Critic Reviews

55

Metascore

Based on 44 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
A movie that demands our surrender -- to its energy, to its bold-stroke moviemaking, to its acting (particularly by Cruise and Watanabe, who blend musing and graceful muscularity) and, above all, to its romantic vision of a lost world.
88
ReelViews
A rousing tale that combines high adventure with emotional effectiveness. This movie works because it never loses sight of the characters no matter how epic the scope becomes.
80
The Hollywood Reporter
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.
75
Entertainment Weekly
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.''
60
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.
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.
50
Variety
As rich in period and historical background as it is deficient in fresh dramatic and thematic ideas.
50
The New Yorker
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]
50
The A.V. Club
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.
30
Village Voice
The least one can say for this costume action flick is that it hits bottom immediately.

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