This is a great epic of war and a film of great emotion. At the center is a man who has nothing. He is thrust into a world he didn't create. He is a petty thief and really would like to just get on with his life. What he also has is great loyalty to his now deceased lord, and despite his great concern for his ability to carry it off, he agrees to the position. He has to know that at some point this will all come crashing down. The Samurai code makes it so that he has few options. He runs the war the best he can but occasionally falls victim to who he is. Even with advisers watching his every move, he becomes so much a part of the entire picture that he is left to destroy himself, and, in the process, the clan that he represents. The battle scenes are remindful of the other huge films like "Ran" and "Throne of Blood." They sweep across the screen with the flag carrying horsemen and the infantry fighting until there is nothing left but total carnage. Because of the complexity of the story and the wonderful acting, I would put this at or near the top of my Kurosawa list.