I recently saw "The Last Samurai" with my husband and friends. It wasn't my first choice in movies because it really didn't sound like my kind of thing. I'm not the kind of girl that wants to see anything Tom Cruise is in. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.
Tom was pretty much as I expected but all of the other actors were at his level or higher. Even the little boy was a fantastic actor. The scenery was breath taking and the fights were incredible (gorey, but incredible). We had to make fun of the fact that they played one particularly gorey fight back in slow motion. We were aware that it was to point out the awareness he had gained through studying the way of the Samurai but it was still way gorey to see in slow-mo.
It was not neccessarily historically sound but a touching, well acted story nonetheless. I highly reccommend it.