Black Rain

6.62 h 5 min1989X-RayR
When yakuza hit man Sato (Yusaku Matsuda) kills two American mobsters in New York, he's extradited to Osaka to face trial with NYPD officers Mike Conklin (Michael Douglas) and Charlie Vincent (Andy Garcia) as his escorts.
Ridley Scott
Michael DouglasAndy GarciaKen Takakura
English (US) [CC]English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Kate Caphaw
Stanley R. JaffeSherry Lansing
Paramount Pictures Corp.
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Violencealcohol usesmokingfoul language
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4.7 out of 5 stars

2584 global ratings

  1. 77% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 6% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

DafReviewed in the United States on May 20, 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
Man, those Japanese are taking over with their Nintendo's and Sony Walkman's and all!
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If you were there in the late 80s, 'Black Rain' is a time capsule for that moment where it was just common knowledge in the west that the future was all about Japan economically, a notion that was met with equal parts fascination and fear ('suppose they hold a grudge over the nukes?'). 'Black Rain' was there to capitalize on this in full-force, with Ridley Scott presenting Japan as though it had already reached his dystopian vision of 'Blade Runner' in real-life, and all the locals being so gosh-darned exotic and inscrutable. It's almost... cute?

To its credit, 'Black Rain' never says any of this out loud, so it's easy to ignore that context if you wish (but hey, why would you? It's interesting), but the movie has all kinds of other distracting side-business: Michael Douglas seems almost desperate to be taken seriously as an action star (he does good here, actually, but I didn't come away thinking we missed out on Michael Douglas: Action Hero); the credits even list the production as being done "In Association With Michael Douglas" (!) so this was obviously an important role to him.

Other tidbits: this seems to have been made at a time when they were trying to sell Andy Garcia as Italian, and we also get Kate Capshaw in a somewhat darker variation of her character from 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom': being a glamorous American working in a swanky Asian nightclub that frequents organized crime bosses is some very specific type-casting, but hey, when you got a niche...

OK, I've had my fun knocking 'Black Rain' around, but credit where credit is due: the performances are credible, the cinematography is gorgeous like we expect from a Ridley Scott feature, and it does its genre justice as a crime thriller. It's just that it has obvious pretensions that come off more silly than serious, especially in retrospect.
20 people found this helpful
Nicholas PalubinskiReviewed in the United States on March 21, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
Three decades later, there's something new to be found in Black Rain
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Decades ago, my impressionable tween self was too awed by Michael Douglas' late 80s cool veneer to process the near-total boorishness of Black Rain's protagonist, Nick Conklin. But watching Black Rain today, I have to say that he is just about complete in his contemptibility.

Just about. He is partially redeemed by one trait: An all-consuming sense of duty that drives him to re-apprehend Sato (Yusaku Matsuda), a Yakuza assassin cum ambitious clan boss who slips through Nick's fingers on a botched escort mission from New York to Osaka. But in someone like Nick, this sliver of decency only catalyzes misfortune: He unreasonably compels Joyce (Kate Capshaw), an American hostess bar worker, to risk her life for him; corrupts the stoic Osaka police inspector Masahiro (the always excellent Ken Takakura), and – taking the cake – drives a series of events that lead to the grisly murder of his partner, Charlie Vincent (Andy Garcia).

After witnessing all this carnage in the first half of the film, it dawns that Nick is as loathsome as Sato, and at least as dangerous.

And it’s at that point that point the film magically starts to make sense: Nick and Sato are two sides of the same awful coin. Their destructive natures bring them into each other's orbits and together they embody the chaotic yin to the orderly yang of the respective societies and organizations they inhabit.

This isn't to say that Nick and Sato are harbingers of society's sins (they aren't - Nick confides in Masahiro his guilt in the deplorable IA allegations against him and is there anything worthwhile in Sato's motivation to introduce a "new way" to the ancient Yakuza?). No, yin just is, as yang just is. Yang: Downtown New York and downtown Osaka, American police precinct and Japanese police precinct, and, obscured in it all, Yakuza underworld. Ridley Scott captures these in a way that each inhabits its own wordless character, revolving around Nick and Sato but indifferent to them as Nick and Sato seem indifferent to the devastation they wrought.

Black Rain could have really been something if it had developed this theme to its own esoteric conclusion. But, in the end Nick and Masahiro are inexplicably feted as heroes and awarded medals (really).

If there was a Ridley Scott movie that stood to gain the most from a director's cut/final cut/alternative cut/redux, Black Rain has to be it.
4 people found this helpful
AnthonyReviewed in the United States on January 20, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Solid cop movie with added bonus that it takes place in Japan
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**NO SPOILER REVIEW** I really liked this movie. This movie has some amazing cinematography, and does a fairly good job of portraying the culture shock that an American would experience during a first time visit to Japan, even though it's somewhat simplified and is also trying to be a buddy cop movie where there's also a good cop/bad cop dynamic. Bottom line is, it's a movie, some themes will have to simplified otherwise it'd be a 3 hour slog.

