Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    100
    A thoroughly absorbing, even transfixing, journey to a future that may already be upon us.
  2. Jim Jarmusch has come up with something strange and amazing.
  3. Portland Oregonian
    Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    91
    A purely cinematic experience. You've got to see it, in other words, to understand.
  4. 90
    Laced with brilliantly knotted ideas on race, masculinity and cults of violence.
  5. It's a nearly pitch-perfect melding of genres, influences and modes of expression--it's the first Mafia movie for the hip-hop age.
  6. 90
    What makes the film so special is that while tickling your postmodern funnybone, it never forgets to make you care for its characters, in a welcome, and almost traditional way.
  7. It's the kind of movie you wish you had more time to absorb and could see more than once before reviewing.
  8. 83
    The result has the dingy grace of pigeons flying across an urban wasteland.
  9. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    80
    Niftily quirky.
  10. This infusion of warrior philosophy is the gas in Ghost Dog's tank, and Jarmusch pumps it up for maximum octane throughout.
  11. TNT RoughCut
    Reviewed by: Spencer H. Abbott
    75
    An ultra-violent cinematic rendering which will appeal to those moviegoers who like their action dramas laced with nice touches of meta-physicality and left-of-center humor.
  12. Whitaker's acting is highly creative and Jarmusch's filmmaking is as elegant and original as ever.
  13. (Jarmusch's) most accessible film after "Night on Earth," yet it's still elliptical and enigmatic.
  14. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    75
    It's fun, but not obvious fun.
  15. New York Post
    Reviewed by: Jonathan Foreman
    75
    So filled with amusing, idiosyncratic touches and unexpectedly charming characters that you mostly don't mind its excesses.
  16. It's beautifully cast and filmed (cinematography by the matchless Robby Muller) and often quite moving, despite the fact that most of the characters are never developed much beyond mythic or parodic prototypes.
  17. 70
    Every minute he's on screen, Whitaker makes Ghost Dog worth watching.
  18. (Jarmusch) seems...to introduce gratuitous bloodshed that is out of sync with the engaging, offbeat tempo and dark, comedic moral fable that has come before.
  19. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Staff [Not Credited]
    63
    The movie is still too solemn.
  20. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    63
    Best when it's playful, toying with the fact that the Mafia has in a single generation been transmogrified from myth to joke.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21
  1. Oct 10, 2011
    7
    Despite its B-flick movie poster, Jim Jarmusch's mash-up movie "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" is a surprisingly well structuredDespite its B-flick movie poster, Jim Jarmusch's mash-up movie "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" is a surprisingly well structured samurai-gangster movie you would definitely watch when having extra time to spend. Full Review »
  2. Sep 26, 2011
    10
    Magnificent movie, one of Jarmush's best. And if you happen to be into Zen philosophy, hiphop music, and gangster flicks like me, you'll giveMagnificent movie, one of Jarmush's best. And if you happen to be into Zen philosophy, hiphop music, and gangster flicks like me, you'll give it a 10 as well. Full Review »
  3. Sep 27, 2010
    7
    "Ghost Dog," the story of an inner city dweller who lives by the way of the samurai soaks up its premise not in blood splatter but in"Ghost Dog," the story of an inner city dweller who lives by the way of the samurai soaks up its premise not in blood splatter but in level-headed absurdity and complexity, a focus that takes much more time to absorb. Still, the movie is fun in ways that you wouldn't expect - the antagonists are comprised of the worst ...mob probably ever caught on film: they are regularly shown whacking the wrong people, watching cartoons (the movies sly way of equating mob violence to cartoon violence) or falling behind on their rent. Ghost Dog, played by Forest Whitaker, is quite a character himself, trying to make sense of the world through Zen judgment and ancient ways by frequently quoting relevant passages from Hagakure, the book of the Samurai. Furthermore his 'best friend' is an ice cream truck man who can only speak French. This combined with the fact that the movie isn't afraid to address questions of morality and racism make the movie even more of a head-scratcher but nevertheless entertaining. To top it all off, RZA's soundtrack is one of the highlights of the film, layering it with great old-style Wu-Tang hip-hop that is enough to make the movie worth watching itself. Full Review »