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8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 283 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 283
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  1. Kirsten
    Feb 24, 2007
    10
    A great message, and a lesson to be learned about the human condition, a truly masterpiece.
  2. JoeP.
    Feb 4, 2007
    8
    Not everyones cup of tea.. I don't mind subtitles, and the story was fantastic from a Japanese point of view. Great action scenes, directing was to perfection. It is the best film I have seen so far in the last year.
  3. ChadeW.
    Feb 7, 2007
    10
    Flags of our Fathers gave us the first, if expected view of Iwo Jima in the 21st century. Letters from Iwo Jima totally rewrites Flags of our Fathers and helps us to truly understand our enemies better. Two of the main characters actually understand their enemy, but it is a shame that the same could not be said about a few of the American troops in the film. The haunting scene with Sam Flags of our Fathers gave us the first, if expected view of Iwo Jima in the 21st century. Letters from Iwo Jima totally rewrites Flags of our Fathers and helps us to truly understand our enemies better. Two of the main characters actually understand their enemy, but it is a shame that the same could not be said about a few of the American troops in the film. The haunting scene with Sam and Baron-Nishi is utterly heartbreaking; especially with the revelation of the letter. That scene alone deserves best picture, but the twist into Japanese culture will undoubtedly change many peoples' minds about the Pacific Theater. They faught for the same reasons we all do; for their country, leader, land, religion, people, children, wives, each other, and the protection of their culture. 'If you don't see at least two sides of a story, you may as well be blind' as I always say, and Letters from Iwo Jima delivers what I've been dreaming for in that regard. Expand
  4. KazuoH
    Apr 28, 2007
    9
    I was surprised at the fact that an Americal took this film. This movie was not able to be taken without the ability of seeing its own country from a third person. Probably such an ability should have been forming a strength of the U.S. The fact that Eastwood took the film cannot but eliminate Japanese streotype againt the U.S. even though Steve keeps his stereotype throughout a lifetime.
  5. AnonymousMC
    Jun 5, 2007
    8
    The Gut wrenching companion piece to Flags of our father succeeds at showcasing the misery of war, and a few unique twists into reluctant sacrifice and hardcore nationalism. I hardly think it's anti-american, but I'm a little surprised none of our WWII veterans have raised their hands in protest of this film yet.
  6. FabianoK.
    Jan 12, 2007
    9
    This is a great movie that flawlessly communicates the helpless situation of the Japanese in the battle. Clint Eastwood does a wonderful job once again, fearlessly and fantastically portraying the "enemies" side. Although not quite as heartbreaking as Million Dollar Baby, Clint Eastwood pulls through with a great movie.
  7. Mar 23, 2013
    10
    Never wait, but really loved it, there is no film more beautiful and exciting than this masterpiece, Eatswood amazed me every minute of this epic work. The film works perfectly alone, without having seen 'Flags of Our Fathers', but obviously you can see its parallels. The fact that these characters fill us more, and connect more with them, do we show more interest in them and theirNever wait, but really loved it, there is no film more beautiful and exciting than this masterpiece, Eatswood amazed me every minute of this epic work. The film works perfectly alone, without having seen 'Flags of Our Fathers', but obviously you can see its parallels. The fact that these characters fill us more, and connect more with them, do we show more interest in them and their stories. We can even say that some stand out above the rest, as for example happens to the character named Saigo, who gives life to a young Kazunari Ninomiya, and that is simply superb Internet, serving as a link between the other characters, including that of Watanabe Ninomiya protgoniza one of the most emotional moments of the film, near the end, and one of the few in which sounds wonderful music by Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens, who is close to what Clint Eastwood composed for some of his films, but perfecting it and making a score easily recalled and full of emotion. Yes, it sounds very occasionally, as the film seeks at all times not to fall into sentimentality, and shun all emotion, but it is telling us is terrible and emotional. But emotion is contained, that is breath, and as only the masters know show.
    Eastwood (or Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Babel) should have won the Oscar for best director. Scorssese maybe gave us the best movie of the year for The Departed, but the way this work Clint work is far superior to that of Martin, seeing it well I think that's clear but we can not fix that.
    Well this is one of the most beautiful and amazing movies of the decade 2000, if you have not seen, you have to see it.
    Not to be missed.
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  8. Aug 17, 2010
    10
    One of the best war movies ever. This movie is so inspiring and sucks you in emotionally. I highly recommend it. I absolutely loved this film. The character development is great and so is the acting and directing.
  9. Feb 17, 2011
    10
    This movie is lovely. It's not conventionally nice and fun to watch as escapist entertainment (duhhhrrr - it's a war movie, guys), but its message is original and not at all biased to either side. It simply seeks to tell the war from another perspective. The emotional punch that Eastwood brings to all of his films is most carefully channeled here, as the characters are well-drawn and theirThis movie is lovely. It's not conventionally nice and fun to watch as escapist entertainment (duhhhrrr - it's a war movie, guys), but its message is original and not at all biased to either side. It simply seeks to tell the war from another perspective. The emotional punch that Eastwood brings to all of his films is most carefully channeled here, as the characters are well-drawn and their various fates are believable.

    I guess Eastwood's and the screenwriter's best idea was to make the Japanese human. Not angels, not demons, just people. The Japanese and the Americans both still have skewed ideas about this war, and the movie avoids this cloud of romanticism and brings a breath of fresh air to those who like thoughtful movies, and prefer reality overt romanticism about war. There are very few movies like it. No I don't think it's exactly how it happened, but it takes the war movie genre and injects some well-needed humanity into the side that is most often demonized.
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  10. Apr 19, 2011
    10
    Great movie. I am a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, and he did not fail to impress. This easily ranks as one of my top favorite movies. This movie has fantastic screen-play, great characters, and not to mention, a very emotional storyline. And watch the movie with English subtitles (original Japanese voices), it adds much more to the movie.
  11. Sep 4, 2011
    9
    I swerved this movie for a long while after watching the appalling cliched sentimental mess that was Flags of Our Fathers. I am pleasantly surprised that Letters From Iwo Jima is among the best WW2 movies I have seen, combining an authenticity, attention to detail and even-handedness that is highly unusual. Provided that its accuracy is verifiable, it is virtually faultless.
  12. Jan 26, 2012
    9
    Shows the true brutality of war. Most of this idiots act like they know a thing or to about war. They weren't the only one to commit war crimes. Even America committed some. And to act like that Japanese soldiers have no emotion is just sad. Just like it's sister movie Flags of our Father, the movie is very close to reality and shows the true colors of war.
  13. Apr 14, 2012
    10
    Letters from Iwo Jima is a realistic portrayal of the Japanese in WWII. It also shows how in war, there is no definite "good guy" or "bad guy." It's all about perspective and Clint Eastwood directs such in a way that is almost immaculate. It's a film that makes you think, but it is very violent, disturbing, and sad. Although what else would you expect from a war movie in which you know theLetters from Iwo Jima is a realistic portrayal of the Japanese in WWII. It also shows how in war, there is no definite "good guy" or "bad guy." It's all about perspective and Clint Eastwood directs such in a way that is almost immaculate. It's a film that makes you think, but it is very violent, disturbing, and sad. Although what else would you expect from a war movie in which you know the overall outcome? Expand
  14. Jan 22, 2013
    8
    A truly emotional and gripping movie, with an interesting plot perspective not typical of most American movies. With Letters from Iwo Jima Clint Eastwood does something special, he captures the emotional side of our enemy.
  15. Nov 9, 2012
    10
    Mesmerizing. With Letters from Iwo Jima Clint Eastwood has something special. But you know, only if you're into awesome story telling, awesome directing, awesome acting and awesome writing.
