Takeshi Kitano (left) in a scene from Zatoichi (2003), one of the picks for our list of the best Japanese films of the 21st century.Takeshi Kitano (left) in a scene from Zatoichi (2003), one of the picks for our list of the best Japanese films of the 21st century.
Takeshi Kitano (left) in a scene from Zatoichi (2003), one of the picks for our list of the best Japanese films of the 21st century.

The 25 best Japanese movies of the 21st century

  • Japan has produced a steady stream of blockbusters, intelligent indie fare and art house darlings over the last 20 years
  • Selections are limited to just one film per director, to avoid prolific auteurs like Hirokazu Kore-eda and Takashi Miike dominating
Topic |   Asian cinema: Japanese films
Takeshi Kitano (left) in a scene from Zatoichi (2003), one of the picks for our list of the best Japanese films of the 21st century.Takeshi Kitano (left) in a scene from Zatoichi (2003), one of the picks for our list of the best Japanese films of the 21st century.
Takeshi Kitano (left) in a scene from Zatoichi (2003), one of the picks for our list of the best Japanese films of the 21st century.
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