The concepts of "GAIJIN" and Japanese police culture aren't fully explained so if you take some time to learn about these two things beforehand it makes the movie much more cohesive and ... well, just helps things make more sense. The movie 'Freakonomics' details a fascinating aspect of Japanese police culture which is on full display in this film, I highly recommend you watch that segment in 'Freakonomics' on Japanese policing (probably 20-30 minutes long) I'd also suggest you briefly read up on Japanese people's disdain for a "Gaijin" prior to watching this movie if you aren't familiar with either concept. It will greatly enhance your viewing experience. Also keep in mind that in Japanese culture, saving face and maintaining honor (in all aspects of life, not just policing) is of the utmost importance, this will help explain why the Japanese seemed to do some of the things they did in the movie. It wasn't that unrealistic if you ask me.

FYI: I served overseas as a military servicemember in Tokyo (so I WAS the Gaijin), this is partially why I enjoyed the film so much. If you lived in Japan like I did you probably don't need to read up on "Gaijin" or research too deeply into Japanese culture since you're already familiar.

I'm rating this 5 stars because some other people rated the movie way too low imo, the cinematography alone is 5 star quality, the plot is somewhat predictable at times but there are a few surprising twists so I wasn't disappointed. If you ever traveled to Japan (which would help you understand and enjoy the film's setting easier) or if you enjoy Asian themed cop flicks (i.e. Police Story, Supercop, etc.) then you'll like this movie. I watched the Amazon Prime streaming version, so for a free movie on Prime it's definitely worth a watch!
39 people found this helpful
MikeReviewed in the United States on December 14, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
9.99 bluray is region free!
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So I'm not really sure whats going on here as there are numerous bluray listings for this film on here. But the 9.99 collectors blu released in 2017 is listed as region B and will not play in us players. Well that I can tell you is incorrect and is region free as I received mine today and tested it. I think this is a pretty big deal as most of the other listings for what I assume is the region A release sell for 24 to 30 dollars. It also packs all the extras found n the collectors edition and looks fantastic. So hopefully you've been lucky enough to read this and save yourself 20 bucks, and hopefully Amazon can get their information correct at some point, its costing people unnecessary money
8 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on December 3, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Such a bad start and horrible writing can't save this movie
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Black Rain is a cop drama about two New York City police officers Nick (Michael Douglas) and Charlie (Andy Garcia) fighting the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia. The story immediately runs into problems. First, Douglas plays a tough guy cop. He rides a motorcycle, he’s screwing up with his family. It’s completely unbelievable. Worse is when Nick and Charlie first run into the Yakuza in a bar. A Japanese man stabs an Italian mafia and the two police wait until the Yakuza runs out of the place to do anything. Yes, the police let a murder happen before they intervene. It just gets worse from there as Nick and Charlie take their investigation to Japan where they are not police and don’t speak the language, etc. What a horrible piece of writing this movie is.

The movie actually recovers a bit halfway through but it has such a bad start and premise it’s still a throw away story.
5 people found this helpful
DavidGReviewed in the United States on January 23, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Twenty-Eight Years Later, It's Still A Good Movie
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When I first saw this film in 1989 I was 39 years old. At that age I enjoyed it as an intense action thriller with some moving undertones. The culture clashes are illuminating. The karaoke scene is priceless. The ending is sweet. In between all that, the action is always fast moving.

Watching the movie now, at the age of 67, I still feel very much the same. There is only one significant change in my perspective. At age 39, I saw Douglas' character, Nick, as strongly macho. These days though I see that level of machismo as arrogance bordering on stupidity, an arrogance which gets people killed. That doesn't detract from the film for me but simply gives it an added dimension. For Douglas' character clearly learns and grows throughout the movie. Since I was arrogantly macho in my own younger days but have hopefully moved beyond that these days, I very much appreciate such a journey.
13 people found this helpful
Gwynn B. OwensReviewed in the United States on October 22, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
A masterpiece!
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I have never understood why this film received so little acclaim. I am not a thriller fan and quite frankly avoid suspence as I have enough in my own life. Not an adrenaline junkie!

But Black Rain totally engaged me from the very beginning with its truly magnificent musical editing to its truly magnificent cinematography. Music and visuals carefully edited to create a symphony of sensuality, a feast for the senses.

The story line was not tainted with useless extraneous love scenes, its power enhanced with fierce brilliant acting. It is a thriller. It is a brilliant film made more than the sum of its parts by its editing.

It is raw violent satisfying engaging!

And I, who run from thrillers, watched it three times in a row the same night!
37 people found this helpful
TTReviewed in the United States on October 2, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Great Hollywood movie made in Japan
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One of the RARE (to this day) movies made in Japan by Hollywood. There are literally only a dozen ever, like the Wolverine, The Last Samurai, etc. The art direction in Japan itself is gorgeous. This was Michael Douglas in his prime. I feel this is one of his better roles too, outside of Falling Down and Fatal Attraction, or The Game. He is the dirty cop and his partner dies as they are separated, but one questions if he allowed to happen as he knew Douglas was dirty. The Japanese detective Matsu is very well done, a hard boiled type. The ending is great too. I loved watching this movie when it came out since Japan was not often seen like this. I think it doesn't age as well when it was released, but still a solid and rare movie based and filmed in Japan.
One person found this helpful
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