  16. Nov 28, 2012
    9
    Clint Eastwood's 2006 film "Letter From Iwo Jima" is a companion piece to his earlier film "Flags Of Our Fathers". It centers around the exact same events in "Flags", but the perspective is switched towards the Japanese army this time. One of the questions I had going into "Letters" was - is it better than "Flags". In short, yes. I found "Letters From Iwo Jima" to be an unbelievable pieceClint Eastwood's 2006 film "Letter From Iwo Jima" is a companion piece to his earlier film "Flags Of Our Fathers". It centers around the exact same events in "Flags", but the perspective is switched towards the Japanese army this time. One of the questions I had going into "Letters" was - is it better than "Flags". In short, yes. I found "Letters From Iwo Jima" to be an unbelievable piece of film that, I feel, every American should get a chance to watch. One of the greatest aspects of the film itself is the film's screenplay, which is written almost entirely in Japanese. When I initially found this movie to be almost entirely in a different language, I worried that this quality would impair my ability to sympathize with its characters. I was wrong. I found this film's characters perfectly written and easy to sympathize and care for. The acting also helps with character development in this film. Ken Watanabe plays General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, probably the greatest character in the film. Watanabe's portrayal of the General is so well-crafted that you just can't help but have an immense amount of compassion for him. In a visual sense, "Letters" utilizes the same sort of bleak and grainy style that was present in "Flags", and this (once again) really helps add to the underlying realistic and grim tone. Eastwood's expert directorial work also shines throughout this film. Overall, I found "Letters From Iwo Jima" to be an incredibly well-made and poignant war drama. Expand
  17. KarenL
    Mar 8, 2009
    5
    I was loving this movie. It was truly refreshing to see a crucial WWII battle from the Japanese point of view. In this film we see Japanese soldiers behaving both honorably and horribly. We see Japanese soldiers with a love for both honor and life. We also understand that so many suicides happened out of fear of their peers and officers. But then we see two American soldiers murder a pair I was loving this movie. It was truly refreshing to see a crucial WWII battle from the Japanese point of view. In this film we see Japanese soldiers behaving both honorably and horribly. We see Japanese soldiers with a love for both honor and life. We also understand that so many suicides happened out of fear of their peers and officers. But then we see two American soldiers murder a pair of the few Japanese soldiers who actually surrendered on Iwo Jima. This is a such a complete lie that it instantly ruined the film's and Eastwood's credibility for me. Read any accurate history about this conflict and you'll discover that Japanese soldiers who actually did surrender were astounded by the compassion of the Americans. They had been taught to expect the worse. Yes that was the Japanese propaganda given to their soldiers. But our very own filmmakers feel compelled to propagandize the brutality of America. It's sadly ironic that a country that provides a director the freedom to combat propaganda chooses his medium to propagandize himself. This was and should have been a great film. It dies, like so many of those who committed suicide on that island, in a lie. Expand
  18. May 6, 2011
    10
    My first reaction to this movie was I loved it.In fact I think it may go into my list of the 5 all time best movies ever made.That is if,its as the title infers, that it is truthful. I like any good audience member come to a film as though I were a jury member and were to look at something, as much as we can as though it were a blank slate.So as the title and opening scene suggests I amMy first reaction to this movie was I loved it.In fact I think it may go into my list of the 5 all time best movies ever made.That is if,its as the title infers, that it is truthful. I like any good audience member come to a film as though I were a jury member and were to look at something, as much as we can as though it were a blank slate.So as the title and opening scene suggests I am seeing a film based on letters from the Japanese home based on their real experiences fighting at Iwo, not a Hollywood writers construct. I am always looking for authenticity at least in the human experience. At that level I bought the film hook line and sinker.This goes to how extraordinarily well the film is acted directed and cut.(Spoiler) I balked at the American GIs killing the two POWS, and the moments when the General asks his fellow officer to lop off his head and at the last moment the young officer is shot and killed. The final scenes however come back and save the picture from Hollywoods almost constant insistence for going over the top.
    As a man born just after WWII and an American and a fellow who met and talked with our soldiers who went through and lived the Batan Death March horror , my view of the Japanese military borders on real hate and when you throw in the hell of Nanking, moves into loathing..I understand the ancient codes of the Samurai, much of which is too be admired and emulated.When that code looses all humanity or compassion and it turns into mass suicide it is totally corrupt.The general fights to win at all cost as though leading his men to certain death by delaying the end of the battle or conclusion of the war has any real chance when he knows it does not.The story I have heard of the last days of the battle for Iwo were a relentless artillery bombardment and then the ghastly business of US Marines having to go in with flame throwers cave by cave.While there were some Bonsai charges thats not the way the battle ended. To the larger issue ,is it a revisionist propaganda film? It is when you realize that all human beings for the most part are not devoid of human decency and we need to be reminded of that.The charge may have some validity when it shows Gis killing two POWS and Japanese lending comfort to an American GI. Japanese barbarity across all fronts without exception is notorious.On the other hand I think it can be said most Germans and Japanese were not clamoring for war or desirous of genocide or the barbarity which became the status quo. It was created by some very twisted and sick leaders.Its not like we US citizens are by birth immune from it.My God we are beginning to accept war under false pretense and torture as acceptable. This film challenged me to think about the Japanese side more compassionately. It moved me and it is incredibly good on many levels and I think its a good counter point to a lot of our sides propaganda.I am however still uncomfortable with the implied lie that it is based on documentary evidence .That will take some further research on my part.As an artistic and fictional film made to get over a point I think it has all the markings of a great film.As an actor I can say the acting work in all cases is stellar.From a film makers point of view the script is good in relation to pace and action but a little lacking in quality of dialogue,cinematography excellent,The incredible use of color which almost fades into black and white is Iwo Jima.The sound is great dialog is crisp and center,surround is effective and well balanced. The editing is compelling without any ham handed smash cutting.The acting and direction superb,the officer with the death of his horse,the reveal of the of the labeled zealot,the confession of the general who wants to live,the perfectness of the custom radio broadcast song, all delicate and deep with great power. Costumes effects and stunts real without hokey cliche,the bombing runs about as good as it gets.
    Overall maybe its the power of the Japanese culture or the theme maybe the superb work of all the craftsman , the best thing I can say about this film is, I felt honored to watch it. Whether it is a documentary or a artwork it moved me.That after all is the job of the great film maker.Congratulations Master Clint Eastwood.
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  19. GaryL.
