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The Great Raid

7/10
War . History . Drama . Adventure . Action
 

The Great Raid is an inspirational true story of one of the most triumphant rescue missions during World War II. As the war rages, the elite 6th Ranger Battalion is given a mission of heroic proportions: push 30 miles behind enemy lines and liberate over 500 prisoners of war.

 
Actors: James Franco , Scott McLean , Jeremy Callaghan , Laird Macintosh , Freddie Joe Farnsworth , Craig McLachlan , Mark Consuelos , James Carpinello , Max Martini , Robert Mammone , Benjamin Bratt
Directors: John Dahl
Country: USA , AUSTRALIA
Release: 2005-08-12
More Info:
  • Roger Ebert

    The Great Raid is perhaps more timely now than it would have been a few years ago, when "smart bombs" and a couple of weeks of warfare were supposed to solve the Iraq situation. Now that we are involved in a lengthy and bloody ground war there, it is good to have a film that is not about entertainment for action fans, but about how wars are won with great difficulty, risk, and cost.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Michael Esposito

    The action is brilliant, the combat sharp and rattling, and the film follows the historical record more closely than most Hollywood films.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Lacks the visceral sweep of "Saving Private Ryan." But Spielberg's story, for all its gut-wrenching intensity, was a fiction. Dahl's movie, slower in pace and conscious of its own artifice, addresses the same issues of courage and sacrifice - and tells a true story. That's worth something. In fact, it's worth a lot.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Stephen Hunter

    While one might have wished for a better movie, and a few smarter decisions regarding the screenplay, generally it's a riveting, even inspirational account of an American feat of arms about which few know but about which many more should.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    The film is much better as a ticking-clock action picture than as a story of human emotions, be they romantic, altruistic or base. So it's too bad that we have to wait so long for the actual raid to begin. When it does, it's a cracker.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • William Arnold

    Truth be told, the film is routine: the kind of one-note war movie that Hollywood used to crank out by the dozens every year in the 1950s.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Peter Debruge

    With material like this, Samuel Fuller or David Lean might have fashioned an epic war movie for the ages, chock-full of hard-boiled characters and against-all-odds heroics. But in John Dahl's hands, The Great Raid never really lives up to its name, delivering everything you might expect from such a movie, but not an ounce more.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Jack Mathews

    Not a great movie, but it certainly does justice to the great historical event it dramatizes.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    The Great Raid amounts to a noble failure. This is sad news for those of us who remain hopelessly partial to Dahl's mean streak. The failure we can live with. It's the noble part that will never do.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The rousing success of the final 45 minutes cannot entirely counterbalance the stumbling uncertainty of the first 90 minutes.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Andrea Gronvall

    Benjamin Bratt lacks the dynamism one would expect of the commanding officer of a U.S. Rangers rescue unit; James Franco, however, is solid in the less flashy role of the mission's mastermind, and as the POW leader Joseph Fiennes manages to be heroic while prettily languishing from malaria.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Sheri Linden

    The film brings a spectacular but little-known chapter of World War II to the big screen with meticulous attention to period detail -- and almost none to compelling narrative.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Joel Selvin

    The Great Raid tells its story without irony, perspective or any leavening that would make it something other than an ordinary military-action caper.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    The picture's broad outline may be fact, but everything inside gets painted in a deep shade of bogus.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    Characterizations are rudimentary, performances dull.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Ken Fox

    This is a creditable but disappointingly draggy war epic. It should sizzle like a fuse, but instead plods along with methodical deliberation.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    The Great Raid cries out for the kind of B-movie industriousness that Dahl brought to his early, low-budget films noirs (Kill Me Again, Red Rock West and The Last Seduction), but instead it has dreams of sugarplum Oscars dancing in its head, and never stops mistaking spectacle for the truly spectacular.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Nathan Rabin

    A lumbering, disappointingly bland war movie.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Luke Y. Thompson

    When it comes to World War II movies, you may never have seen one like this before -- if only because it's like three different movies at the same time.

    Dallas Observer Full Review
  • Carina Chocano

    A plodding, squeaky-straight Time-Life tribute to the greatest generation, the movie plays like a commemorative plaque.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Desson Thomson

    This is a movie for people more interested in the subject matter than its dramatic presentation.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Mark Holcomb

    The Great Raid is ultimately scotched by History Channel–worthy nostalgia.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Robert Koehler

    This overlong march will bore all but the most nobly patriotic.

    Variety Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    I hereby award the World War II drama The Great Raid a Cement Star for faithful and distinguished service to the cause of mediocrity.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Mike Clark

    Just about any golden age Hollywood hack could have made a zestier drama about one of the greatest rescue missions in U.S. military history.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Scott Brown

    The main problem? Raid lacks a center. It's an exhausted sprawl with multiple story foci, none of them terribly compelling.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    Like the infamous Japanese water tortures of WWII, Dahl’s film is a steadily mounting series of pesky nonevents paced with all the frenetic, action-packed verve of a wounded lawn sprinkler.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    A tedious World War II epic that slogs across the screen like a forced march in quicksand.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Joanne Kaufman

    For all its noble intentions, its striving for authenticity, its unblinking look at the savagery of war, The Great Raid is far more dutiful than dramatic.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
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