Max (7 out of 10 ) I didn't like it much, but most people I know did. I guess a don't like the idea of how Algren plays such a big part in the story of the samurai, and gets to meet the emperor etc. You sort of get the feeling that if Algren died, then the whole smaurai rebelion story would be over.
Rob (10 out of 10 ) What must be remembered is that this story is not about the Samurai as such, it is not about the rebellion, it is not about the Emperor. It is about Algren and his journey from being a highly troubled man to being at peace with himself.
Maverick (10 out of 10 ) They changed many things. But 10 out of 10 for this amazing Character. It is a great Story. I loved it very much.
JS (7 out of 10 )
An enjoyable movie but one that grossly distorts the facts of history in true Hollywood style. The character of Nathan Algren was in fact a Frenchman named Jules Brunet, who fought alongside Enomoto Takeaki in the Boshin War.
As in most Hollywood/American movies, i.e U571, the roles of other countries, namely Britain and France, are portrayed as U.S actions.
Also, I'm unsure why they shot this movie in New Zealand when surely the most authentic Japanese landscape is Japan itself.
Having lived for a time in Japan, I can only assume that this is because of a lack of open space to build sets and stage battles.
I actually very much enjoyed this movie and the score is quite spine-tingling at times. But why does everything that Hollywood produce have to be made at the expense of history...and can a U.S audience ever be allowed to care about the problems of foreigners or to applaud their heroics.
Brian (9 out of 10 ) Excellent movie, and a well created story line. The movie hurls you into the dark depths of the harsh realities of one man's life; Captain Nathan Algren, and instantly you're drawn in to the alure of our main character. He's painted with sadness,apathy for life, and takes up a Job teaching orients to solidier in Japan, where the rest of our story takes place. It's a story of not only how a nation's destiny is changing rapidly by an outside influence, but how a man's life changes with the alure and curiousity found within the culture of the Japanese Samurai. Not only do you watch the changes he goes through, but also the transition of the closing days of the mighty samurai. Honestly, it's a brilliant story, and my only criticsm is this; it's ending was too losely created. Now i love a good story that keeps you thinking, but i have to question if Algren really returns to the Village. Yes, we see him returning, but note that Simon Graham states " no one knows what became of him" and that Simon "likes to think" Algren has found some peace for himself. The image of Algren going back to the village, could have been possibly what Simon imagined. Also, we have a love story incorporated within this movie.Taka and Algren. What becomes of them ? The way he's affectionate towards her, the glances and final kiss they exchange, there's deffinately some strong feelings created. And also between Algren and the Children (esp. Higen) Do they become a family..? Great movie, great story, but the fate and destiny of Algren should've been better revealed. In the end, i give it a 9 out of 10 for a respect deserving movie!
andy (9 out of 10 ) just like to say that i really agree with JS in that Hollywood movies never seem to branch outside of the US and really dont do justice to history (think about pearl harbour! but im a great fan of the film, love it more every time i watch it, but i disagree with Brian and think that its better not showing us what happens to Algren, i think if you remove that elemet of mystery it becomes nothing but a fairytale, in which everyone lives 'happily ever after'. Also if we explore all the smaller aspects of the film, such as the love interest it becomes too bitty and looses its appeal. For me anyway, i like a bit of mystery in my life ;-)
katarn64 (10 out of 10 ) This is the best movie ever it is my favorite and always will be. It shows history in a fun and exciting way.
patty (7 out of 10 ) Best movie in a long time.
Milo (8 out of 10 ) In the throes of death - 'Pawfect'.
Nacho (5 out of 10 ) Entertaining, at best. Not enough though for those of us who really know about japanese and samurai history.
SzpanDzsa (9 out of 10 ) It is a very good film but also the blind can see it was made in Hollywood. I have never seen Tom Cruise act as good as in this movie. The film shows a lot of facts in the way of fighting in that time. And also a lot in the samurai's behaviour. I think the best part was the first battle when the rebellion army caught the new army of Omura from 2 sides. The film shows not only the "Hollywood side" of the samurais. Many people in the west could not understand this.
Lori (10 out of 10 ) I have never been much of a Tom Cruise fan but I love this movie.
KK (4 out of 10 ) While I like the plot of the movie and the characters in general, I have got to say that it concentrates too much on Tom Cruise's character. I get the feeling that if Algren had died, the Japanese rebellion would never have happened. Katsumoto should've had a bigger role.
komeyl (10 out of 10 ) For the first time when I watched the movie I was flabbergasted and let me say tongue tied. A great plot and magnificent performance especialy by Tom cruse. I REALLY love it.
