stray dogs has more interesting characters by far imo, and the atmosphere can't be beat. I give it to High and low for superior details when it comes to solving the crime and having arguably better shots/edits. Some of my favorite shots of "high and low" were during the end when the focus was on the criminal. The thing is I am still not 100 percent sure why the criminal went after mifune's character other than being in plain view of him every night.
Stray Dogs is excellent, but it feels like a test run for High and Low, which is more formally daring, has better-limned characters, is more political, has more depth, etc.
I say this because 1. We get way more Mifune in stray dogs. The partner is a boss and we explore his family. We then get all these interesting suspects/criminals with their stories. Watching it made me feel the heat.
I actually prefer The bad sleep well too.
Bad Sleep well
High and Low
I recently Watched Yojimbo and Sanjuro as well. Both were some of my first criterion movies as well as my introduction to Mifune/Kurosawa.
So after watching both for the second time gotta say Sanjuro is my clear favorite.