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Mixed or average reviews - based on 44 Critics What's this?

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7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 302 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The paths of two warriors converge when the young Emperor of Japan, hires a Civil War veteran (Cruise) to train Japan's first modern, conscript army. As he encounters the Samurai traditions, the troubled American soldier finds himself at the center of a violent and epic struggle between twoThe paths of two warriors converge when the young Emperor of Japan, hires a Civil War veteran (Cruise) to train Japan's first modern, conscript army. As he encounters the Samurai traditions, the troubled American soldier finds himself at the center of a violent and epic struggle between two eras and two worlds, with only his sense of honor to guide him. (Warner Bros.) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 44
  2. Negative: 4 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: Will Lawrence
    100
    The Last Samurai is much more fun than a mere history lesson.
  2. Hugely satisfying entertainment that will attract a broad spectrum of audiences around the world. Zwick fully exploits the star power at his disposal, pairing off Cruise and Japanese star Ken Watanabe as two larger-than-life warriors.
  3. A handsome epic, a brave-hearted 19th-century man-saga from the director who made the period piece man-sagas ''Glory'' and ''Legends of the Fall.''
  4. 60
    The only history that bears a real influence on The Last Samurai is the history of Hollywood moviemaking, and the unfortunate way it has of turning extraordinary stories into hopelessly ordinary ones.
  5. 50
    Worst of all, nothing happens that we don't see coming. Nothing. If, as Nathan seems to believe, surprise is a crucial element in any campaign, then The Last Samurai might win a battle or two for your attention but is doomed to lose the Oscar war.
  6. 50
    What it lacks is artistry, those small touches of personality that might have distinguished its lugubrious history lesson from a bunch of pretty pictures with captions telling the story.
  7. There's some cool sword-fighting. But still, it's junk.

See all 44 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 139
  1. SeymoreB.
    Dec 11, 2007
    10
    they did not have any sort of albino squirrel, YOU GUYS SUCK!!!
  2. Jul 31, 2012
    10
    The Last Samurai reminds me of the kind of poetry I used to read in school, well the good poetry. It had the ability to be both profound andThe Last Samurai reminds me of the kind of poetry I used to read in school, well the good poetry. It had the ability to be both profound and silly, uplifting and devestating and it could affect me in the way it toyed with my emotions. The Last Samurai does exactly that as it juxtaposes the blissful serenity of pre industrial Japan with the horror and devestation brought by the more technologically advanced Americans. The fact that the film follows the viewpoint of an American as he learns the customs of not just the Japanese but the Samurai allows the film to slowly convince the viewer of the beauty of a simple yet disciplined life. The film follows Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) an American captain charged with training the Japanese army to fight like the more advanced (at least tactically) American forces he belongs to. However Algren is a conflicted character as he is serving a master he loathes (the US army) and because he cannot bring himself to leave, that loathing is only aimed at himself. He has deep regret for his actions as a soldier but also extreme hatred of his superiors and almost everyone around him. Cruise provides one of his best performances as he manages to provide subtle nuances to a character that is already richly written. The film follows Algren though his training of the Japanese army but also his capture and imprisonment by the Samurai leader Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe). Watanabe is the perfect foil for Cruise whose performance is energetic but emotional in comparison to Watanabe who is subdued yet engrossing. Their interaction make the movie as they are written in a way that doesn't preach about why the the Samurai way is much more respectable than that of the ever changing Japan but meerly implies it. The slow establishment of a deep and meaningful friendship (Bromance?) between the two is where the heart and soul of the film lies. Director Edward Zwick sets the right pace for the film as it takes the time to display the beauty of Japan and what the Samurai are trying to hold onto but it also progresses the story at an acceptable tempo so that the viewer doesn't lose interest. The film has a great supporting cast although Billy Connolly seemed a little out of place. Overall the film has a power and emotion unlike many films as it takes its inspiration not just from history but also from nature and the beauty in it. It's a film entirely about redemption and I can think of no better place to do it than the Japanese mountains. Nathan Algren is a lucky man. Expand
  3. Aug 14, 2010
    10
    This is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I don't even like Tom Cruise. I'm not sure why the critics are so far off the users on thisThis is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I don't even like Tom Cruise. I'm not sure why the critics are so far off the users on this one. It is well worth a view, even for a Cruise hater. Collapse
  4. DavidP
    Jul 29, 2008
    9
    I believe that the story that is delivered in this epic has a wide range of emotional connections and sense of Honor, Warrior, Man and Self. I believe that the story that is delivered in this epic has a wide range of emotional connections and sense of Honor, Warrior, Man and Self. This movie transitions a man from inter-conflict as a result of war and shows him transforming to a spiritual understanding that sets his demons free. The result of captivity in learning ones cultural differences and acceptance as a more peaceful one for an individual is moving and irregardless of critical review, makes the film powerful. There are many lessons to learn from this film then and now. It's the best movie of its kind in modern day theatre. Expand
  5. Feb 15, 2011
    8
    This story brings some originality to Hollywood, and I think it has been unjustly criticized. Between the action, the pseudo-history and theThis story brings some originality to Hollywood, and I think it has been unjustly criticized. Between the action, the pseudo-history and the character development, The Last Samurai succeeds in taking you away to another world and inspiring you as it does so. Expand
  6. Mar 6, 2013
    8
    Really enjoyed the movie with the soundtrack, the battle sequences and the story. The corny ending is the only thing, I can complain about.Really enjoyed the movie with the soundtrack, the battle sequences and the story. The corny ending is the only thing, I can complain about. Decent Film. Expand
  7. House
    Mar 22, 2009
    1
    The weeaboo move of the decade, fo sho. Wapanese Scientologist Tom Cruise makes sure to murder Japanese chicks' husband before The weeaboo move of the decade, fo sho. Wapanese Scientologist Tom Cruise makes sure to murder Japanese chicks' husband before gettin' with her. Most Honorable movie evar!!! Expand

See all 139 User Reviews

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