Kinji Fukasaku, Japan, 1975, Arrow Films, Action

“A surprisingly redemptive tale. Usually these movies end in a bloody heap of tragedy, and while that tinge of doom is still very much here, COPS VS. THUGS has the tiniest bit of uplift, which seems enormous in the scope of Fukasaku's oeuvre.” -- “Xebeche”, Letterboxd

Considered by many as one of the greatest single-film achievement in the yakuza genre by director Kinji Fukasaku (BATTLE ROYALE, the BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR AND HUMANITY series), COPS VS. THUGS was made at the height of Toei Studios' jitsuroku boom: realistic, modern crime movies based on true stories ripped from contemporary headlines.

Echoing the great crime films of Sidney Lumet and Jean-Pierre Melville, in Fukasaku's world, there's no honor among thieves or lawmen alike. It's 1963 in the southern city of Kurashima, and tough-as-nails detective Kuno oversees a detente between warring Kawade and Ohara gangs. When random violence interrupts the peace and an ambitious, by-the-books police lieutenant comes to town, Kuno's fragile alliance crumbles...

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  • 100 min.
  • Color
  • 2.35:1


  • DCP