    Feb 2, 2007
    0
    Clint Eastwood somehow over looked the fact that From the invasion of China in 1937 to the end of World War II, the Japanese military regime murdered near 3,000,000 to over 10,000,000 people, most probably almost 6,000,000 Chinese, Indonesians, Koreans, Filipinos, and Indochinese, among others, including Western prisoners of war. This democide was due to a morally bankrupt political and Clint Eastwood somehow over looked the fact that From the invasion of China in 1937 to the end of World War II, the Japanese military regime murdered near 3,000,000 to over 10,000,000 people, most probably almost 6,000,000 Chinese, Indonesians, Koreans, Filipinos, and Indochinese, among others, including Western prisoners of war. This democide was due to a morally bankrupt political and military strategy, military expediency and custom, and national culture (such as the view that those enemy soldiers who surrender while still able to resist were criminals). How ridiculous to even make such a movie. Expand
  20. LaughingStock
    Mar 5, 2007
    1
    Fantastic yarn by Clint Eastwood about Japanese compassion at Iwo Jima as he rewrites history. These are the historical facts in that we created the monster. In 1894 we forcibly make Japan enter into an alliance to open their ports to the U.S. and Great Britain after a 200 year absense of visiting Japanese soil. Humiliated they agree as they do not have the technology to match up withFantastic yarn by Clint Eastwood about Japanese compassion at Iwo Jima as he rewrites history. These are the historical facts in that we created the monster. In 1894 we forcibly make Japan enter into an alliance to open their ports to the U.S. and Great Britain after a 200 year absense of visiting Japanese soil. Humiliated they agree as they do not have the technology to match up with the West. Japan then sends their best 150 young minds to the U.S. and Great Britain to learn modern technology. Among these is a young Samarui name Lt. Toga. He studies in Great Britain and adopts the ruthless agenda of Admiral Nelson in show no mercy to your enemies. Japan then becomes an industrial power as we teach them our technology. In 1905 Japan intends to invade China and Korea who are defenseless. To do so they must defeat Russia. Admiral Toga in 1905 springs a SNEAK ATTACK against the Russians in the Battle of Port Arthur without announcing WAR on Russia. The American press lauds Japan and calls it a stroke of genius as Japan is our ally. The Japanese are ruthless as they crush their enemy. 35 years later the U.S. doesn't find it so amusing when they SNEAK ATTACK Pearl Harbor where again they show no mercy. But I guess Clint feels they discover God and change their stripes at Iwo Jima. Nice story if you want to believe it??? Expand
  21. Fantasy
    Jan 19, 2007
    0
    Wonderful movie if you love rewriting history. Unbelievable and insult to our brave men and women who died during WW II. Japan has a history of sneak attacks long before Pearl Harbor in 1941 as they did the same thing in Port Arthur to the Russians in 1905. And 36 years later they pull this stunt again. But leave it to Clint to portray how honorable this nation of Japan truly is. I guess Wonderful movie if you love rewriting history. Unbelievable and insult to our brave men and women who died during WW II. Japan has a history of sneak attacks long before Pearl Harbor in 1941 as they did the same thing in Port Arthur to the Russians in 1905. And 36 years later they pull this stunt again. But leave it to Clint to portray how honorable this nation of Japan truly is. I guess according to the left wing liberal Eastwood America is the bad guys. What a joke! Expand
  22. Dr.Strangelove
    Jan 3, 2007
    0
    Just amazing how Japan, a Sneak Attack nation, 65 years later can be reinvented with honor in that they were the good guys. Too bad we can't ask the surviving parents or the spouses of those who were killed by their infamy on December 7, 1941 or the other Asians who suffered a similar fate in Japan's March of Infamy. Why does Hollywood insist on revisionist history. These wereJust amazing how Japan, a Sneak Attack nation, 65 years later can be reinvented with honor in that they were the good guys. Too bad we can't ask the surviving parents or the spouses of those who were killed by their infamy on December 7, 1941 or the other Asians who suffered a similar fate in Japan's March of Infamy. Why does Hollywood insist on revisionist history. These were bad people who had no regard for any other life other than their own. They were slightly above today's terrorists who have no regard even for their own lives. This is a travesty to the brave men who died because of this sneak attack that plunged us into war on a day that will live in infamy forever. What's next Hitler for the Puliizer Prize for humanitarism? Revolitng. Expand
  23. Ladyfinger
    Jan 21, 2007
    0
    It amazes me how the American public can buy into propaganda. I saw the movie and as a work of art it is pretty good. But the story it tells is more fiction than fact having a loved one who participated in the event. But why should that stop a liberal Clint Eastwood from rewriting history? Time heals all wounds and it is nearly 70 years since the event took place. Most of our braveIt amazes me how the American public can buy into propaganda. I saw the movie and as a work of art it is pretty good. But the story it tells is more fiction than fact having a loved one who participated in the event. But why should that stop a liberal Clint Eastwood from rewriting history? Time heals all wounds and it is nearly 70 years since the event took place. Most of our brave American men are now presumbably dead and have no way to respond to this attrocity portraying the Japaneese as the good guys fighting with honor. What is so bothersome is that Japan has a history of Sneak Attacks long before Pearl Harbor. In 1905 it is true that the sandbagged the Russians at Port Arthur and then planned to destroy their Navy again after the initial Sneak Attack which they were very successful in doing. This led us into WW I. HIstory repeated itself on Dec. 7, 1941 a day that used to live in Infamy, that is before Clint Eastwood decided to change things up? If you don't learn from history we are bound to repeat it. I have to laugh as we now commence wars (i.e. Iraq) by asking we are going to bomb you on Monday is that good for you? Can you imagine the world's outcry if America ever Sneak Attacked anyone? But I am only someone who is aware of the terrible things that the Japanese did to our boys at Iwo Jim; but who am I to argue with Clint Eastwood how honorable the ENEMY was? If you want to buy into this propaganda then by all means enjoy the movie. As I said it was a good movie from an artistic point of view and on that there can be no mistake. But to rewrite history and have people feeling sorry for the truly bad guys is just a bit too much. Expand
  24. TomSheehan
    Jan 22, 2007
    0
    I served as the Commanding Officer of the U.S. Miliatry base on Iwo Jima in 1971-72. I have been in the caves throughout the island and I have the original translations of Gen Kuribayshi's letters to his wife and children. I can tell you that the only historically correct fact in this movie is General Kuribayashi's name. This was a very disappointing film. It did not accuratelyI served as the Commanding Officer of the U.S. Miliatry base on Iwo Jima in 1971-72. I have been in the caves throughout the island and I have the original translations of Gen Kuribayshi's letters to his wife and children. I can tell you that the only historically correct fact in this movie is General Kuribayashi's name. This was a very disappointing film. It did not accurately portray the magnitude of suffering of the 21,000 Japanese who died on the island, nor the extreme difficulty encountered by the Marines in crossing the beach. Anyone who has been to the "Black Pearl" and walked the soft sand on the beaches will know the difficulty of moving any type of vehicle out of the clear line of fire from Mt. Suribachi. The scene wherein a horse was galloping across the black sand was laughable. Expand
  25. FedUp
    Feb 2, 2007
    2
    I saw both Flags and Iwo Jima. Boy do you liberals automatically buy into Clint's revisionist history. From an artistic point of view the movies are both quite good. But when the subject matter is twisted and manipulated to serve left wing purposes then take it with a grain of salt which is exactly what I did.
  26. Goffy
    Feb 8, 2007
    2
    Chade you're right in that Iwo Jima helped us understand our enemy better. They had nothing but love for our G I's. What nice people Clint showed us with their kindness and humiltiy. Hell, we should have lost the war because we would have better off. Imagine us Sneak Attacking those nice Japanese at Pearl Harbor. And shame on us in that we actually thought they started the war? Chade you're right in that Iwo Jima helped us understand our enemy better. They had nothing but love for our G I's. What nice people Clint showed us with their kindness and humiltiy. Hell, we should have lost the war because we would have better off. Imagine us Sneak Attacking those nice Japanese at Pearl Harbor. And shame on us in that we actually thought they started the war? I guess the tens of millions they murdered along the way in reality must have committed hari kari. I just love how Clint rewrites history, don't you? Expand
  27. AsianPeople
    Dec 11, 2006
    3
    The movie glorfies the Japanese Imperial Army, one of history's greatest evils.

    Ask the 1.3 billion Chinese what they think of 'Japanese Valor' - Specifically the 320,000 killed and 30,000 women raped in Nanking (today's Nanjing)...Or the Koreans and their feeling about the annexation of Korea for nearly 100 years. To produce a movie like this regarding Nazi Germany
    The movie glorfies the Japanese Imperial Army, one of history's greatest evils.

    Ask the 1.3 billion Chinese what they think of 'Japanese Valor' - Specifically the 320,000 killed and 30,000 women raped in Nanking (today's Nanjing)...Or the Koreans and their feeling about the annexation of Korea for nearly 100 years. To produce a movie like this regarding Nazi Germany would be unthinkable; but then again, Americans have little thought for non-whites. - they are not really human anyway and their tragedies at the hand of Imperial Japan is acceptable..Hollywood makes a movie about the enemy killing Americans (the enemy's point of view)- Its just like watching CNN International but with more blood and gore.

