Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: 1943. The young North Africans had never stepped foot on French soil but because France was at war, Said, Abdelkader, Messaoud and Yassir enlisted in the French Army, along with 130,000 other "indigenous soldiers," to liberate the "fatherland" from the Nazi enemy. These heroes that history forgot won battles in Italy, Provence and the Vosges before finding themselves alone to defend an Alsatian village against a German battalion. (The Weinstein Company) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    100
    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.
  2. 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.
  3. 88
    Bouchareb's film helped shame the French government into raising pensions for more than 80,000 of these veterans. Here's that rare movie that really did change things. I'll be damned.
  4. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    80
    A war film more of sober, grim reflection than balls-out escapades. Yet it grips consistently, its bursts of combat delivering gut-punches of veracity.
  5. Conventional, but intensely passionate, war movie.
  6. 75
    The notions of sacrifice, patriotism, race and self-identity are compellingly questioned, and the battle sequences are realized with stirring intensity.
  7. The story here isn't much, and the truth it reveals, to them and us, isn't earthshaking, just quiet and somber.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6