Matt Hurt’s review published on Letterboxd:
Really harrowing story of family bond versus duty. Mifune is powerful and stoic as the retired head of the Sasahara family. The father and son dynamic is incredibly well-drawn with Mifune and Gô Katô playing off each other with such endearing chemistry.
Katô's somewhat naive Yogoro is a good counter to Mifune's portrayal of Isaburo as a peaceful swordsman who is no longer head of the family but still has a lot of wisdom to impart on his son.
What struck me most was the motivation Isaburo had to stand up to the clan. He sees in Yogoro and Ichi's relationship the things he never had and what he has always hoped for his son. It makes for a much lore compelling story than if Isaburo was simply an idealistic man fighting unjust orders. There's so much depth to it and it makes for an extraordinarily intense climax.