Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker), a hitman who lives his life by the code of the Samurai, is targeted by some ageing gangsters. When they kill his carrier pigeons, he takes his bloody revenge.
Forest Whitaker gets his best role in Jim Jarmusch's thriller. Obviously, Jarmusch's idea of a thriller isn't like anyone else's, and what you get here is a deliberately paced gangster movie full of humour and charm. I hesitate to use the word "quirky", because that suggests a certain inconsequentiality, and Jarmusch's films really stay with you. Ghost Dog is a great character: he's respectful, polite, spiritual and an avid reader; he should get his own car, though. Oh yeah, and he kills people, but hey, nobody's perfect.
The nature of the film means you can guess how Ghost Dog will end up pretty early on, but it's a film of mood and character rather than narrative drive. What you get out of this film depends on how much you put into it; I particularly like the scenes with the ice cream man. Probably the Jarmusch film with the highest body count. Watch for: the boat builder on the roof, Gary Farmer from Dead Man, all the gangsters watching cartoons on TV, like Felix the Cat or Itchy and Scratchy. Listen for: the fine soundtrack from the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA.