Kurosawa has many opportunities to show off his mastery of cinematography and shot composition with plenty of intricate scenes involving large numbers of actors. It's also a real treat to see both Mifune and Nakadai showing off their talents for the great director even if they fewer interactions than an enthusiast might wish. If all you've seen from Kurosawa are his brilliant films set in the samurai era, then you really ought to bump this up your list and expand your horizons.
Favorite Movies A-Z: Heat
Heat might seem like a crime drama detailing the efforts of the LAPD to bring a crew of armed robbers to justice. And, sure, it is, but that's not all it is. It's also an examination of how single-minded obsession can lead to professional success at tremendous personal cost.
Favorite Movies A-Z: The Hidden Blade
You don't want to miss this movie; and if you don't want to miss my thoughts on it, you can read what I wrote for it when I did my list of Movies You Might Have Missed.
Favorite Movies A-Z: Hamlet (1996)
It's not necessary to sell the story for this film; it is the Bard, after all and one of his most acclaimed plays upon which this is based. Really, with Shakespeare it should only be necessary to sell the particular rendition of the story in question.
Favorite Movies A-Z: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Really though, it's probably pointless to carp. However justified and correct any of these criticisms might be, what results is much more than the sum of its parts. Leone made a genre-redefining Western and an all-time great film.
Favorite Movies A-Z: Get Shorty
This is a movie from a simpler time. Not a Golden Age of film; perhaps not even a Silver Age. But one that is a distinct and good period. One might call it the soft-R, small budget era. It was a time when one could make an R-rated comedy with a bit of a brain that wasn't just about being shocking. Crazy, I know. Will Ferrell might ought to look into it.
Favorite Movies A-Z: Get Low
There's so much to enjoy about this movie, from the setting, actors (Murray's performance is on par with that in Lost in Translation), and small touches like the relationship between Buddy and his family.
Favorite Movies A-Z: The Gay Divorcee
One of the classic pairings of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, it has a fine supporting cast of comic actors around them. Since it's a stage musical brought to film, other than a few establishing shots, everything is clearly done on a studio lot. And beyond a big theatrical number or two, the dancing is pretty well just Astaire tapping solo or paired with Rogers for a few ballroom inspired dance sets.
Favorite Movies A-Z: Groundhog Day
What is perhaps original to this film is that it is such a mundane man and such a mundane day. Too much has been made of how this mundanity leads to great spiritual awakening. There is nothing particularly religious or spiritual about what happens to our trapped protagonist. The truths he apprehends tend to be the same philosophic truths that do not require revelation to apprehend; they are part of the common store of humanity. Though at times we forget or ignore them, they are the province of the Gods of the Copybook Headings.
Favorite Movies A-Z: Grosse Pointe Blank
It's an odd movie that doesn't fit too neatly into any particular genre niche. It's clearly a romantic comedy, but with much more action, more explosions, and a lot more death than is typical of the genre. As you might expect, the comedy tends to be rather darker and more minor-key than is customary in a romantic film also.