The Yakuza

Critics Consensus

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59%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 17

72%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,739

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Movie Info

When George Tanner (Brian Keith) does business with the high-ranking Yakuza Tono, Tono kidnaps his daughter, and George summons his old friend Harry Kilmer (Robert Mitchum) to Japan to investigate. Harry starts by visiting his old flame, Eiko (Kishi Keiko), and enlists her brother, Ken (Takakura Ken), to help him search. Together, they find the girl, but Ken wounds one of Tono's men and is subsequently marked for death by the Yakuza. Wracked with guilt, Kilmer tries to exonerate Ken.

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Critic Reviews for The Yakuza

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (7)

Audience Reviews for The Yakuza

  • Sep 02, 2015
    An absolutely impossible story line to follow is the main feature of the Yakuza. A good script cannot be saved by terrific actors nor a terrific director.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2011
    <i>"When an American cracks up, he opens up the window and shoots up a bunch of strangers. When a Japanese cracks up, he closes the window and kills himself. Everything is in reverse."</i> Not quite as wonderful as <i>The Friends of Eddie Coyle</i>, this is still a pretty great late Mitchum movie, and as an example of mid-Seventies Hollywood flirting with the Far East, <I>The Yakuza</I> is certainly better than Peckinpah's <I>The Killer Elite</I>. By modern standards the film is so slow-moving it barely qualifies as a thriller, though the funereal pacing is very deliberate, emphasising the dignity of the characters, maximising the tension and making the sudden, cathartic eruptions of violence all the more startling. The whole movie is brilliantly shot and edited, not just the splendid fight scenes, with Pollack cleverly cutting through much of the script's wordy exposition by carrying the dialogue of one scene over into the next. Among the interesting credits, the script was written by Leonard and Paul Schrader, with rewrites by Robert Towne; Robert Aldrich was originally slated to direct but Mitchum had him replaced by Pollack; and Mitchum's love interest is played by Keiko Kishi, who played the 'Woman in the Snow' in Kobayashi's <I>Kwaidan</I>.
    Stephen M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2011
    clearly the best western film about an eastern subject. it lacks no realism. the main running themes are extreme loyalty, an unbreakable code of honour and a certain nihilism by director sydney pollack. you can't go wrong with robert mitchum in a starring role and it's genuinely hard to pick between his performance here and the also amazing cape fear
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2011
    My 2nd favorite Schrader script, my 2nd favorite Robert Towne script and my 2nd favorite Sydney Pollack film.
    Ken S Super Reviewer

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