    Maybe the Japanese will find this inetersting; but the rest of Asia who suffered under Japanese atrocities will not - and if we did watch, we'd cheer on every Japanese death.
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  28. DWilly
    Feb 10, 2007
    1
    Either this is one of the all time overrated turkeys or somebody screwed up the subtitle translation on the print I saw. The final jaw dropper for me was "I have to think it was a shame we lost our fleet", and I had to walk... and I almost never walk. Not only was the color miserably bleached, so were the performances, the drama, and everything else a movie is suppose to be. I can only Either this is one of the all time overrated turkeys or somebody screwed up the subtitle translation on the print I saw. The final jaw dropper for me was "I have to think it was a shame we lost our fleet", and I had to walk... and I almost never walk. Not only was the color miserably bleached, so were the performances, the drama, and everything else a movie is suppose to be. I can only hope this films mindbogglingly positive reception doesn't encourage Clint to use his cliched, aw shucks approach to make nice the Japanese rape of Nanking. Expand
  29. SteveW.
    Mar 13, 2007
    0
    Nothing but lies. The Japanese never acted honorably or with integrity. The saddest thing is that people (mostly the younger generation) will watch this movie and think it is true and like a documentary. Nonsense! This movie is nothing but dramatic license liberally and grotesquely utilized in order to sell movie tickets. Hopefully people will be smart enough to do their own research so Nothing but lies. The Japanese never acted honorably or with integrity. The saddest thing is that people (mostly the younger generation) will watch this movie and think it is true and like a documentary. Nonsense! This movie is nothing but dramatic license liberally and grotesquely utilized in order to sell movie tickets. Hopefully people will be smart enough to do their own research so that they can learn what true barbarians the Japanese were and still are! Somehow, I seriously doubt that. Expand
  30. Robin
    Mar 2, 2007
    3
    Boring script, flat characters and an ungracefully superimposed message. what a disappointment.
  31. TheSpoiler
    Mar 29, 2008
    4
    I
  32. Apr 23, 2013
    9
    One of the best war movies that has come along for a long time. It truly shows the despair and sorrow in the Japanese soldiers that didn't want to participate in the war; ordinary people with ordinary jobs. Superb acting, superb directing, superb cinematography: Clint Eastwood has made another masterpiece. Those out there that get scared away by the fact that they're talking Japanese areOne of the best war movies that has come along for a long time. It truly shows the despair and sorrow in the Japanese soldiers that didn't want to participate in the war; ordinary people with ordinary jobs. Superb acting, superb directing, superb cinematography: Clint Eastwood has made another masterpiece. Those out there that get scared away by the fact that they're talking Japanese are really missing something. Expand
  33. Jul 3, 2014
    9
    Clint Eastwood Sinemasının muhteşem filmlerinden biri daha. 2.Dünya savaşına Japonya gözünden bakmak gerekirse muhteşem bir yapım olmuş. Puanım: 10/9.2
  34. Max
    Feb 12, 2007
    4
    As a piece of fiction this movie is just ok, but to try and interpret the enemy 60 years later is a stretch. I am a veteran and no matter what side you are on you are only thinking two things. 1) what are my orders and how do I achieve them? There is no time for contemplation because there is only time for action. If you take time you die. On December 7th the Japanese made a decision to As a piece of fiction this movie is just ok, but to try and interpret the enemy 60 years later is a stretch. I am a veteran and no matter what side you are on you are only thinking two things. 1) what are my orders and how do I achieve them? There is no time for contemplation because there is only time for action. If you take time you die. On December 7th the Japanese made a decision to attack us, it was not the other way around. I am sure thousands of innocent fathers, husbands and lovers died because of the bad decision of a few but that was not our fault. We were attacked and 60 years ago this country was not scared to do what it takes to win. The mindset has changed over the decades and now 3,000 people in five years is cause for failure. How many people died at Iwo Jima? Guess . . . . of the 22,000 Japanese troops entrenched on the island, only 1,083 survived. The United States lost a total of 6,825 personnel in the battle for the island. Expand
  35. ReidF.
    Jan 27, 2007
    10
    Clint Eastwood released two movies this year about the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima. The first (
  36. LinaD.
    Feb 11, 2007
    10
    The film is amazing and helped us understand our enemy better.
  37. ToddW.
    Feb 20, 2007
    5
    I must admit to being more than a little apprehensive about seeing this movie as my family has emotional ties to that piece of volcanic rock in the Pacific Ocean. My uncle, a United States Marine, died in March of 1945 at the tender age of 22 of wounds sustained on that island. Although not expecting the intensity that is the first 15 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan," I must admit to I must admit to being more than a little apprehensive about seeing this movie as my family has emotional ties to that piece of volcanic rock in the Pacific Ocean. My uncle, a United States Marine, died in March of 1945 at the tender age of 22 of wounds sustained on that island. Although not expecting the intensity that is the first 15 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan," I must admit to being more than a little taken aback at the lack of horror and pathos that that invasion engendered in the DVD I saw last weekend. Instead, the entire movie seemed to focus around Native American Marine Ira Hayes and his experience on and after Iwo as a flag raiser in that historic second photograph, which ultimately led to his alcoholism and untimely demise. While that flag raising was important, and its politcal ramifications are undeniable, entire movies have been structured around the premise of our invasions of foreign soil. Witness "The Longest Day." Iwo Jima, Tarawa, Guam, Guadalcanal, etc. set the stages for some of the most vicious fighting of World War II, and news photography of those battles horrified our nation, yet they seem to have been relegated to being historical footnotes to the political ramifications of jingoistic symbolism of which some of these battles gave rise to. My uncle died far before his time for much more than that, I trust. If you really want to spare the easy political statement of "Flags..." in this time of true heroism, and make a stirring war movie in the process, Clint, how about a take on William Manchester's "Goodbye Darkness?" Expand
  38. [Anonymous]
    Feb 4, 2007
    6
    this movie was all right, but the first 15-30 mins. were really boring.
  39. ChrisC
    Feb 5, 2007
    8
    Strong movie with near perfect cinematography, but a bit too long-winded. It didn't really need 144 minutes [Unkto humanize the Japanese soldiers and make their little point about the Japanese cultural shift from Chinese neo-Confucianism to American individualism. The script could have been a little tighter.
  40. BrandonK.
    Feb 7, 2007
    10
    A fantastic film. It feels like a vintage Akira Kurosawa film, with a slightly slow pace which takes time to allow its characters to reflect, while also not neglecting sporadic, chaotic action scenes throughout the film. To those that say it is revisionist, I disagree. The film does an admirable job of showing the militaristic fascism of the japanese while also not demonizing them. There A fantastic film. It feels like a vintage Akira Kurosawa film, with a slightly slow pace which takes time to allow its characters to reflect, while also not neglecting sporadic, chaotic action scenes throughout the film. To those that say it is revisionist, I disagree. The film does an admirable job of showing the militaristic fascism of the japanese while also not demonizing them. There were only a few hundred japanese left alive out of 22,000. Franklly, I do not believe that THAT many of them were suicidal fanatics. Instead I do believe that many Americans killed prisoners out of fear, anger or whatever. It does not make America bad, only those soldiers. Those soldiers are the same in any war, which is Eastwood's entire point. There are slight tweaks to history, for example, where the officer brings his horse to the island, it was actually left in Japan, but in my opinion that enhances the story. A great film. Expand
  41. RalphM.
    Mar 10, 2007
    8
    The best movie about the fighting. Great to get a perspective of the other side.
