Alexander Wood’s review published on Letterboxd:
Rewatched this with a friend who'd never seen it before. I'm bumping it up a half-star as a lot of the wisdom and philosophy that oozes from this was completely lost to me on my first viewing, as it was also my first ever Kurosawa film. My complaints of the dead-air and the hyper-almost-too-hyper-realistic fight scenes stand, however. Kurosawa would improve his stylish realism in subsequent films, but here it does feel almost too raw for its own good. I think a lot of that has to do with this being Kurosawa's first jidaigeki with swordplay and cavalry.
Nevertheless, Seven Samurai has probably the greatest script ever put to screen. The way everything flows, and then is ultimately tied together, makes this a mammoth of craftsmanship.
I know it is controversial to not call it a masterpiece, but I stand by it. Kurosawa has made a number of superior films.