Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai "Every day, without fail, one should consider himself as dead." Thus reads a passage in the 18th-century Japanese text that the hulking hitman Ghost Dog… Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai "Every day, without fail, one should consider himself as dead." Thus reads a passage in the 18th-century Japanese text that the hulking hitman Ghost Dog… R PT116M Drama Mystery and Thriller Forest Whitaker Cliff Gorman Henry Silva John Tormey JVC Entertainment Plywood Productions Artisan Entertainment
Movie Review

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (2014)

MPAA Rating: R
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Rated: R; Length: 116 Minutes; Genres: Drama, Mystery and Thriller; With: Forest Whitaker; Distributor: Artisan Entertainment

''Every day, without fail, one should consider himself as dead.'' Thus reads a passage in the 18th-century Japanese text that the hulking hitman Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker) totes everywhere. While this mantra puts him in synch with previous Jim Jarmusch heroes, it's a pleasure to report that Ghost Dog brings the minimalist director who found fame with 1984's Stranger Than Paradise back to the land of the living.

Acting as a lone warrior for the Jersey hood who once saved his life, Ghost Dog finds himself cutting a bloody Zen swath up the chain of command to the godfather himself. Jarmusch, meanwhile, honors such cinematic forebears as Sergio Leone Westerns and Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samourai even as he smears a brooding rap soundtrack (from Wu-Tang Clan's RZA) all over Tony Soprano's turf. The result has the dingy grace of pigeons flying across an urban wasteland.

Originally posted Mar 10, 2000 Published in issue #530 Mar 10, 2000 Order article reprints
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