Even though this movie is superior to Flags of Our Fathers, its companion movie, each contributes to and enriches the other. Consequently, I recommend seeing both movies.
Kazunari Ninomiya is amazing as Saigo; his acting is very convincing, and I really cared about Saigo and kept hoping he would survive. The whole cast is brilliant, but it is Ninomiya who shines the brightest.
Brutally realistic yet humanistic and moving, this excellent war drama is the best Clint Eastwood–directed movie I have seen. When the movie was over, I felt like applauding—that has only happened a few times in my life.