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Brother

Director-screenwriter Takeshi Kitano (“Fireworks,” “Sonatine”) makes his American debut with “Brother,” a modern-day yakuza film set in Los Angeles. Kitano plays tough-guy gangster Yamamoto, who is abandoned by his yakuza clan and forced to leave Tokyo. He goes in search of half-brother Ken (Claude Maki), a small-time L.A. drug dealer who counts among his friends Denny (Omar Epps), which whom Yamamoto had a violent run-in during his first day in the city. Yamamoto and Denny overcome their antipathy and forge a bond that allows them to take Ken’s small business into the big leagues — and gives them the power to take on the Mafia.

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