Tom Cruise plays Civil War hero Capt. Nathan Algren, who comes to Japan to fight the Samurai and ends up pledging himself to their cause. Ken Watanabe (Academy Award nominee) plays Katsumoto, a Samurai leader facing a vanishing way of life, whose destiny becomes intertwined with that of the American captain. Edward Zwick (winner of the National Board of Review's Best Director Award) directs this sweeping and emotional epic tale of the birth of modern Japan.