Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 265 Ratings

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  • Summary: In this companion piece to "Flags of Our Fathers," Clint Eastwood presents the untold story of the Japanese soldiers and their general who 61 years ago defended against the invading American forces on the island of Iwo Jima. (Warner Bros.)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Clint Eastwood's profound, magisterial, and gripping companion piece to his ambitious meditation on wartime image and reality, "Flags of Our Fathers."
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    100
    It takes a filmmaker possessed of a rare, almost alchemic, blend of maturity, wisdom and artistic finesse to create such an intimate, moving and spare war film as Clint Eastwood has done in Letters From Iwo Jima.
  3. 100
    Eastwood's direction here is a thing of beauty, blending the ferocity of the classic films of Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai) with the delicacy and unblinking gaze of Yasujiro Ozu (Tokyo Story).
  4. 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.
  5. The humanistic approach makes Eastwood's movie a war story for the ages.
  6. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    80
    A sharper account of the Iwo Jima conflict than Flags, this balances its unflinching handling of the horrors of war with its touching portrayal of those who face them.
  7. 50
    Eastwood is so busy humanizing Japanese soldiers that he ends up rewriting history.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 99
  2. Negative: 13 out of 99
  1. Kirsten
    Feb 24, 2007
    10
    A great message, and a lesson to be learned about the human condition, a truly masterpiece.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 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
  4. 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. Expand
  5. 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. Expand
  6. 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 prisoners) were portrayed as so much more savage than the Japanese. (Doubt it). A memorable picture but I agree, not a Best Picture. Collapse
  7. 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 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

See all 99 User Reviews

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