Oh, Soviet cinema was certainly didactic -- especially with Eisenstein's conception of what cinema should be -- but I find the visual power of the Odessa Steps sequence hard to argue with. It's no surprise that so many films have either paid homage to it or just stolen it outright. Some of Eisenstein's other films are less impressive, though, and his writing is at times a total mess.
It also helps to see the movie with a different score than what's currently on the DVD, I think (or, at least, the version I've heard on DVD). That can make a big difference with silents, but recording an orchestral score is financially untenable for most of them. Metropolis
is a terrific exception to that rule, since it is so well known.