|Warner Bros. Pictures | Release Date: December 5, 2003||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Most watchable during the majestic brutality of the battle sequences. This is not only because of the handsome staging, but also because the keywords sacrifice and honor are evoked with verve and simplicity, more so than in the "exchange of idea" chats between Algren and Katsumoto, which sound like statements being read into the Congressional Record by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Read full review
Unwilling to offend, Zwick whitewashes a culture in which brutality and contemplative beauty were inextricably intertwined and, afraid to alienate audiences, he shies away from the story's logical downbeat conclusion, replacing it with an "ambiguous" ending that recalls, of all things, "The Road Warrior." Read full review
Zwick can’t find anything fresh in this deeply pious East-meets-West stuff. The movie comes close to dying between battle scenes. [8 December 2003, p. 139]
Too many mind and the story grows tedious or absurd. No mind and the spectacle suffices.
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