Pearl Harbor

User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 224 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 224
  2. Negative: 67 out of 224

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User Reviews

  1. DanR.
    Sep 30, 2005
    2
    Armageddon, in its blend of ridiculous action sequences and tear-jerking, sopping sentimentality is perhaps bearable as escapist entertainment because of its science fiction premise. What is so offensive about this film is it's attempt to apply a similar kind of blind action movie for the guys/shallow romance for the chicks aesthetic to an actual, tragic event. Only Cuban Armageddon, in its blend of ridiculous action sequences and tear-jerking, sopping sentimentality is perhaps bearable as escapist entertainment because of its science fiction premise. What is so offensive about this film is it's attempt to apply a similar kind of blind action movie for the guys/shallow romance for the chicks aesthetic to an actual, tragic event. Only Cuban Gooding's acting, the production values of the main attack sequence, and the depiction of the intelligence and communication failures that could have prevented the disaster deserve some credit. The rest is insulting. Expand
  2. Sep 19, 2013
    3
    This movie is so superficial and exaggerated, that it feels like an empty hollow shell of a movie that is historically inaccurate with lots of Michael Bay-approved explosions.
  3. KoenD.
    May 30, 2006
    1
    Ridiculous movie. Worst movie I've seen in my entire life.
  4. T.T.
    Aug 20, 2001
    2
    Real crap. Amazingly unengaging. Worst points have to be the dialogue and thin characterizations.
  5. BrandonD.
    May 29, 2001
    0
    This film was so bad I found myself rooting for the Japanese to kill Alec Baldwin. Other than some impressive special effects, this movie made me almost vommit each and every time one of the characters spoke. Don't waste your money.
  6. AshleighM.
    Feb 27, 2002
    3
    I hate how it had so much love in it. I want to see more death.
  7. [Anonymous]
    Jun 3, 2002
    2
    The actors were about the only good thing in that movie. I don't know if it's just me, but the last part where they go to get back at the Japanese seemed a bit overly dramatic and it made Americans seem blood-thirsty and sort of braun over brains.
  8. JoeK.
    Jan 16, 2003
    0
    This movie sucked. it isn't worthy of sitting on my dvd shelf, so i put it on the floor under a rug.
  9. Oct 18, 2011
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Way too long. Quite boring too. If there was actually content, it might do justice to the length. But the only bit of action (where Japanese attack Pearl Harbor) is not well done or connected to the story. I mean, how the hell do these idiots hope to take down planes with a shotgun or thompson? Expand
  10. EvanC.
    May 26, 2001
    1
    This movie royally sucked! First off, for the amount of time the movie lasted (2hr 58m) it should have been much better. Secondly, the love story did no justice for the film. Although, the special effects in the film were nothing short of amazing they can't carry the movie the entire time. I would have much rather seen a movie about the realtionship between the two friends than the This movie royally sucked! First off, for the amount of time the movie lasted (2hr 58m) it should have been much better. Secondly, the love story did no justice for the film. Although, the special effects in the film were nothing short of amazing they can't carry the movie the entire time. I would have much rather seen a movie about the realtionship between the two friends than the dreaded love story. Yuck... Expand
  11. YoonC.
    Sep 24, 2003
    1
    It takes way too long to reach the big climax and when it comes it goes on forever as nothing more than a videogame. Then it goes on for what seems like tedious eternity to show Americans striking back. Star Wars was reputed to have borrowed freely from WWII footages of air battles; ironically, it has come full circle as this film borrows from Star Wars the movie(and the video game?). Ben It takes way too long to reach the big climax and when it comes it goes on forever as nothing more than a videogame. Then it goes on for what seems like tedious eternity to show Americans striking back. Star Wars was reputed to have borrowed freely from WWII footages of air battles; ironically, it has come full circle as this film borrows from Star Wars the movie(and the video game?). Ben Affleck is dashing in lead role but everyone and everything is too dumb for comment. Worse, dumb on a bombastic Riefenstahl scale. Too bad Japan didn't bomb Hollywood instead. Expand
  12. GabeT.
    Mar 9, 2002
    0
    Every print of this film should be destroyed. They took one of the greatest disasters in American history for an attempt at telling a silly love story. It trivializes what was essentially 9/11 for a past generation. And as a fluffy love story, it is inept and unforgivably stupid. Despicable.
  13. AndrewP.
    Feb 23, 2003
    2
    Great battle scenes and awesome cinematography, but other than that, this movie sucked! A total waste of time and money.
  14. DaveC.
    Nov 1, 2001
    1
    I couldn't believe my eyes as I was watching this. Watching this film was the most dreadfully torturous experience I've had in many years. The performances were bad (Alec Baldwin, in particular, gives the worst performance of the year), the screenplay was the absolute lowest point in big budget war cinema of all time, and I found the whole concept to be the most tasteless and I couldn't believe my eyes as I was watching this. Watching this film was the most dreadfully torturous experience I've had in many years. The performances were bad (Alec Baldwin, in particular, gives the worst performance of the year), the screenplay was the absolute lowest point in big budget war cinema of all time, and I found the whole concept to be the most tasteless and exploitative jargon we've had in many years. Did anyone really think that Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer took on this project to educate the people about the event and to commemorate those who served and were killed in the war? No. If that was the case, they would have tried to get some amount of the facts correctly. It wouldn't have intersected the film with three hours of the lamest romance ever put on celluloid. This film was made for money and recognition for the people who made. Luckily, this one bombed. If you're over 15 and know anything about Pearl Harbor, skip this one. Expand
