Jacob Olsen’s review:
It's difficult to describe anything from this film except from what is written in the summary, because one would easily reveal information essential to the viewing. I would recommend approaching this one knowing as little as possible beforehand.
The film takes it's time getting there. An unnecessary large part of the film is dedicated to Niiro's (Mifune) background, obviously the director didn't want to kill his darlings... he should have. So, it drags a bit in the middle, but all good comes to those that wait.
The final sword fight is maybe the best I have ever witnessed. The calming of the thick, falling snow is in strong contrast to the harsh and brutal battle that takes place. And the final scene is just gruesome. This is one of the bleaker films in samurai cinema if not The Bleakest.