory-owner father's love of art, and later supported by his overly accommodating wife, Sachiko (Kanako Higuchi), Machisu struggles to gain acceptance.


Achilles and the Tortoise  2008  3.8 ★ 119 mins Foreign (English) Rated: PG
This third installment in filmmaker Takeshi Kitano's trilogy about creativity and self-reflection tells the story of Machisu (played by Kitano and others), a determined artist who pursues his passion for painting despite his lack of talent. Inspired as a child by his factory-owner father's love of art, and later supported by his overly accommodating wife, Sachiko (Kanako Higuchi), Machisu struggles to gain acceptance.


Glory to the Filmmaker  2007  3.5 ★ Comedies Rated: NR
Writer-director Takeshi Kitano also stars as an alter ego of himself as a pigeonholed auteur trying to make a popular box-office smash in this entertaining and provocative send-up of Japanese pop cinema. No genre -- from ninja flicks to sci-fi thrillers -- escapes the barbs of this self-referential delight, a film by turns hilarious and provocative. Toru Emori, Anne Suzuki and Kayoko Kishimoto co-star.


Glory to the Filmmaker  2007  3.5 ★ Foreign (English) Rated: NR
Writer-director Takeshi Kitano also stars as an alter ego of himself as a pigeonholed auteur trying to make a popular box-office smash in this entertaining and provocative send-up of Japanese pop cinema. No genre -- from ninja flicks to sci-fi thrillers -- escapes the barbs of this self-referential delight, a film by turns hilarious and provocative. Toru Emori, Anne Suzuki and Kayoko Kishimoto co-star.


Takeshis'  2005  3.2 ★ 108 mins Foreign (Japanese) Rated: NR
When international movie star Beat Takeshi (Takeshi Kitano) crosses paths with a convenience store clerk (also Kitano) with whom he shares an uncanny resemblance, their lives become bizarrely intertwined. Written and directed by Kitano, this surrealistic genre-bending tale also features dual-role performances by Kotomi Kyono, Kayoko Kishimoto, Ren Osugi, Susumu Terajima and Tetsu Watanabe.


The Blind Swordman: Zatoichi  2003  3.7 ★ 111 mins Action & Adventure Rated: R  starting 01-Nov-2014 
Zatoichi (a classic Japanese character and the subject of dozens of films) rises again in this feature directed by Takeshi Kitano. This time, he's a kindly, blind traveling masseur who conceals his prodigious skills as a swordsman.


The Blind Swordman: Zatoichi  2003  3.7 ★ 111 mins Action & Adventure Rated: R
Zatoichi (a classic Japanese character and the subject of dozens of films) rises again in this feature directed by Takeshi Kitano. This time, he's a kindly, blind traveling masseur who conceals his prodigious skills as a swordsman.


Dolls  2002  3.2 ★ 114 mins Dramas Rated: NR
Director Takeshi Kitano demonstrates his masterful storytelling technique with this movie that interweaves three somber love stories featuring three star-struck protagonists. Young Matsumoto is chosen by his company's president as a fitting man to marry the president's daughter, but complications arise. An aging Yakuza boss keeps a date and takes a fateful chance. And pop idol Haruna Maraguchi realizes how deep fan obsession can become.


Dolls  2002  3.1 ★ 114 mins Foreign (English) Rated: NR
Director Takeshi Kitano demonstrates his masterful storytelling technique with this movie that interweaves three somber love stories featuring three star-struck protagonists. Young Matsumoto is chosen by his company's president as a fitting man to marry the president's daughter, but complications arise. An aging Yakuza boss keeps a date and takes a fateful chance. And pop idol Haruna Maraguchi realizes how deep fan obsession can become.


Kikujiro  2000  3.5 ★ 116 mins Foreign (English) Rated: PG-13
Kikujiro (Takeshi Kitano), a loud-mouthed drifter with a chip on his shoulder, is forced to accompany Masao (Yusuke Sekiguchi), an 8-year-old orphan, on a trip to meet his mother for the first time. Their unlikely pairing results in a child's journey of wonder. After leaving the city, the duo's summertime excursion takes them into the Japanese countryside, where nature's beauty is punctuated by encounters with strange and dangerous characters.


