Sonatine (1993)

Takeshi Kitano wrote, directed and stars in this 1993 Japanese film, an urban thriller that centers on world-weary gangster Murakawa (Kitano). Instructed by his boss to settle a dispute in Okinawa, Murakawa soon finds himself caught in the… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: May 1, 1993
DVD Release Date: January 13, 2004
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Critic Score: 88% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times

Sleek, punchy and altogether captivating.

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Stephen Holden
New York Times

Kitano's haunting elegy to the gangster way of life.

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Jay Antani
Cinema Writer

bold and ballsy

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Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic

Gross and trite as the material is, Kitano shows again that he is an ingenious, purposeful filmmaker.

Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle

Eliminates the one virtue American action films can legitimately claim -- vitality -- and replaces it with fake- existential claptrap wrapped in an inept narrative.

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Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope

This film resurrected the yakusa genre? It is amazing it didn't put it to sleep for good.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

It shows how violent gangster movies need not be filled with stupid dialogue, nonstop action and gratuitous gore.

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Cole Smithey

[VIDEO] "Sonatine" is a lyrical picture of Japan's poker face toward the outrageous violence of its mob culture.

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Daniel Eagan
Film Journal International

Haunting look at doomed yakuza gangster

More reviews for Sonatine

Flixster Audience Score: 89% Flixster User Reviews
Bob Stinson
Good, but I think Kitano's work got even better.
Aaron Neuwirth
An exestential, Japanese gangster film. A little romance, some action, some humor. Slowly paced, but nicely done.
Cameron Sherwell
Shortly after completing his fourth feature length directorial outing 'Sonatine' auteur Takeshi "Beat" Kitano had a self proclaimed… More
Jesse Ortega
Not a lot to say, just a really good and different type of gangster movie. Violence is used when it's absolutely needed and not used gratuitously. It… More
xGary Xx
A prosperous Yakuza is sent by his boss to settle a gang war between rival factions but when the violence escalates he begins to suspect that the whole… More
Right up there with Hana-bi as far as Kitano's existential, oneiric modern-day yakuza flicks go. While Hana-bi was more linear, this film's greatest… More