The Best Sonny Chiba Movies, Ranked

Over 100 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Sonny Chiba Movies, Ranked
Voting Rules
Vote for your favorite Sonny Chiba movies, regardless of critic reviews or how big the role was.

Over 100 movie fans have come together to vote on this list of the best Sonny Chiba movies. Chiba is a martial arts legend who has left an indelible mark in the world of cinema. With over 200 films under his belt, he is one of the most prolific actors in Japanese cinema history.

This list showcases some of Chiba’s greatest performances and highlights what makes him such an enduring icon. From his early roles in samurai epics to his action-packed thrillers, each film on this list represents a unique aspect of Chiba’s illustrious career.

As you make your way through this ranked list, you’ll see why Sonny Chiba has become synonymous with martial arts mastery and cinematic excellence. These movies showcase not only his physical prowess but also his range as an actor and artist.

So sit back, grab some popcorn and get ready to journey through some incredible films that capture the essence of one of cinema's greatest action stars. And don't forget to vote up your favorites.

Most divisive: Wandering Detective: Black Wind in the Harbor
Ranked by
  • The Street Fighter
    Sonny Chiba, Yutaka Nakajima, Tony Cetera
    48 votes
    • Released: 1974
    • Directed by: Shigehiro Ozawa
    The Street Fighter, literally Clash, Killer Fist!, is a Japanese martial arts film released in 1974 and produced by Toei Company Ltd. It was released in the US by New Line Cinema and became one of the first films to be a commercial success for the distributor. It is notable as the first film to receive an X-rating in the United States solely for violence. In the UK it was originally released as Kung Fu Streetfighter, presumably to avoid confusion with the Charles Bronson movie Hard Times which was initially released as The Streetfighter in the UK. The Street Fighter inspired two sequels, Return of the Street Fighter and The Street Fighter's Last Revenge. Additionally, the film Sister Street Fighter and its sequels is a spin-off series of The Street Fighter. There was another spin-off entitled Kozure Satsujin Ken, which was brought to the US by a different company under the title Karate Warriors. The video game The Darkness has the entire movie available, to watch, on any of the in-game TVs. The film is in the public domain and is available for free download at the Internet Archive.
  • Executioner


    Sonny Chiba, Hiroyuki Sanada, Yasuaki Kurata
    18 votes
    • Released: 1974
    • Directed by: Teruo Ishii
  • Return of the Street Fighter
    Sonny Chiba, Shingo Yamashiro, Masafumi Suzuki
    23 votes
    • Released: 1974
    • Directed by: Shigehiro Ozawa
    Return of the Street Fighter is a 1974 martial arts film and the second in a series starting with The Street Fighter starring Sonny Chiba. In this sequel, Martial artist Takuma Tsurugi returns to take on a Yakuza family that may be embezzling money from charities to finance their own operations. Both the police and the Yakuza find themselves battling Tsurugi, but Tsurugi's fight ultimately is with the mob, and he concentrates on them. The film was initially released on home video by MGM/CBS Home Video and later by New Line Home Video.
  • Shogun's Samurai
    Toshiro Mifune, Sonny Chiba, Hiroyuki Sanada
    21 votes
    • Released: 1978
    • Directed by: Kinji Fukasaku
    Shogun's Samurai, also known as "The Yagyu Clan Conspiracy" and "Intrigue of the Yagyu Clan", is a 1978 Japanese historical martial arts period film, directed by Kinji Fukasaku. The film is the first of two period films by Fukasaku starring Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba as Jūbei Mitsuyoshi Yagyū, the other being Samurai Reincarnation. The film received five Japan Academy Prize nominations for best actor, best art direction, best film, best screenplay, and best supporting actor. The movie became a teleplay and was broadcast by Kansai Telecasting Corporation for 39 one-hour TV episodes from 1978 to 1979. It is called The Yagyu Conspiracy.
  • Shogun's Ninja

    Shogun's Ninja

    Sonny Chiba, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tetsurō Tamba
    14 votes
    • Released: 1980
    • Directed by: Norifumi Suzuki
    Shogun's Ninja is an action adventure drama film directed by Noribumi Suzuki.
  • Samurai Reincarnation
    Sonny Chiba, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ken Ogata
    18 votes
    • Released: 1981
    • Directed by: Kinji Fukasaku
    Samurai Reincarnation is a 1981 film starring Sonny Chiba and directed by Kinji Fukasaku. The film was based on the novel Makai Tensho. The film was nominated for three 'Awards of the Japanese Academy' of which it won two. Hiroyuki Sanada won best newcomer of the year and Tokumichi Igawa and Yoshikazu Sano took the award for best art direction. The film was nominated for best sound, however did not win the award.