  42. BenW.
    May 21, 2007
    10
    This is the one of the finest anti war film I've ever seen, I don't care what those narrow minded people like Steve said, I personaly enjoy it very much .
  43. MikeH.
    Jun 10, 2007
    10
    This is simply one of the most moving and effective war movies ever made. Everything from the script, the cinematography, and Eastwood's masterfull direction makes this a war film not to be miss.
  44. PaulM.
    Jul 9, 2007
    10
    Believe me - this is one of the best war films of all time. It fully captures the anxiety of war in a way that few films have been able to achieve. The script, direction, acting and pacing are all flawless.
  45. BrandonS.
    Apr 2, 2008
    10
    I am rarely sucked into a movie so emotionally as this. It is supreme in its message as a war film, and you cannot help but feel for the characters as if they were real people. I felt a knot in my throat by the end of the movie. Extremely well done and highly recommended to anyone who is even slightly interested. You really get a feel for the Japanese culture at the time and the struggles I am rarely sucked into a movie so emotionally as this. It is supreme in its message as a war film, and you cannot help but feel for the characters as if they were real people. I felt a knot in my throat by the end of the movie. Extremely well done and highly recommended to anyone who is even slightly interested. You really get a feel for the Japanese culture at the time and the struggles and dilemmas these people had to endure. Expand
  46. Rohnanc.
    Oct 19, 2007
    10
    So true. for one time, the story not from the north American side where they always have to save the world. A big farce indeed that historic moment for the American where everyone had been long forgotten now. Tragic Japan ! A very very good movie, directed by a very good Clint Eastwood. Not to be missed.
  47. JurgenM.
    Jan 19, 2007
    6
    It's OK, I guess, but so much of the characters and dialogue are stilted that were the film in English I doubt it would be getting so much praise. And do we really need another film about WWII even if it is from the point of view to humanize the "enemy"? Why in the midst of a very questionable invasion/occupation of Iraq are we still seeing so many films about the only "just" war of It's OK, I guess, but so much of the characters and dialogue are stilted that were the film in English I doubt it would be getting so much praise. And do we really need another film about WWII even if it is from the point of view to humanize the "enemy"? Why in the midst of a very questionable invasion/occupation of Iraq are we still seeing so many films about the only "just" war of the 20th Century? Expand
  48. JerryW.
    Jan 21, 2007
    9
    Somewhat disjointed at times but thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking. This film is all the more appreciable if you come from a Japanese background, or possess enough knowledge of the language to get past the sometimes contrived subtitles. Masterfully directed, and a very fitting film to show the human side of war.
  49. Heikki
    Jan 2, 2007
    9
    To Asian P.-Japanese annexation of Korea lasted from 1910 to 1945. Maybe he is confusing Korea with Taiwan (but he would still be wrong). China, Korea, Taiwan are three entirely distinct, separate nations-they in no way present a united perspective on a given topic. As for the movie itself, it's not as good as either Saving Private Ryan or The Thin Red Line, but still pretty good.
  50. DaleM
    Jan 22, 2007
    4
    This movie is not gripping unless you are some kind of history buff. It is actually rather boring. The dialogue is stiff. The characters are caricatures and I found it difficult to feel emotionally for them, even though I knew that the idea of the film was too feel for these people. The Japanese cultural trait of suicide and killing your own brothers in arms is played up in the film inThis movie is not gripping unless you are some kind of history buff. It is actually rather boring. The dialogue is stiff. The characters are caricatures and I found it difficult to feel emotionally for them, even though I knew that the idea of the film was too feel for these people. The Japanese cultural trait of suicide and killing your own brothers in arms is played up in the film in a way that you come away thinking how different of culture Japan must have had than us in WW II. From the way it is presented, you wonder how the battle lasted any time at all since after about 5 minutes of battle in the film, the Japanese seem pretty intent on just killing themselves. This leads me to believe that some re-writing of history must have gone on here. The whole metaphor about letters seems added on rather than really organic to the film. At some level of ideas, perhaps this films works, but, on an emotional level, it just doesn't work very well. Expand
  51. BibliotechaS.
    Jan 20, 2007
    10
    Great film! I saw Flags of Our Fathers December of last year and this Letters from Iwo Jima improves upon Flags, which though I liked, didn't fully appreciate until I saw this one. I cried toward the end. This is a powerful movie. Eastwood does his homework.
  52. KentErickson
    Jan 23, 2007
    10
    Fantasy get a life. Yes the Japanese bombed us at Pearl Harbor and we should never forgive them for that. But does that mean that every Japanese person and every soldier agreed with that decision? Thats like saying every Middle Eastern person is a terrorist, its just ridiculous and very stereotypical. The soldiers that fought our brave soldiers on Iwo Jima had families and loved onesFantasy get a life. Yes the Japanese bombed us at Pearl Harbor and we should never forgive them for that. But does that mean that every Japanese person and every soldier agreed with that decision? Thats like saying every Middle Eastern person is a terrorist, its just ridiculous and very stereotypical. The soldiers that fought our brave soldiers on Iwo Jima had families and loved ones too, and they were not really much different from us. They all make fun of the other branches, Marines make fun of Navy and so on, just like our service people here do. And also as many soldiers would say, they didnt agree with their governments war, just as many of our soldiers didnt and dont today with Iraq. So yes Japan bombed us, and my heart goes out to all the families who lost loved ones, but you should be mad at the generals and the higher order people like the emperor of Japan at the time and not Japanese people in general, do you really think most wives wanted them to attack us, knowing their husbands would be going to battle, I highly doubt it, this movie does a great job in showing that even the enemy has compassion and families and a story to tell, and we can learn a lot more about history listening to both sides of the story, inlcuding both sides of a war/conflict. Or maybe Fantasy we should just stick to the American story right, were the only ones who died in WWII arent we? Expand
  53. BillC.
    Jan 24, 2007
    7
    First , I don't see this as a Best picture winner. I don't think it's even worthy of a nomination. It's a good film, and I thought the story was told fairly. It was interesting to see the other perspective, and it wasn't done in a heavy handed or disrespectful mannor. It's a good film , but is it one of the top 5 for 2006? That's going too far for me.
  54. JimF.
    Jan 29, 2007
    10
    A true masterpiece. It is better than Flags Of Our Fathers in my opinion. Subtitles don't excite me, but it took nothing away from this film. I put this in the top five films I have ever seen. I grew up in Japan and lived there for 10 years. I can vouch for the cultural authenticity of the movie.
  55. ShaneS.
    Jan 29, 2007
    10
    Some of these comments are really perplexing. So many are denouncing this movie because it humanizes Japanese soldiers--as if they weren't human beings to begin with. The film could easily have faltered, but it was actually quite evenhanded. I think some people are missing the point. We're not supposed to see this film as something only to get us to think about how our enemies Some of these comments are really perplexing. So many are denouncing this movie because it humanizes Japanese soldiers--as if they weren't human beings to begin with. The film could easily have faltered, but it was actually quite evenhanded. I think some people are missing the point. We're not supposed to see this film as something only to get us to think about how our enemies must feel, too--of course, that's also the point--but we're supposed to see that blindly following orders is something that everybody does, and it reminds us of how deeply embedded culture is within us all. It is films like these that actually try to change our perspective. If this film is discounted because it grants sympathy to the opposing side, then we're truly getting nowhere. Expand
  56. LindaL.
    Jan 31, 2007
    7
    I missed "Flags" and really want to see it now. "Letters" left me longing for a taste of "the other side of the story." The Japanese cast was terrific, with characters who really stay with you. Two things bothered me, though. One was the extremely washed-out look of the film -- an artistic statement, no doubt, but a surreal choice. The other was that the Americans (e.g. their treatment of I missed "Flags" and really want to see it now. "Letters" left me longing for a taste of "the other side of the story." The Japanese cast was terrific, with characters who really stay with you. Two things bothered me, though. One was the extremely washed-out look of the film -- an artistic statement, no doubt, but a surreal choice. The other was that the Americans (e.g. their treatment of prisoners) were portrayed as so much more savage than the Japanese. (Doubt it). A memorable picture but I agree, not a Best Picture. Expand
  57. BillM.
    Jan 9, 2007
    10
    The most gripping, heart-rending movie I have ever seen. Gruesome, savage yet graceful and tragic.
