Last Samurai, The
Source: Catholic News Service
An embittered Civil War veteran (Tom Cruise), retained by the emperor of Japan to train a newly formed conscript army in the ways of modern warfare, finds himself torn between duty and honor when he befriends the man he has been hired to destroy, a Samurai general (Ken Watanabe) who is leading a band of renegade warriors against the imperial forces in an attempt to preserve their fading traditions and halt the encroachment of Westernization into the country. Lavishly shot with painstaking attention to historical detail, director Edward Zwick's epic 19th-century costume drama is, at its center, an intimate tale of one man's search to reclaim his soul; unfortunately, despite lofty platitudes about honor, the film's romanticized portrayal of the samurai's militaristic lifestyle results in an at times exalted view of war. Strong battlefield violence. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.
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