The Hidden Fortress

The Hidden Fortress ★★★½

A distillation of everything great and sometimes frustrating with Kurosawa, The Hidden Fortress manages as many moments of excitement, humor, and filmmaking genius as it does boredom, corniness, and ho-humness. Particular moments stand out (the step battle, the fire festival scene, the Hidden Fortress, the escape), while others want to be great and memorable but fall flat (the singing, the duel).