This is probably heresy, but I find a lot of Kurosawa movies dull. They often have a loose, meandering structure that bores me (I'm looking at you, Redbeard). Seven Samurai isn't one of those though. Despite its length, it's more focused and tightly plotted than many of his shorter films, and is engaging from start to finish. Throne of Blood is my favourite of his films, but Seven Samurai is a close second.
Seven Samurai (七人の侍) - 1954, Japan, dir. Akira Kurosawa
I watched Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai for the first time today. With a runtime of 3 hours 20 mins (without intermission), it came as a surprise to me that the pacing was very good and what was shown felt warranted. The journey from beginning to end was great and I loved the samurai cast as well as the battle scenes. I can definitely see why this film is considered a classic by many reviewers and the like.
My only issue is actually with the BFI Blu-ray release, because about 5-10% of the dialogue isn't actually translated which is a shame because it feels streamlined and so there's various parts throughout that I wish I knew what was being said. Some may argue it ain't necessary but I disagree, because I think it's just as important to know what some characters are saying even if its not part of the main script especially during fight scenes.
BFI always leave a lot untranslated, which is a consistent annoyance. It's not too bad in something like Godzilla (1954) where they mostly just omit people saying each other's names, but in Throne of Blood they don't translate a prophetic song that's pivotal to the story. Their house style is far too rigid.