  58. AlexS.
    Feb 11, 2007
    10
    It's the most beutiful and wonderful film.
  59. MiguelD.
    Feb 11, 2007
    10
    It's the first time that a WWII American movie tells the story by the other side, and that is a remarkable step in the Hollywood industry. But the point is that in war men of both sides are human beings, and we have to judge them by that... it's wrong to say that one side are the good ones and the other the evils (that is only possible to say for the nation leaders of the time, It's the first time that a WWII American movie tells the story by the other side, and that is a remarkable step in the Hollywood industry. But the point is that in war men of both sides are human beings, and we have to judge them by that... it's wrong to say that one side are the good ones and the other the evils (that is only possible to say for the nation leaders of the time, but not for the soldiers or even the generals that obey superior orders). It's true that the japanese commit brutal war crimes (most in China, Phillipines and Korea), but the US also did.... remembered Iroshima and Nagasaki nuclear stikes?? More than 100,000 civilians died at one instant, that was not fare! (but that was a decision of the US military headquarters). Without that bombs the japs would never surrender until the last man was killed fighting to defend his land (that was the mentallity of the japanese people at that time). Expand
  60. Roger
    Feb 15, 2007
    8
    I can't recommend this movie, even though it was very good, because it is torture to watch. 2.5 hours of realistic war suffering. Eastwood is brilliant but this was too intense for me.
  61. MarkB.
    Feb 22, 2007
    9
    "No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country", uttered General George Patton as memorably interpreted by George C. Scott in the first two minutes of You-Know-What. "He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for HIS country." And though Patton fought Germans, not Japanese, the principle, as Clint Eastwood powerfully illustrates in Letters From Iwo Jima, remains the same: "No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country", uttered General George Patton as memorably interpreted by George C. Scott in the first two minutes of You-Know-What. "He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for HIS country." And though Patton fought Germans, not Japanese, the principle, as Clint Eastwood powerfully illustrates in Letters From Iwo Jima, remains the same: the pivotal battle location became a bloodbath for the Japanese fighting forces because, in instructing the men that they would most likely NOT leave the island alive, their commanders were inadvertently setting them up to BE the poor dumb bastards. The second half of Eastwood's duo of pictures that don't so much commemorate Iwo Jima as put it under a microscope, Letters is far more effective than the previous Flags of Our Fathers because it's much less fussily pretentious (especially in its use of flashbacks) and tells a far more focused, disciplined story that doesn't go in endless different directions. Tom Stern's "practically-black-and-white" cinematography works more powerfully here, too, because it underlines Letters' depiction of the futility of this battle for the Japanese by pictorially depicting its location, which is defined early on as a vital strategic post, as inhospitable and unworldly, more like a meteorite than anyplace recognizable on earth. It's fascinating to watch Eastwood in the late stages of his directorial career seemingly doing everything possible to completely redefine its early and middle sections: the intensely pacifistic Western Unforgiven cancels out the larkily ultraviolent work he did for Sergio Leone and others by demonstrating just how valuable human life is and how painful its loss; the anti-mob justice drama Mystic River seriously questions the law-and-order ethics of his Dirty Harry series, and his Iwo Jima films negate the rowdy, Late-Late-Show hyperpatriotism of his Grenada opus Heartbreak Ridge. But before liberals start firing up the veggieburger grills to welcome Eastwood as one of their own, they should keep in mind that Clint (who as far as I know is still a Republican) is nothing if not impossible to pigeonhole, and Letters From Iwo Jima, for all its implicit commentary on the futility of war, also violates one of the primary tenets in the ultra-liberal handbook: while honoring and treasuring the lives of the individual Japanese fighting men and their likable commander General Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe), it's also quite unsparing in its criticism of a national culture and mindset that in many ways contributes to their doom. There are enough ritualistic suicides to rival any film made about the People's Temple in Jonestown, and the Japanese code of combat as depicted here shamefully and unnecessarily wastes human life by advocating dying "honorably" over trying to survive to fight another day. In a time and place such as our own, when making even obvious, justifiable generalizations about another nationality, religion or culture has become so verboten that even an airline's very sensible recent act of arresting a group of suspiciously-behaving Muslim passengers who seemed to be preparing to hijack a plane is placed under ridiculous scrutiny, Eastwood deserves commendation for doing the near impossible. In Letters From Iwo Jima he's managed to be politically correct AND incorrect at the same time! Expand
  62. Kayla
    Feb 26, 2007
    10
    A masterpiece, now understand why the criticizes world-wide says it that!!!! Clint Eastwood is the best director!!!!!
  63. JimJ.
    Feb 3, 2007
    4
    "Letters" is a C or C+ movie...at best. It is also critically flawed. No doubt, .U.S. troops on rare occasion murdered prisoners. Most often, however, U.S. troops treated their prisoners humanely. No doubt, Japanese troops were humane towards their prisoners. Most often, however, Japanese troops were barbarous in their treatment of prisoners. " Letters" shows one instance of humane "Letters" is a C or C+ movie...at best. It is also critically flawed. No doubt, .U.S. troops on rare occasion murdered prisoners. Most often, however, U.S. troops treated their prisoners humanely. No doubt, Japanese troops were humane towards their prisoners. Most often, however, Japanese troops were barbarous in their treatment of prisoners. " Letters" shows one instance of humane treatment of a prisoner by Japanese troops and one instance of barbarous prisoner treatment by U.S. troops. "Letter" ignores historical fact and is nothing more than an anti-USA, anti-U.S. military piece of propaganda. "Flags of Our Fathers" was 10 times the movie, but couldn't receive its just due because the USA won. What tripe! Expand
  64. BillyS.
    Feb 5, 2007
    6
    When I saw Flags of our Fathers back in October I rated it a generous 7 points and said it was simply a good war movie but because it was a Clint Eastwood film the critics would hail it as a classic. Well, the critics instead reserved their praise for Letters From Iwo Jima and the Academy, as I expected, nominated it for Best Picture and Director, which persuaded me take a chance and see When I saw Flags of our Fathers back in October I rated it a generous 7 points and said it was simply a good war movie but because it was a Clint Eastwood film the critics would hail it as a classic. Well, the critics instead reserved their praise for Letters From Iwo Jima and the Academy, as I expected, nominated it for Best Picture and Director, which persuaded me take a chance and see it. It turns out I was right the first time but it applies even more to Letters. Just because it's in Japanese and it's told from their point of view, it's still just a typical war movie filled with American war-movie cliches and melodramatic set pieces that we've seen in every war movie ever made. BUT, it is a film by Clint Eastwood and therfore it's a masterpiece. An anti-war film that is universal about soldiers stuck in a hopeless battle in a war they started with no way out. Sound familiar. Expand
  65. Kitch_Man
    Feb 7, 2007
    9
    This is not a war film that will be accessible to every viewer, especially those who are only used to soaking up the typical American propaganda war films of the past half century. Of course there are going to be those right winged/
  66. TimmyD
    Apr 3, 2007
    9
    I disagree with Steve; this movie shows that stereotypes are not always true. While the movie probably did make up certain parts, it gives a totally different view on the war, this time showing a man who was taken from his home and doesnt want to fight.
