Last Samurai, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +4

Content: -1

In the late 1870s, Japan sits between a rich cultural heritage and new technological advances in this epic. A young Japanese emperor and his advisors embark on a course to modernize the country through trade with the Western world. The advisors turn against Japanese traditions to bring about the swiftest financial advantage. The Samurai, led by Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe), renounce Western customs and advances, including modern weapons, and fight to preserve Japans cultural identity. Eventually deciding the Samurai must go too, the emperors advisors hire American soldiers, experienced in fighting Indians, to destroy the Samurai. This brings Captain Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), his conscience still tormented from the slaughter of innocent Native Americans, to this war against another indigenous people group. When the Samurai display heroic honor in battle, using swords and bows against rifles and cannons, the emperors decision concerning Japans future grows more complicated.

Artistically and morally solid, the only negative in this film is the violence. And the battle scenes are brilliant. Filled with honor, integrity and courage, the films heroes are the Samurai who remain true to their convictions. They would rather die than violate their beliefs, and their example is a powerful one for those who believe our faith should guide us no matter the consequences. Men and women are shown making difficult personal sacrifices to preserve the honor of their communities. The characters display honesty and respect toward one another. A few unacceptable words enter the dialog, but the primary negative element is the graphic violence. Many scenes show people being stabbed, shot or killed. Please exercise discretion if you choose to view this movie. The Last Samurai is a quality hopefully not the last film of integrity out of Hollywood. Theres a lot of Oscar talk surrounding this one.

Preview Reviewer: Blaine Butcher
Warner Brothers

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (3) times mild 2, strong 1

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Few (2) times moderate (G 1); strong (GD 1)

Violence: Many strong (sword fighting; executions by beheading; hand-to-hand combat; men shot off horses; men fighting with rods; soldiers shooting small children; little girls graphically killed by soldiers; epic battle scene involving cannons and rifles; men burned during battle; men stabbed in the head, chest, arms, legs and eyes; lots of blood)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Few times mild (alcohol portrayed as an undesirable vice, smoking)

Other: Men shown praying to idol, hero says he is not a churching man, hero questions Gods purpose, woman submits to authority even though emotionally difficult, family forgives man who killed their father, narrator closes film by saying Peace we all seek, but few of us ever find.

Running Time: 148 minutes.
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

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