Jacob Olsen’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ran was made in a period when it went five years between each Kurosawa film - for various reasons. Most of the time the problems were related to lack of funding. This time the money came partly from abroad, from Serge Silberman in Greenwich Films.
Ran and Kagemusha (1980) are often described as being very similar, Kurosawa himself said that he thought of Ran during the entire production of Kagemusha - this was the movie he put all his strength and experience into.
I'm not so thrilled by the result, and it probably has to do with the very schematic structure. While protagonists in his earlier films had a full set of different characteristics that shaped and formed them, Hidetora is simply the sum of all his characteristics, i.e. much less complex. The film lacks realism and is too artificial for my taste.