  67. NathanC.
    Apr 4, 2007
    9
    A truly emotional and gripping movie, with an intresting plot perspective not typcial of most American movies. This movie should have won best picture instead of the Departed, even though the Departed was not to bad.
  68. HenryV.
    Apr 8, 2007
    9
    A bleak yet beautiful World War II dazzler, that is as much a meditation of honor as it is a powerful anti-war movie.
  69. AlexKapsaskis
    May 29, 2007
    10
    I honestly think that this is the best movie I have ever seen. The first hour and a half or so is very slow, but it does help to build toward the fantastic anding. No, it is not saying that what Japanese leaders decided to do was okay. It has nothing to do with that. It simply tells a story that reveals that the Japanese soldiers were no different than the American soldiers. They hadI honestly think that this is the best movie I have ever seen. The first hour and a half or so is very slow, but it does help to build toward the fantastic anding. No, it is not saying that what Japanese leaders decided to do was okay. It has nothing to do with that. It simply tells a story that reveals that the Japanese soldiers were no different than the American soldiers. They had families waiting for them to come home. They wanted the war to end. They wanted to fight for their country and their honor. The meaning of this film is that every war is a civil war. We're all human. This film reminds me of a quote from Ernest Hemingway: "Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a
    crime." That is completely true, and the scene where an American murders two Japanese POWs is very upsetting. In the end, this is an amazing war film and if you are one of the reviewers who hated it because it didn't depict the Japanese soldiers as barbarians, you are just extremely ignorant. One person even said that it was offensive to all U.S. veterans because it showed that the Japanese soldiers were not savages. If you would deny someone the right to live because of how they are portrayed in the media, you are a disgrace to all humans.
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  70. JonA.
    May 29, 2007
    10
    This movie does not glorify war or the japanese, nor does it show the americans as the bad guys. What it does do, it shows how savage war is, without the glory. To the people who think it shows the japanese in a better light than america they miss the point. Pon R said it best. Take it as an anti-war film.
  71. PatC.
    Jun 26, 2007
    6
    A commendable intelligent movie on many levels. Unfortunately it so fastidiously portrays the Japanese perspective at the expense of continuity that it makes being Japanese seem boring.
  72. LeonardoP.
    Jan 9, 2008
    10
    A very good movie that make you stay awake all the time. I 'm very impressed in how Clint Eastwood made this movie so perfectly even when he had to direct various actors speaking other language. The theme song of the movie is very pretty too, congratulations to Kyle Eastwood.
  73. PeterA.
    Feb 17, 2008
    10
    War is Hell for anyone in or near it. Letters portrays it from the perspective of several Japanese soldiers based on letters written by them. While fiction, perhaps, in many specific details, the feel is authentic and the cinematography and acting is excellent. Most Japanese soldiers and officers were merciless brutes to their adversaries, their captives, the peoples they subjugated - and War is Hell for anyone in or near it. Letters portrays it from the perspective of several Japanese soldiers based on letters written by them. While fiction, perhaps, in many specific details, the feel is authentic and the cinematography and acting is excellent. Most Japanese soldiers and officers were merciless brutes to their adversaries, their captives, the peoples they subjugated - and often their own people. However some were not. The tragedy of these individuals, trapped in the Japanese military culture and circumstances of their time is well illustrated by this film. I am thankful that the Japanese military culture was defeated. However, for those that condemn all Japanese because of their collective behavior in and before WWII, and can therefore see no merit in this film or any Japanese of the time - consider that in times past - many Americans of European descent treated the naive American indians in similar or worse ways. Expand
  74. RyanM.
    Mar 16, 2008
    10
    possibly the best war movie of all time. What is so great about this movie is that it really shows that war is a living hell and it does an amazing job sending out that message. its compainion, Flag of our Fathers, is also pretty good, but letters from Iwo Jima is simply amazing.
  75. GrahamM.
    Dec 22, 2006
    10
    To kill in war is no better than ordinary murder. Letters from Iwo Jima is a masterpiece, a beautiful and emotional depiction of how evil war truly is and that the people on the other side were not monsters, rather were people who were just like the ones on the other side. Looking at both sides of a war such as this reveals the truth of the true evil of war.
  76. ToosinB.
    Dec 24, 2006
    8
    "Letters" didn't live up to the hype, IMHO. It does portray Japanese soldiers as 3d human beings but is that such an accomplishment? It shows how they ran out of ammo, hadn't eaten and without water for 5 days, and so on. It also demonstrates how they mistreated each other because of their enormous macho honor and "patriotism" but to me it gets a little overdone and forced. The "Letters" didn't live up to the hype, IMHO. It does portray Japanese soldiers as 3d human beings but is that such an accomplishment? It shows how they ran out of ammo, hadn't eaten and without water for 5 days, and so on. It also demonstrates how they mistreated each other because of their enormous macho honor and "patriotism" but to me it gets a little overdone and forced. The battles don't seem real to me either. Even so, I enjoyed the film and felt a lot of sympathy for the poor soldiers trapped in the middle. Very much like the real thing in that respect. Expand
  77. AS
    Dec 27, 2006
    10
    War is never fair, killing is never right no matter how it happens. Regardless, people are forced to fight wars for their countries, and eventually, the great mistakes made in war teach us invaluable lessons. Letters is a great story that focuses on human beings caught in a tough war. Often enemies are perceived as a heartless empty foe, so Iwo Jima is a first for allowing us to War is never fair, killing is never right no matter how it happens. Regardless, people are forced to fight wars for their countries, and eventually, the great mistakes made in war teach us invaluable lessons. Letters is a great story that focuses on human beings caught in a tough war. Often enemies are perceived as a heartless empty foe, so Iwo Jima is a first for allowing us to understand the war from two sides. With all the propoganda in existence since the World Wars, this is a first in history and a very important film. Japan and the US are both great countries and have since become great allies. Expand
  78. NonasianWawawiwa
    Dec 30, 2006
    10
    Wow some "asian People" have a big mouth here.
    Were now entering the global era.Where we you.There's no Japanese or Chinese or White or Black or whatsoever.You know what if you're saying this movie suck because you don't like it that was out of this context.You're being such a racist till the day you die.Japanese will always be Japanese.What they've done was evil
    Wow some "asian People" have a big mouth here.
    Were now entering the global era.Where we you.There's no Japanese or Chinese or White or Black or whatsoever.You know what if you're saying this movie suck because you don't like it that was out of this context.You're being such a racist till the day you die.Japanese will always be Japanese.What they've done was evil BUT you don't do anything different by being such racist.Do us a favor.If you hate the Japanese so much then go kill them,don't post stupid comments,shut the **** up please.Were critics not RACIST.
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  79. SusanF.
    Jan 15, 2007
    10
    With all of the ethnic, religious and cultural tension existing in the world, and with the current war in Iraq, this film especially hit my heart hard. It made me feel connected to people all over the world, and made me recognize how we humans are so much more alike than different. One of the best films I have ever seen.
  80. PaulK.
    Jan 19, 2007
    10
    Not even remotely a fan of war movies...but I was completely won over. See it.
  81. shadow
    Jan 19, 2007
    10
    Don't listen to the people like Fantasy, for obviously they didn't watch the movie, or are just unbelievably ignorant. This film is not about Japan, it's about the soldiers of Japan, and what they were facing in the impossible situation on Iwo Jima.
  82. VincentH.
    Jan 26, 2007
    10
    A utter masterpiece, plain and simple. In fact, this film only reaffirms in my mind that Clint Eastwood is one of our greatest living filmmakers in the world.