Natasha (8 out of 10 ) I am doing an essay on the Last Samurai compared to the real Samurai history and I have no idea what to do. The movie was pretty good though but it hasn't got much to do with the real history so it isn't much help.
SierraAV8R (7 out of 10 ) Anyone who sees this movie as "history" is quite mistaken. It wasn't intended to be a re-telling of a historical event through the eyes of a fictional character, and as cinematic entertainment. On this score it was quite enjoyable.
austin (10 out of 10 ) Wonderful movie with a perfect story. I could not ask for more.
MortimerRandolph (6 out of 10 ) A grand story, but too much marred by severe historical inaccuracy.
Robin (9 out of 10 ) This is a superb Hollywood movie, and it shouldn't be confused as real history. Although its core of remembering and valuing history and tradition is a very powerful one, the standout performances are actually those of the Japanese actors, especially Ken Watanabe who is simply a towering presence, and if the film had been made anywhere else but America, then Tom Cruise's part would have been a supporting role. Still for anyone in love with mystical Japanese history this is something of a treat and those critical of such movies should at least be thankful that it shows respect for the culture it is portraying. However it could quite easily have done without Billy Connolly as an Irishman?
silverchairguy (8 out of 10 ) Definitely have to agree with a lot of points we've seen so far. The score was terrific, moving - the perfect compliment for the movie's subject matter. Acting, sets, direction, thoroughly engaging. But definitely biased towards Hollywood, with relation to Nathan being American. That's the name of the game however, to make money you got to appeal to the target audiences, in this case an American audience, so the US 'become the Samurai' as it were.
screwedforhistoryessay (7 out of 10 ) Although pleasantly surprised to see Tom Cruise actually display a bit of talent in his acting, I was disappointed to find The Last Samurai is fairly historically inaccurate. It's romanticized depiction of the samurai class, and disregard to japan's westernization were quite misleading. Though I enjoyed it thoroughly, one should not watch it if attempting to better one's historical knowledge.
natalia (10 out of 10 ) I definitely agree with the point of the movie as "being a Hollywood version of Samurai history" and with the one who said that Watanabe should have had a major appearance, but, anyway, I'm a particularly great fan of Tom Cruise and, even though I coincide with the fact that the movie is quite "Cruise-centred", I like it much, very much and, as anybody here said, I consider it the best Tom Cruise's performance ever, though not his best movie. Anyway, he couldn't have made so well without such an actor as Ken Watanabe beside him.
Chaiti (10 out of 10 ) The Last Samurai is a story about an inner spiritual journey which is powerful and deeply moving, placed within the context of the the painful last days of a once great age which is about to soon come to an end.
Algren's and Katsumotos characters complexities are artfully portrayed, as are those of Taka, Higen and the other villagers; It is, at heart, a story about a journey, an inner journey, through time and events. I do not think this is a historical or a historically/culturally accurate film, the context is an interesting backdrop for the main story- it is not meant to be more than that, because at the centre this a story about a spiritual evolution at the innermost level. It is a very profound film.
Geroge (9 out of 10 ) It's not meant to be historically accurate. I don't think it ever says it is. It's a movie. And a great one.
gulabjan (10 out of 10 ) I like the film because the hero didn't give up his courage even when he was surrounded by enemies. And in another scene he was fighting until he was in giddiness.
dafglirt (8 out of 10 ) I am sorry the movie final removed the many explicit parallels between the Samurai and the Confederate rebellions. Churchill called the American Civil war "the most tragic and necessary conflict" in the history of the English speaking peoples. So too, here. Most Americans can now look at the South of the Great Rebellion, admire its many martial virtues, but also conclude that it was good the Union was preserved. It is said to kill the flower of Japan's chivalry, but necessary if it was to become a nation capable of defending itself against some very aggressive European powers.
flubndub (7 out of 10 ) This movie surprised me. Authentic look, good story and acting. Stand out scene is when Algren gets jumped in the street by assassins.
Marc (10 out of 10 ) Superb work of art on so many levels, but to me unique in all of film for the Zen moment of realization as the last samurai dies. We suddenly understand that every moment, up to and including that of our death, is perfect. At least, that's what I got out of it, and it literally took my breath away.