|IFC Films | Release Date: December 6, 2006||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
A splendid war movie. The combat sequences are harrowing -- all the more so for the director's spare, sharp-eyed style -- and the performances are phenomenally fine.
On the list of WWII stories criminally ignored by six decades of combat movies in the past 60 years, the heroics of French colonial soldiers ranks pretty high. But Rachid Bouchareb's powerful drama -- which won the 2006 Cannes Film Festival's best-actors award for its superb ensemble cast and was nominated for a best foreign-language-film Oscar, went a long way toward rectifying the situation, both on screen and in real life. Read full review
Is there anything new here? Honestly, not really. The content is the same, the plot the familiar litany of ordeals leavened by soapy interludes. But the fight that develops is taut, tough and extremely bitter; it's never showy in the grinding, big-movie Spielbergian way, but a portrait of the war's daily interface with hell in a very small space, as the four stand against a much larger unit. Read full review
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