User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 261 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 261

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  1. 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.
  2. 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 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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  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 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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  6. 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.
  7. 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 the overall outcome? Expand
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 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
  11. 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 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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  12. 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 are really missing something. Expand
  13. 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
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.