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Branded to Kill

Branded to Kill (1967)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 5,157

My Rating

Movie Info

A delirious fever dream of a film, Seijun Suzuki's Branded to Kill takes the familiar elements of "B"-movie crime drama and transforms them into something outrageously bizarre and unexpectedly poetic. The film's story centers on Hanada, a.k.a. "No. 3 Killer," the third-best hit man in Japanese organized crime. Near the top of his game, his fortunes change when he encounters Misako, a mysterious, death-obsessed woman who brings him a particularly difficult mission. In a famous moment indicative

Feb 23, 1999

Criterion Collection

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (0) | DVD (7)

'Branded to Kill' is one of those films that feels so far ahead of its time, we may still not have caught up to it. The violence is raw, the sex even more so, and the monochrome photography is flawless.

July 23, 2014 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Reputedly one of Seijun Suzuki's finest works and unquestionably very stylish in its 'Scope framings (Jim Jarmusch copied a few shots from it in his Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai).

January 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Occasionally mystifying, but always witty, inventive and dazzling to look at.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An arresting cocktail of sex, violence and surrealism, shot in monochrome hues which accentuate the perversity of the entire twisted venture.

July 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Director Seijun Suzuki outdid himself with this astonishing blend of yakuza movie, film noir and nouvelle vague.

July 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Genuinely fascinating and bizarre.

July 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Guardian

More of an instant hit than a slow-release of pleasure. But well worth it.

July 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Handsome; mad; haunting.

July 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Branded to Kill is a drunken dream of a film; the kind, once slept on, you can't believe you ever really saw.

July 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Branded To Kill thrums along to an irresistible hard-bop beat, with effortlessly stylish black andwhite cinematography and set-pieces straight from a pulp fiction fever dream.

July 21, 2014 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

The images remain so strong that we wonder whether the overall films began as mental images, unearthed from an artist's psyche to help construct probing popular entertainment.

April 5, 2012 Full Review Source: IdentityTheory

Seijun Suzuki doesn't do establishing shots, and when he does, they don't establish s***.

February 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Because its so free of the conventions of other crime thrillers, that in and of itself is thrilling. The disorienting camera angles and jumps in time are all part of the atmosphere.

January 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

One of the most bizarre movies ever made, a wildly perverse and incredibly stylish one-of-a-kind deconstructionist yakuza thriller.

January 9, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Director Seijun Suzuki melds eastern production values and western crime devices into a film with little inhibition and ample creativity.

August 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

If you get off on strange films, then this one should be right up your alley.

July 29, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

I watched it [twice] and it still didn't make sense. That is in no way meant as a complaint.

May 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

It's a knockout.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus

Audience Reviews for Branded to Kill

Hamada, the #3 killer with the rice-sniffing fetish, finds himself in trouble with the Organization after he falls in love with a woman with a death wish. BRANDED drips with 60s cool and is a near-perfect work of neo-surrealism in that, although the details often don't make sense, the big picture always does. Contains the memorable scenes of Hamada assassinating a man by shooting up a drainpipe and botching a hit when a butterfly lands on his gun barrel.
July 22, 2010
Greg S

Super Reviewer

Nonsensical violence with some of the most poorly choreographed gunfights you'll ever see. A macabre train-wreck of a film that draws you in by appealing to that warped, illogical, action-craving part of your brain that everyone has and few acknowledge.
May 25, 2010
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Style made into substance. Just like Hausu, this is another movie that feels like it droped from some alternative dimension. Writting a review for this is beyond the point, you either going to dig this or not. Even if you end up disliking it by the end the fact will remain, there's no other movie like Branded to Kill, and will never be.
May 5, 2009
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Branded to Kill (UK)
  • Branded to Kill (Koroshi no rakuin) (CA)
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