The Last Samurai - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Last Samurai Reviews

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February 17, 2016
While not the best film ever, it is undoubtedly one of the most under-rated. Cinematography, plot, and the score are perfect.
February 3, 2016
The Last Samurai is a fantastic epic that hasn't been dated at all. Tom Cruise gives a memorable performance, and his Japanese accent is really fluent. The story of it is really good, which made sense since it's by John Logan, one of my favorite Hollywood writers. I didn't understand why this has lukewarm reviews. The movie is very long, but it still mkept me interested from beginning to end. The writing is well-written, and the battle scenes are very entertaining to watch. The characters are memorable, and it has some funny moments. I'm glad that they didn't go with the chemistry between Nathan and Taka as it wouldn't make sense, given the situation that they're in. It respects Japanese culture very well, and it's interesting about the history of samurais. The Last Samurai is another great addition to Edward Zwick's filmography.
½ February 2, 2016
Always fun to watch, it's a part history (with Hollywood thrown in, obviously) that not many people know about.
February 1, 2016
Good film and storyline, A little long for what was on offer, But the battle scenes were good.
January 31, 2016
After the Indian Wars, U.S. Army captain Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) is traumatized by the atrocities he committed and becomes an alcoholic. Colonel Bagley (Tony Goldwyn), his former commanding officer, approaches him with an offer. Japanese businessman Omura wishes to hire distinguished U.S. soldiers to train the Imperial Japanese Army to suppress a samurai rebellion. In exchange, Japan would grant the U.S. exclusive rights to supply arms to the Japanese army. Needing money, Algren accepts the job, despite his personal hatred of Bagley. Most of the soldiers being trained are little more than peasants and farmers. When the samurai rebels attack a railroad, Bagley orders the regiment to mobilize, despite Algren's objections. The samurai horsemen quickly slaughter the undisciplined and intimidated soldiers. Algren kills several samurai, but is knocked from his horse and eventually collapses from exhaustion. As a warrior named Hirotaro prepares to execute him, he kills Hirotaro with a flagstaff. Seeing Algren's ferocity and the white tiger on the flag he wields, rebel leader Katsumoto Moritsugu (Ken Watanabe) is reminded of a recurring dream. He spares Algren's life and takes him to the rebels' village. Under supervision, Algren explores the village and interacts with its inhabitants. He meets with Katsumoto, who converses with him for mutual understanding. Algren grows to respect the lifestyle of the samurai and their families. As time passes, he learns more of the Japanese culture and language. He learns that Katsumoto initiates the rebellion to oppose the speed westernization, and that he believes they are acting in the best interest of Japan. Algren must now choose to honor his loyalty and take sides in this act of rebellion...

The film achieved higher box office receipts in Japan than in the United States. Critical reception in Japan was generally positive. Tomomi Katsuta of The Mainichi Shinbun thought that the film was "a vast improvement over previous American attempts to portray Japan", noting that director Edward Zwick "had researched Japanese history, cast well-known Japanese actors and consulted dialogue coaches to make sure he didn't confuse the casual and formal categories of Japanese speech." However, Katsuta still found fault with the film's idealistic, "storybook" portrayal of the samurai, stating: "Our image of samurai is that they were more corrupt." As such, he said, the noble samurai leader Katsumoto "set (his) teeth on edge." In the United States, critic Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, saying it was "beautifully designed, intelligently written, acted with conviction, it's an uncommonly thoughtful epic." Edward Zwick is a skillful director in terms of epic historical costume dramas, and here he has beautiful environments, big scale fighting scenes, an intriguing storyline that does carry connections to Kevin Costnerīs "Dances with Wolves" and solid actors in the main roles. In general itīs exciting, thought provoking, touching and the cultural differences between West and East has a great foundation for a story. However, the movie ends up quite quickly in the land of predictability and it becomes one long wait to reach the end you know all so well before you even have seen it. Itīs a shame as I do like the foundation of the story, but the execution and development of the story on the screen becomes not as good as it couldīve been as a deeper substance is lacking from it.
½ January 25, 2016
The Last Samurai is a film not much discussed in these modern days and probably not so much when it came out either. I think it's a sleeper hit. It's not for everyone. It's a war film at heart. It's a very interesting story about how Tom Cruise, a civil war veteran is paid big money to go overseas to Japan and introduce better tech to a severely undertrained army against a much smaller army of samurai's.

What makes no sense is that this weak group is working for the emperor, but a seemingly weak and young emperor that is incapable of making tough decisions, but it would be wrong to say he is corrupt.

During the first battle, he is taken hostage. He finds out this group of much more seasoned warriors live a more traditional country lifestyle over their enemies the more advanced and western influenced city folk of Tokyo, the story follows Cruise and his travels and what his life is like during captivity which leads up to some pointless final war.

It's an intriguing and extremely confusing plot that is different and isn't your typical sword fighting martial arts Japanese film. We have some well known actors like Ken Watanabe. The film will keep you interested for the most part. Some of the dialogue can drag on and end up seeming mundane.
January 12, 2016
A classic in my eyes. The Japanese equivalent of Dances with Wolves but with more of a reference to an important period in Japan's history, the Meiji Period. Incredibly beautiful shots, soundtrack, sets and an exceptionally fictional approach to the rise of modern Japan.
Even with an American protagonist, his rejection of the American way provided a neutral ground. Something not seen as often in films with a similar premise.
January 11, 2016
Cruise is a samurai? Why not?
January 10, 2016
Watched it so many years ago when I was a teenager and I just realized younger me had no appreciation for finer movies.
December 31, 2015
This is an epic with high production values, beautiful imagery and some intense battle sequences that is worth watching. My only concern with this movie is that I never really believed the motivations of Tom Cruise's character. However this is another notch under Tom Cruise's belt, you rarely find a bad Tom Cruise movie, the guy knows how to choose his projects.
December 27, 2015
This is one of my favourite films. Although it may not be historically accurate, I feel it does a great job at portraying one man's ability to give all he has for something greater than himself.
½ December 23, 2015
The Last Samurai is incredibly well-acted by both Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe, with good direction and edge-of-the-seat action (most of the time).
December 18, 2015
If only we have less Tom And more Ken ~~~. But other wise it's a great epic film with true essence of what a samurai is.
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2015
I will never really understand why this powerful epic is so generally overlooked and underrated, when in fact it should be regarded as an extraordinary masterpiece about honor, love, loyalty and redemption, beautifully photographed, greatly acted and with a gorgeous score.
December 14, 2015
The Last Samurai is based on a true history of 19th century Japan, where they faced challenges between old and new and I love it. It is well made and Ken Watanabe is most amazing.
November 22, 2015
Tom Cruise did a great job in this movie. I had to watch it for a homework in the university about leadership, is a very interesting story about honor, culture and values. Really like it!
½ November 15, 2015
This is not such a bad story and it's made well enough but a total casting disaster putting Tom Cruise in this role. I can imagine that if Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Tom Hardy or any of the myriad other actors who could have pulled this off would have been cast then it would have won a lot more awards and would appear in a lot more "greatest film" lists.
October 28, 2015
Amazing, epic, spiritual.
Beginning, middle and the end: satisfying all the way through
½ October 24, 2015
F-ing awesome movie.
September 22, 2015
Have the DVD and see something new every time I watch it again. About 8-times now. My top 10 of all time.
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