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Fri, May 24 at Midnight


  • Dir. Kinji Fukasaku
  • Japan
  • 2000
  • 114 min.
  • NR
  • Digital

In Japanese with English subtitles

  • Assistive Listening
  • Subtitled
  • Hearing Loop

Part of Midnight Movies

Fri, May 24 at Midnight: Introduction from programmer Zack Hall. Cold Brew Boba available before the film. | BUY TICKETS

Before THE HUNGER GAMES. Before SQUID GAMES. There was BATTLE ROYALE. Presenting an alternate dystopian vision of turn-of-the-millennium Japan, the film follows the 42 junior high school students selected to take part in the government’s annual Battle Royale program, established as an extreme method of addressing concerns about juvenile delinquency. Dispatched to a remote island, they are each given individual weapons (ranging from Uzis and machetes to pan lids and binoculars), food and water, and the order to go out and kill one another. Every player is fitted with an explosive collar around their neck, imposing a strict three-day time limit on the deadly games in which there can only be one survivor. Overseeing the carnage is Beat Takeshi Kitano (SONATINE, HANA-BI, ZATOICHI) as the teacher pushed to the edge by his unruly charges. Playing like a turbo-charged hybrid of Lord of the Flies and The Most Dangerous Game, the final completed work by veteran yakuza film director Kinji Fukasaku (BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR AND HUMANITY, GRAVEYARD OF HONOR) helped launch a new wave of appreciation for Asian cinema in the 21st century.

“Returning to his roots as Japan’s maestro of mayhem, Kinji Fukasaku has delivered a brutal punch to the collective solar plexus.” —Robert Koehler, Variety (Jan 22, 2001)

“It is a lot uglier [than THE HUNGER GAMES] and also, perversely, a lot more fun.” —A.O. Scott, NYT Critic’s Pick, New York Times