Ninja: These are 20 of the best Ninja movies of all time


The ninja were always one of my favorite mysterious characters in the martial arts. While the samurai were always the honorable and good faction, the ninja were mysterious and had the traits of anti-heroes. I was obsessed with ninjas growing up. I had throwing stars and swords as well as the outfit. Of course, the swords were not sharp, but I do remember taking my dad’s sharpening stone and making my throwing stars as sharp as I could. But I digress.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

One of my favorite things to consume were martial arts movies. Back in the ’70s and ’80s we had an abundance of martial arts movies but it was always the ninjas that caught my eye. So here we have 20 of the best ninja movies of all time. These picks were made strictly with ninjas in mind, not the broader martial arts category. There are tons of other amazing martial arts movies that won’t fit due to them not being strictly about Ninjitsu. So here is the list, presented in no particular order, you can argue among yourselves as to which one is the best.

20 Of The Best Ninja Movies

Ninja: These are 20 of the best Ninja movies of all time
  • American Ninja (1985) — An American soldier, who turns out to be skilled in Ninjitsu, single-handedly takes on mercenaries in the Philippines.
  • Revenge of the Ninja (1983) — After ninjas killed his family, Cho and his son Kane come to America to start a new life. He opens a doll shop but is unwittingly importing heroin in the dolls. When his friend betrays him, Cho must prepare for the ultimate battle.
  • Enter the Ninja (1981) — After passing a ninja master test in Japan, Cole visits a war buddy in the Philippines. He helps him fight men, who want his buddy’s plantation.
  • Pray for Death (1985) — After a peace-loving Japanese immigrant and his family become victims of a crime syndicate, a master ninja emerges.
  • Ninja III: The Domination (1984) — An evil ninja attempts to avenge his death from beyond the grave, by possessing an innocent woman’s body.
  • Rage of Honor (1987) — Tanaka, a DEA agent, and his partner Ray are after a bunch of drug dealers. But they are betrayed by an insider and Ray is killed. Tanaka follows the culprit, a sadistic drug lord, down to Argentina.
  • Shaolin vs. Ninja (1983) — In Japanese-occupied China, a group of ruthless ninjas schemes to take control of a Shaolin temple — and all of its riches — by any means necessary. The peaceful Shaolin monks are reluctant to engage the ninjas in combat but are eventually forced to defend themselves.
  • Gymkata (1985) — An American gymnast travels to a foreign country to compete in a deadly game not won by anyone apart from a native in more than 900 years.
  • Ninja Dragon (1986) — Major figures in the ninja community are being slaughtered. 3 ninjas are trying to figure out what evil people want to bring an end to all ninjas, and also rescue the kidnapped daughter of one of their mentors.
  • Ninja Assassin (2009) — A young ninja turns his back on the orphanage that raised him, leading to a confrontation with a fellow ninja from the clan.
  • Ninja in the Dragon’s Den (1982) — Two rival warriors, a Japanese, and a Chinese, are forced to work together after a mighty enemy has killed their master.
  • The Hunted (1995) — An American businessman visiting Nagoya, Japan, meets a woman in a hotel bar. Returning to her room, 3 ninjas kill her and wound him, but he sees the ninja boss’ face. Now, he’s the prime target of a dangerous ninja cult.
  • Red Shadow (2001) — A love triangle blooms between a team of three ninjas before tragedy strikes and forces them to reassess their clan’s principles.
  • Nukenin (2009) — Period-set martial arts adventure ROGUE NINJA delivers bone crunching thrills aplenty with a classic tale of comradeship, loyalty, and betrayal.
  • Alien vs. Ninja (2010) — A comet crashes into a Japanese forest, and a group of mighty ninjas must fight a group of killer Aliens before they reach their village and kill everyone.
  • Goemon (2009) — Based on a Japanese folk legend that echoes the tale of Robin Hood, this ninja thriller follows the exploits of Goemon Ishikawa (Yôsuke Eguchi), who leaves his fighting clan after its chief is murdered and uses his skills as a thief to help the poor.
  • Ninja: Shadow of a Tear (2013) — Ninjitsu master Casey is back and out for revenge when his pregnant wife is murdered.
  • American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987) — On a remote Caribbean island, Army Ranger Joe Armstrong investigates the disappearance of several marines, which leads him to The Lion, a super-criminal who has kidnapped a local scientist and mass-produced an army of mutant Ninja warriors.
  • Nine Deaths of the Ninja (1985) — Two anti-terrorist agents are assigned to free a busload of American schoolchildren in the Philippines who are taken hostage by terrorists.
  • Ninja Scroll (1993) — A vagabond swordsman is aided by a kunoichi and a spy in battling a demonic clan of killers — led by a ghost from his past — who are bent on overthrowing the Tokugawa Shogunate.

What do you think of these movies? Which movies would you add or remove from this list? What is the last movie in this genre was the best? You may comment by using the social media buttons below. Share on your favorite social media site and tag us on Facebook, X, MeWe, and LinkedIn. Or join our Telegram channel here.

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Last Updated on April 30, 2024.


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