  83. BarryR.
    Jan 26, 2007
    8
  84. JTapper
    Jan 28, 2007
    10
    An anti-war film of the highest magnitude.
  85. FabiB.
    Feb 11, 2007
    10
    It's a beutiful and fantastic film.
  86. Legendary
    Feb 11, 2007
    10
    Udoubtedly one of the best World War II movie I've seen. Artistically, this film is beautiful. The high contrast, low saturation cinematography burns every image of the film into your mind, leaving you to think about it for days after viewing it. Seeing a war movie from the "enemies" point of view is such a fresh and brilliant idea... I can't believe it's not something Udoubtedly one of the best World War II movie I've seen. Artistically, this film is beautiful. The high contrast, low saturation cinematography burns every image of the film into your mind, leaving you to think about it for days after viewing it. Seeing a war movie from the "enemies" point of view is such a fresh and brilliant idea... I can't believe it's not something that's done more often at this level. For those people that seem to be disgusted with the fact that Eastwood portrays these Japanese soldiers as "nice guys", I think you're failing to see the humanity injected into this film. Those average japanese soldiers were regular guys, just like the Americans that stormed the beach. At no time does Eastwood show Japanese soldiers sympathizing with the Americans, or vise versa. The message is crystal clear... they're just regular men caught up in a war not of their own making. They're not "Evil Japs", contrary to what propaganda would have you believe. A great message, and a lesson to be learned about the human condition. Expand
  87. LilianL.
    Feb 13, 2007
    10
    It's the first time that a WWII American movie tells the story by the other side, that is great and this film is a masterpiece.
  88. RickL.
    Feb 22, 2007
    10
    A beutiful film, but this was intense and brilliant!!! It's a masterpiece
  89. Rory
    Feb 22, 2007
    10
    This film is great and the acting was brilliant, emotional, looking at both sides of a war such as this reveals the truth of the true evil of war.
  90. EmilyM.
    Feb 23, 2007
    6
    There can be no doubt that Clint Eastwood is a master of genre. Or, more specifically, that he has the ability to masterfully investigate and overturn the formula of a specific genre and end up with something that is compelling, intelligent, and original. Anyone who has seen "Unforgiven" knows this. It was this talent that I was looking for in both "Flags" and "Iwo Jima," but this talent There can be no doubt that Clint Eastwood is a master of genre. Or, more specifically, that he has the ability to masterfully investigate and overturn the formula of a specific genre and end up with something that is compelling, intelligent, and original. Anyone who has seen "Unforgiven" knows this. It was this talent that I was looking for in both "Flags" and "Iwo Jima," but this talent was, unfortunately, nowhere to be found. While "Iwo Jima" was not nearly the muddled mess that is "Flags," it is still ultimately a fairly regular, mundane, ok sort of war movie (albeit beautifully shot), where the characters are either hapless soldiers or vicious officers, who happen to be lead by a humane (and, not coincidentally, Americanized) general and a rebel officer who we audience members are meant to identify with. (This is not to say that Ken Watanabe isn Expand
  91. EdN.
    Feb 23, 2007
    9
    Great portrayal of the famous Japanese genral who masterminded the defense of the vital island of Iwo Jima. Interesting view into the mentality of Japanese thinking of the 1940's. In some ways, there is a strong relationship between the Japanese and curent enemies and their willingness to die, sucide, etc., for their ideaologies.
  92. DamonB.
    Apr 28, 2007
    10
    This is perhaps the finest war movie I've ever seen.
  93. TerryC.
    May 21, 2007
    10
    Excellent movie...very inspiring as an antiwar movie.
  94. JohnThomson
    May 28, 2007
    8
    if you've seen Flags of our Fathers, be sure to follow up with Letters from iwo jima. why? because Flags of our fathers sucks! Letters.., on the other hand was a pretty good movie. however, if you've seen Iwo Jima and not Flags of our fathers, keep it that way. don't get curious and watch Flags... because it sucks.
  95. RichardC.
    Jul 16, 2007
    10
    A masterpiece, one of the greatest 'anti-war' films of all time. Slow moving in parts and deeply contemplative, you have to let it take you into its own rhythms and currents for one of the deepest explorations of the tragedy of war ever put on film.
  96. KevinL.
    Feb 17, 2009
    10
    This movie is absolutely beautiful. It's very touching. I'd recommend this over Flags of Our Fathers but that too is an amazing movie.
  97. RhyssC.
    Dec 29, 2006
    9
    The triumph of this movie lies in its courage to depict the humanity of the soldiers fighting for a nation portrayed by history as the evil doer of World War II. The film is majestic and poetic in its approach and remain true in portraying the strength and sensitivity of the Japanese culture without justifying its misdeeds.
  98. PonR.
    Dec 29, 2006
    10
    It's sad to see people who think this movie "glorifies". Imperial Japan or is trying to change history just because it shows that the Japanese soldiers were also human beings. There were no massacres of Chinese or Korean civilians on Iwo Jima so how can they expect a movie about Iwo Jima to show that? Letters From Iwo Jima is about the soldiers that fought and died regardless of It's sad to see people who think this movie "glorifies". Imperial Japan or is trying to change history just because it shows that the Japanese soldiers were also human beings. There were no massacres of Chinese or Korean civilians on Iwo Jima so how can they expect a movie about Iwo Jima to show that? Letters From Iwo Jima is about the soldiers that fought and died regardless of their national identity. We shouldn't forget that, at their core, they were all members of the human race. Expand
  99. Feb 21, 2015
    10
    Absolutely amazing film, I cannot find a single flaw! For once we get to see war from the enemy perspective, and that is what made this film great. There is nothing more to say, amazing movie without doubt.

    To the people who gave it a 0/10? Get over yourselves, imbeciles, review the movie itself, and don't base it on your opinions on the Japanese. Your reviews are invalid.
  100. Oct 16, 2014
    0
    They edited out the scene where Japanese soldiers ripped open pregnant women and tore their fetuses out from their wombs... And they forgot the scene where Japanese soldiers where Japanese soldiers gang-raped ten year old girls to death and then stuffed bamboo poles up their vaginas...

    Well, I suppose those women and girls are not important enough for this film... This is the most
    They edited out the scene where Japanese soldiers ripped open pregnant women and tore their fetuses out from their wombs... And they forgot the scene where Japanese soldiers where Japanese soldiers gang-raped ten year old girls to death and then stuffed bamboo poles up their vaginas...

    Well, I suppose those women and girls are not important enough for this film...

    This is the most morally reprehensible and disgusting film of all-time... It shamelessly warps historical truth. It attempts to portray the most brutal, sadistic, cruel, and inhuman monsters of all-time as tragic heroes who are somehow worthy of our sympathy and admiration...

    As a sequel to this film, Mr. Eastwood ought to make a film that depicts how wonderful and nice Nazi SS soldiers are...

    The only good part of this movie is where the stupid Japanese soldiers blew themselves up with grenades for their rat-faced devil coward emperor... That was a laugher lol... They died for nothing, they died for a diabolical regime of mass murder, rape and torture... And it is quite entertaining to know that they now burn in hell for their crimes...
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Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Now Eastwood turns on a dime and tackles not just his first war movie but two war movies of considerable scope and complexity. If he doesn't nail everything perfectly, he nevertheless has created a vivid memorial to the courage on both sides of this battle and created an awareness in the public consciousness at a most opportune moment about how war feels to those lost in its fog.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    Taken together, "Flags" and "Letters" represent a genuinely imposing achievement, one that looks at war unflinchingly -- that does not deny its necessity but above all laments the human loss it entails.
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    100
    It's unprecedented, a sorrowful and savagely beautiful elegy that can stand in the company of the greatest antiwar movies.