I am losing confidence in my judgment on the Last Samurai, mostly because I find myself on the same side of the subject as The New Republic's always-wrong Stanley Kauffman, who is one of the few people to work for that magazine who is not an editor. In my defense, his dislike for the movie is based on tedious script structure quibbles and a dimwitted inability to understand Japanese absolutist politics, rather than anything particularly substantial. He also doesn't like all the fighting. What else he expects from a movie about warriors is beyond me.
I *think* that article is on the free side of the TNR website. I sometimes have trouble forgetting which is which.