Brother  2000  3.3 ★ 113 mins Action & Adventure Rated: R
Martial arts star Takeshi Kitano drop-kicks his way through this violent tale, portraying a Yakuza leader who flees to America after a gang war turns against him. He starts anew with a drug ring that comes to rule the mean streets of Los Angeles. Kitano also wrote and directed this cautionary tale -- his first movie outside Japan -- warning viewers that violence begets more violence. Kurôdo Maki and Omar Epps also star.


Brother  2000  3.3 ★ 113 mins Thrillers Rated: R
Martial arts star Takeshi Kitano drop-kicks his way through this violent tale, portraying a Yakuza leader who flees to America after a gang war turns against him. He starts anew with a drug ring that comes to rule the mean streets of Los Angeles. Kitano also wrote and directed this cautionary tale -- his first movie outside Japan -- warning viewers that violence begets more violence. Kurôdo Maki and Omar Epps also star.


Kikujiro  2000  3.5 ★ 116 mins Comedies Rated: PG-13 RT:59%
Kikujiro (Takeshi Kitano), a loud-mouthed drifter with a chip on his shoulder, is forced to accompany Masao (Yusuke Sekiguchi), an 8-year-old orphan, on a trip to meet his mother for the first time. Their unlikely pairing results in a child's journey of wonder. After leaving the city, the duo's summertime excursion takes them into the Japanese countryside, where nature's beauty is punctuated by encounters with strange and dangerous characters.


Fireworks Nominated For/Won Awards 1998  3.6 ★ 99 mins Foreign (English) Rated: NR
Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Takeshi Kitano writes, directs and stars in this gritty cop drama, centered on a despairing police officer struggling to maintain his sanity in the wake of a series of harrowing tragedies. With his wife dying of cancer and his partner suffering a life-altering injury incurred while on duty, Nishi (Kitano) decides to quit the police force and take to the streets in search of his own brand of justice.


Fireworks Nominated For/Won Awards 1998  3.6 ★ 99 mins Dramas Rated: NR
Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Takeshi Kitano writes, directs and stars in this gritty cop drama, centered on a despairing police officer struggling to maintain his sanity in the wake of a series of harrowing tragedies. With his wife dying of cancer and his partner suffering a life-altering injury incurred while on duty, Nishi (Kitano) decides to quit the police force and take to the streets in search of his own brand of justice.


Kids Return  1996  3.0 ★ 107 mins Dramas Rated: NR
The relationship of two friends -- Masaru (Ken Kaneko) and Shinji (Masanobu Ando) -- is recounted via flashback, coming full circle from their time as joined-at-the-hip, puerile miscreants to a falling out, and back. While Shinji becomes a promising pugilist, Masaru ends up as a small-time hood. But they discover that their vocations -- along with their impetuous natures -- may prove their undoing.


Kids Return  1996  3.0 ★ 107 mins Foreign (English) Rated: NR
The relationship of two friends -- Masaru (Ken Kaneko) and Shinji (Masanobu Ando) -- is recounted via flashback, coming full circle from their time as joined-at-the-hip, puerile miscreants to a falling out, and back. While Shinji becomes a promising pugilist, Masaru ends up as a small-time hood. But they discover that their vocations -- along with their impetuous natures -- may prove their undoing.


Getting Any?  1994  2.8 ★ 103 mins Foreign (English) Rated: NR
After he dreams of getting laid in the back of a car, middle aged Asao (Dankan) sets out to find a woman who will sleep with him. During the course of his sexy quest, Asao tries to rob a bank, acts in a samurai movie and offends dangerous yakuza gangsters. Will Asao ever achieve his goal? This slapstick Japanese satire, featuring one absurd situation after another, is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Takeshi "Beat" Kitano.


