Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corporation (MGM) | Release Date: February 15, 2002
5.7
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Mixed or average reviews based on 29 Ratings
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6
oxanaJan 3, 2015
A war movie that transformed into a law-movie - and later, into some kind of drama. The beginning was good, but by the end of the movie I grew to be a little disappointed. The characters were seemingly given depth - and no depth at all. AllA war movie that transformed into a law-movie - and later, into some kind of drama. The beginning was good, but by the end of the movie I grew to be a little disappointed. The characters were seemingly given depth - and no depth at all. All in all it is a pretty good movie, but everything was as if "half-way done". And Colin Farrell definitely starred this one - Bruce Willis' character was pretty "macho" all the time, but never really proved himself. As if he had no reason to (so, he didn't convince me). Expand
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5
MeritCobaSep 5, 2016
What is a man's life worth?

Hart's War is wrongly titled as this gives the impression that this is a war movie. In fact, it is a courtroom movie with the war providing a unique setting: it is held in Germany in a prisoner of war camp
What is a man's life worth?

Hart's War is wrongly titled as this gives the impression that this is a war movie. In fact, it is a courtroom movie with the war providing a unique setting: it is held in Germany in a prisoner of war camp filled with allied soldiers.The central theme is akin to Saving Private Ryan: what is a man's life worth? Do we sacrifice the many to save the one and in reverse: do we sacrifice the one to save the many? how unfair that might be. The case gets complicated by the fact that the final (and deadly) authority is held by the Germans and that the accused is a black man, with all the racial entanglements that this creates. Next to that is that the main protagonist comes from the wealthier class from the us. This provides yet another source of tension.
It is up to Colin Farrell to defend the reluctant black Lieutenant, while the others make his life difficult, notably the camp commandant.

It would have made for a great story if the script hadn't been so bad. An example: the Germans are yet again of the stereotypical kind: they have no problem to summarily shoot prisoners of war or hang them without a proper trial. A severe breach of the Geneva convention and totally ridiculous at that point of time in the war as the Germans could have guessed that the shoe would soon be on the other foot. But even more: why would the camp commandant even bother with a courtroom case anyway if he is such a bad dude? Well, the movie provides the flimsiest of excuses: 'that might be interesting', the commandant says.

The American prisoners are your usual set of suspects with a few bad dudes with a racial bias, the nondescript filler cast and the exemplary good guy Colin Farell. Those who expect the fireworks of Twelve Angry Men or the cat and mouse play of A Few Good Men shall not find it here. Key moments are not intense and played out with passion. It is all bland, flat almost emotionless. Like eating sawdust. No Jack Nicolson who blows his top as In A few good men, no Humphrey Bogart who falls apart in the courtroom in The Caine Mutiny and no Lee J. Cobb who collapses in a heap of misery after his tirade and gives in in Twelve Angry Men. These key moments is what makes these people go, no such moments are in this movie.
The movie is just not right. The camera doesn't intensify the scene(close ups for key moments), the scenery is not use right(cramped environments to make you feel locked in and with no place to go), strange angles to create a fearful mood, ties undone when the scenes get heated. Nothing.It tarts out with a totally pointless first part in which Farrell is captured. It ends with a long after explanation that doesn't matter.
It is not rightly cast with the camp commandant, a key figure, played by a nobody and Bruce Willes, taking the role of Jack Nicolson had in A Few Good Men, is just not being the right guy for that job. Willes is the kind of guy who stays cool and collected even under pressure and makes wisecracks, while Nicolson can explode, rant and spittle.. That is the passion you need when you become undone.
And finally on top of all that is the breast beating. Yeah, you such an honest band of freedom-loving good guys.

All in all, a mediocre movie that will sink into oblivion. I read the book was okay, let's hope someone in due time will make a better movie with it so we can forget about this one.
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5
FrankO.Jan 25, 2006
Disappointed in this film, the book by John Katzenbach was so much better in terms of tension and suspense. Willis was good, first time I noticed Terrance Howard who I enjoy as an actor. Way too long.
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5
SylvieT.Jan 18, 2010
Couldn't even finish watching it. If there had never been a WWII movie made, ever, this would have been a good representation. Failed to deliver anything 'new'. I just got bored and left.
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