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The Last Samurai Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Never recovers from its failure to grip or engage in the early going.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Staff [Not Credited]

    Never recovers from its failure to grip or engage in the early going.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Too many mind and the story grows tedious or absurd. No mind and the spectacle suffices.

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    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.''

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    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.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Outstanding action and performance; lots of blood.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has extreme and graphic violence with many grisy wounds and a lot of blood. Many characters are killed, including some we have come to care about. Parents should especially be aware of the way that this movie portrays the traditional samurai notion of suicide as an honorable choice in the event of a defeat. The movie also includes some strong language, alcohol abuse, smoking, and sexual references. One of the movie's strengths is its respect for the Japanese culture and its portrayal of strong and respectful relationships between people of different races and cultures.

  • Families can talk about what it means to say that "A man does what he can until his destiny is revealed."

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Intense battle violence, graphic injuries, characters killed, suicide Nightmare material.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Sexual references.

  • language false3

    Language: Strong 19th century language.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Character abuses alcohol, smoking.