The Last Samurai
The Last Samurai (2003)

Edward Zwick returned to the director's chair for the first time since 1998's The Siege with this sweeping period drama set in 19th-century Japan. After centuries of relying on hired samurai for national defense, the Japanese… More

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Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: December 5, 2003
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2004
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Critic Score: 66% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: With high production values and thrilling battle scenes, The Last Samurai is a satisfying epic.

Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

It's easy to stand back and wax ironic about The Last Samurai. But it's not all that difficult to succumb to its full-spirited romanticism either.

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Todd McCarthy

Disappointingly content to recycle familiar attitudes about the nobility of ancient cultures, Western despoilment of them, liberal historical guilt, the unrestrainable greed of capitalists and the irreducible primacy of Hollywood movie stars.

Stuart Klawans
The Nation

Mostly, though, The Last Samurai aims for, and achieves, epic sweep: the glory of tradition-bound warriors hurling themselves against the modern world, the grandeur of Hollywood offering two points of view on everything.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Competently mounted in its studiedly immersive, elongated way, Zwick's earnest costume epic dresses a knee-jerk, reactionary sensibility in exotic garb.

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David Ansen

There are pleasures to be had in the handsome, heroic The Last Samurai. But they're all on the surface.

John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews

does honor traditional Japanese culture and ideals and make them accessible to a wider audience

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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture

The Last Samurai is an idyll in which the savageries of existence are transcended by spiritual devotion. That's a beautiful dream, and it gives the film a deep pleasingness, but the fullness of life and its blackest ambiguities are sacrificed.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

The script lays on hokey narration and bombastic dialogue.

Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

Outstanding action and performance; lots of blood.

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More reviews for The Last Samurai

Flixster Audience Score: 83% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
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… More
Kevin M. Williams
Its Hollywood romanticism of culture we killed at its best, with Cruise as the protagonist suddenly dubious as to which side is the right side (see:"Dances… More
Michael S
Sweeping and emotional. This is truly a bold, near masterpiece that just gets better with each subsequent viewing. I don't know why it's so underrated… More
Jens S.
Review coming.
Daniel Perry
Almost 10 years passed between my first attempt at watching this movie and my second, and while I had rated it a 2.5 the first time around (after passing out,… More
Marc Lewis
Let me start this off by saying that a historical epic has to do more than have some great fight scenes to impress me. That is the reason why I HATED… More