The Last Samurai

User Score

The Last Samurai Overview

Nathan Algren is an American hired to instruct the Japanese army in the ways of modern warfare, which finds him learning to respect the samurai and the honorable principles that rule them. Pressed to destroy the samurai's way of life in the name of modernization and open trade, Algren decides to become an ultimate warrior himself and to fight for their right to exist.

Who Stars in The Last Samurai

Tom Cruise
Captain Nathan Algren

Tom Cruise

Ken Watanabe

Ken Watanabe

William Atherton
Winchester Rep

William Atherton

Chad Lindberg
Winchester Rep Assistant

Chad Lindberg

Billy Connolly
Zebulon Gant

Billy Connolly

Tony Goldwyn
Colonel Bagley

Tony Goldwyn


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Review for The Last Samurai

Author: TopKek

Edward Zwick's "The Last Samurai" is about two warriors whose cultures make them aliens, but whose values make them comrades. The battle scenes are stirring and elegantly mounted, but they are less about who wins than about what can be proven by dying. Beautifully designed, intelligently written, acted with conviction, it's an uncommonly thoughtful epic. Its power is compromised only by an ending that sheepishly backs away from what the film is really about. Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe co-star, as a shabby Civil War veteran and a proud samurai warrior. Cruise plays Nathan Algren, a war hero who now drifts and drinks too much, with no purpose in life. He's hired by Americans who are supplying mercenaries to train an army for the Japanese emperor, who wants to move his country into the modern world and is faced with a samurai rebellion. The role of the samurai leader Katsumoto (Watanabe) is complex; he is fighting against the emperor's men, but out of loyalty to the tradition the emperor represents, he would sacrifice his life in an instant, he says, if the emperor requested it. But Japan has been seized with a fever to shake off its medieval ways and copy the West, and the West sees money to be made in the transition: Representatives from the Remington arms company are filling big contracts for weapons, and the U.S. Embassy is a clearinghouse for lucrative trade arrangements. Into this cauldron Algren descends as a cynic. He is told the samurai are "savages with bows and arrows," but sees that the American advisers have done a poor job of training the modernized Japanese army to fight them. Leading his untried troops into battle, he is captured and faces death -- but is spared by a word from Katsumoto, who returns him as a prisoner to the village of his son.

Images related to The Last Samurai


Cruise/Wagner Productions

Warner Bros. Pictures

Radar Pictures

Bedford Falls Productions



Release Date

Original Language

2 hr 34 mins

$ 140,000,000.00 (Estimated)

$ 456,758,981.00 (USA)

$ 316,758,981.00 (Estimated in USA)

Drama Action War History

japan loss of loved one war crimes sense of guilt swordplay general samurai war veteran katana sword arms deal homeland emperor language barrier self-discovery mountain village foreign legion mercenary campaign commercial agreement insurgence leader war strategy gettysburg slaughter soldier alcoholic u.s. soldier japanese army 19th century war trauma

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