By the trime that The Last Samurai was released here in the Netherlands, I already was totally blown away by the score. This most be Zimmers best effort till now. While I saw the film the first time I could dream the music and that was a very special way of watching it. This is a great score, that perfectly expresses what there is to be seen on screen. But not only that, just for listening, without having seen the film, this is a great piece. I listened the cd countless times by now and I cannot stop thinking this is the best thing he ever did. The Japannese atmosphere comes through really perfectly an so suddle. This is indeed the prefect score for the perfect film. What Zimmer in fact is doing great here is keeping the music away from Bombastic when the action breaks loose, the same trick he did with Thin Red Line as we'll, or with certain parts of Pearl Harbor. I think that is indeed very very smart and really good to express drama and makes the picture. often so much more powerfull. A shame he was not even nominated for best score with the Oscars. But same story with all his scores that way. Gladiator, Hannibal, Black Hawk Down, Thin Red Line, Pearl Harbor all masterpieces. Even while the movie was not that good due the score Tears Of The Sun was a great one too.