Brother (2000 film)

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Directed by Takeshi Kitano
Produced by
Written by Takeshi Kitano
Music by Joe Hisaishi
Edited by Takeshi Kitano
Distributed by Shochiku Co., Ltd.
Release dates
  • July 20, 2001 (2001-07-20)
Running time
114 minutes
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
Language Japanese
Box office $15.2 million[1]

Brother is a 2000 film starring, written, directed, and edited by Japanese filmmaker Takeshi Kitano.[2]


Takeshi Kitano plays Yamamoto, a lone yakuza officer. Defeated in a war with a rival family, his boss killed, he heads to Los Angeles, California.

As time passes, Yamamoto and his new gang emerge as a powerful force, gradually expanding their turf to an extent that they must confront the Mafia. The Mafia's attacks are ruthless, and soon Yamamoto and his gang are driven into a disastrous situation of no return as they are hunted down one by one.



Soundtrack album by Joe Hisaishi
Released 27 January 2001
Label Polygram, Silva America

All compositions by Joe Hisaishi.

  1. "Drifter... in LAX"
  2. "Solitude"
  3. "Tattoo"
  4. "Death Spiral"
  5. "Party (One Year Later)"
  6. "On the Shore"
  7. "Blood Brother"
  8. "Raging Men"
  9. "Beyond the Control"
  10. "Wipe Out"
  11. "Liberation from the Death"
  12. "I Love You, Aniki"
  13. "Ballade"
  14. "Brother"
  15. "Brother (Remix version)"


Impressed with Europeans' interest in yakuza, Kitano wrote what he described as an old-fashioned yakuza film. To greater contrast the character against more familiar elements, he set it in a foreign country, choosing Los Angeles as a place-holder. When producer Jeremy Thomas asked Kitano if he was interested in foreign productions, Kitano told him about the script. Thomas promised him complete creative control, which Kitano said he got. Commenting on the differing styles of filmmaking, Kitano said that American productions are more focused on the business side and are less sentimental. Kitano cited their strong pride in their professionalism as positive aspect.[3]


Several scenes were censored for the U.S. release.[4]


At the time of its release, Brother was hyped as Kitano's vehicle for breaking into the United States film market. The film has a 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 73 reviews.[5] Roger Ebert, who has praised all of Kitano's films he has seen, complimented Kitano in his review but ultimately rated the film two out of four stars, writing that "Brother is a typical Kitano film in many ways, but not one of his best ones."[6]

On his side, Kitano stated in an interview that he was not fully satisfied with the final result of Brother and that he regretted his "Hollywood" adventure which was supposed to bring him a broader audience with a higher exposure. Kitano said he had no intention of shooting outside Japan again.[this quote needs a citation]


  1. ^ "Brother". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2015-01-13. 
  2. ^ The New York Times
  3. ^ "Blood Brother". The Guardian. 2001-03-15. Retrieved 2015-09-11. 
  4. ^ "Beat Takeshi's BROTHER chop chopped for U.S. Distribution". Ain't It Cool News. 2001-08-02. Retrieved 2015-09-11. 
  5. ^ "Brother". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2015-01-13. 
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (2001-07-27). "Brother". Retrieved 2015-01-13. 

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