The Last Samurai is an excellent movie, one of Cruise’s best.
The main misconceptions: the movie is about Tom Cruise becoming the titular last samurai. No it isn’t him, it’s plural, SPOILER, and they all died.
The other is that he’s a white savior. This is the one that is impossible to keep if you actually watched the movie. He’s a broken, drunken, civil war vet (considered a hero) brought in to Japan as an adviser to modernize Japan’s military. He arrives in Japan to be a white savior. Instead he is captured. Finds peace by living with and learning from his captors and he turns coat. His only impact is reinforcing his captor’s previously held convictions when he briefly waivers. As mentioned before, he doesn’t teach them anything, he wasn’t able to save anyone, everyone died and Japan modernized.
The only real social problem is that the film over-idealized traditional Japanese culture and over-villainized the forces of modernization.
Definitely recommend revisiting the movie if the movie poster triggered you into missing it. Zwick did great work on this one, working with top-class Japanese talent as well.