Getting Any?  1994  2.8 ★ 103 mins Comedies Rated: NR
After he dreams of getting laid in the back of a car, middle aged Asao (Dankan) sets out to find a woman who will sleep with him. During the course of his sexy quest, Asao tries to rob a bank, acts in a samurai movie and offends dangerous yakuza gangsters. Will Asao ever achieve his goal? This slapstick Japanese satire, featuring one absurd situation after another, is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Takeshi "Beat" Kitano.


Sonatine  1993  3.5 ★ 90 mins Action & Adventure Rated: R  until 01-Jan-2025 
Mob boss Murakawa (Takeshi Kitano) aims to merge his factions of power as he gets closer to middle age. His boss has the perfect assignment for him: to serve as mediator in a town where some of the gang's divisions have become uncooperative with one another. Murakawa fears that he's being forced out of the organization -- and realizes just how right he was when he's suddenly forced into a deadly ambush.


Sonatine  1993  3.5 ★ 90 mins Foreign (English) Rated: R  until 01-Jan-2025   
Mob boss Murakawa (Takeshi Kitano) aims to merge his factions of power as he gets closer to middle age. His boss has the perfect assignment for him: to serve as mediator in a town where some of the gang's divisions have become uncooperative with one another. Murakawa fears that he's being forced out of the organization -- and realizes just how right he was when he's suddenly forced into a deadly ambush.


A Scene at the Sea  1992  3.0 ★ 101 mins Dramas Rated: NR
While he's out on the job one day, deaf garbage collector Shigeru (Kurodo Maki) stumbles across a broken and discarded surfboard. Inspired, he decides to give surfing a try with the support of his also-deaf girlfriend, Takako (Hiroko Oshima). At first he's heckled by the locals, but Shigeru's determination to succeed in the face of extraordinary odds soon wins him the respect of everyone on the beach.


A Scene at the Sea  1992  3.0 ★ 101 mins Foreign (English) Rated: NR
While he's out on the job one day, deaf garbage collector Shigeru (Kurodo Maki) stumbles across a broken and discarded surfboard. Inspired, he decides to give surfing a try with the support of his also-deaf girlfriend, Takako (Hiroko Oshima). At first he's heckled by the locals, but Shigeru's determination to succeed in the face of extraordinary odds soon wins him the respect of everyone on the beach.


Boiling Point  1990  3.1 ★ 98 mins Foreign (English) Rated: NR
When Masaki (Yurei Yanagi), a gas station worker and junior-league baseball player, incurs the wrath of the local Yakuza, he heads to Okinawa to buy a gun so he can stand up for himself in this Japanese crime drama. Japanese actor, writer, essayist and comedian Takeshi "Beat" Kitano mixes sadistic violence and dark humor in this movie, his second directorial effort. Yuriko Ishida and Gadarukanaru Taka also star.


Boiling Point  1990  3.1 ★ 98 mins Action & Adventure Rated: NR
When Masaki (Yurei Yanagi), a gas station worker and junior-league baseball player, incurs the wrath of the local Yakuza, he heads to Okinawa to buy a gun so he can stand up for himself in this Japanese crime drama. Japanese actor, writer, essayist and comedian Takeshi "Beat" Kitano mixes sadistic violence and dark humor in this movie, his second directorial effort. Yuriko Ishida and Gadarukanaru Taka also star.


Violent Cop  1989  3.1 ★ 103 mins Action & Adventure Rated: NR
Detective Azuma (Takeshi "Beat" Kitano) is squarely in the Dirty Harry/Popeye Doyle mode -- a loner who prefers quick action to procedure. Already in trouble with the department brass, Azuma puts his badge even more at risk when he learns a fellow cop victimized his sister. Actor, comedian and author Kitano made his move into a successful directing career with this crime thriller, which was a big hit in his native Japan.


Violent Cop  1989  3.1 ★ 103 mins Action & Adventure Rated: NR
Continually in the doghouse with department brass, maverick detective Azuma puts his badge further at risk when he sets his mind on revenge after a fellow cop turns up dead at the hands of a yakuza enforcer.

Cached at Wednesday, 30-Jul-2014 06:19:12 PM Pacific Time