  15. KateL.
    Dec 7, 2001
    2
    A terrible movie -- insulting and offensive. From the guys who brought us 'Armageddon' -- a film that I enjoyed simply because it was a big ridiculous thrill ride with just the right blend of cheese and FX. 'Pearl Harbor' is made with the same formula (and one of the same actors, Ben "Get me to a damn plane!" Affleck, who is nothing but an overgrown frat boy strutting A terrible movie -- insulting and offensive. From the guys who brought us 'Armageddon' -- a film that I enjoyed simply because it was a big ridiculous thrill ride with just the right blend of cheese and FX. 'Pearl Harbor' is made with the same formula (and one of the same actors, Ben "Get me to a damn plane!" Affleck, who is nothing but an overgrown frat boy strutting for the camera), but it fails because when you put a name, face and race on a metaphorical asteroid and call it the Japanese, the fun disappears and the slurs begin (I stopped counting the times I heard "damn Japs"). Yes, the FX are great, but it's Titanic territory revisited, and after a while you're yawning your way through yet another extra flailing in the water, yet another explosion, etc. They should have made the battles scenes into a one hour reenactment for cable and cut out the rest of the film -- the hour before and the hour after the attack are incredibly predictable and full of pandering, formulaic cheese. The love story is disjointed and the characters are cartoons -- Affleck is his usual brawny mess, Josh Harnett puts forth a decent young-Tommy-Lee-Jones effort but can't save his doomed Danny, and Kate Beckinsale pulls a Kate Winslet by hopping from a respected place on the international/independent circuit to an unfortunate hair-and-makeup turn in a disaster blockbuster (Winslet has barely recovered from "the boat film"... let's cross our fingers for poor Beckinsale, who shouldn't be wasting her time with stuff like this). Why Cuba Gooding, Jr. chose to take part at all is beyond me. Dan Ackroyd, on the other hand, is right up his own alley as the Navy Intelligence man who saw it coming -- in real life, Ackroyd is the Alien Intelligence man who is waiting for an extraterrestrial encounter so that he can tell us he told us so... so I think he had some fun. As for Alec Baldwin, he's on the fast track to becoming one of the worst actors of all time, and Jon Voight is apparently trying to add historical charicatures to his resume (he's following his cartoon Roosevelt with another study in prosthetics as Howard Cosell in 'Ali'). 'Pearl Harbor' rips off many other disaster/war films from 'Titanic' to 'Top Gun', and is nothing more than a great big mess. I don't condemn it completely because of Hartnett's effort, the FX, and James King, who makes an easy, natural step from highly successful model to competent actress (her Betty is one of the few characters you actually feel something for, spared simply because she wasn't given the screen time to become a cartoon). Otherwise, I would actively discourage any thinking filmgoer from suffering through this movie. Mike & Jerry should stick to asteroids. Expand
  16. ScottR.
    Jun 27, 2001
    0
    Weak. Afraid. Untrue. This is lacking in historical substance. But politically correct. Next time get a director who is not afraid of what people think and tells the truth.
  17. BrianK.
    Mar 13, 2002
    0
    It sucked! I could make a better movie than that. It is a waste of time and money.
  18. ZachP.
    Aug 28, 2002
    0
    And to think this schlock was conceived, written, produced and released before the rallying cry of September 11th. I can't think of a worse love story, or a worse sensationalism of war, or a worse role for Cuba Gooding Jr. (if only Jerry Maguire were your real life agent), or a worse performance by anyone named Ben, or a worse movie, period. Get tape protection if you rent it, so you And to think this schlock was conceived, written, produced and released before the rallying cry of September 11th. I can't think of a worse love story, or a worse sensationalism of war, or a worse role for Cuba Gooding Jr. (if only Jerry Maguire were your real life agent), or a worse performance by anyone named Ben, or a worse movie, period. Get tape protection if you rent it, so you can gather the family and burn it together. Expand
  19. KyleA.
    Dec 22, 2004
    2
    Avoid Ben Affleck like the plagued!
  20. JaredC.
    Aug 16, 2007
    0
    I prefer war genre's, and this is a good choice, but comparing it to Behind Enemy Lines, U-571, and Saving Private Ryan, this is an embarresment, it was worked out the most terrible way possible, I hated absolutely everything in it.
  21. ThomasK
    Dec 1, 2008
    0
    When this DVD came out, I was dying to buy it for my collection sure that even though I had not seen it...I was sure to love it. This is the most disrespectful and irresponsible excuse for a film of all time. Worst movie ever, ever, ever! If you know anything at all about WW2 or historical war movies than think of this trash as someone spitting on the graves of those who died on When this DVD came out, I was dying to buy it for my collection sure that even though I had not seen it...I was sure to love it. This is the most disrespectful and irresponsible excuse for a film of all time. Worst movie ever, ever, ever! If you know anything at all about WW2 or historical war movies than think of this trash as someone spitting on the graves of those who died on 12/7/1941. This is not about the attack on Pearl Harbor at all. It should be called "As the World Turns" and the DVD is not even worthy of being a coaster on my coffee table. Throw it in the fireplace and let it burn if you have any pride in this country. Worst movie all time. Expand
  22. MitchK.
    Nov 16, 2002
    1
    Good points: yer actual "bombing o' Pearl Harbor" is one of the best action scenes of all. Ben Affleck can act, so can Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale. Bad things: everything else. It trivialises one of the greatest-worst atrocities in history, the love story is totally appalling, and...everything. Make the bad thing stop, mummy.
  23. Oct 27, 2010
    0
    i remember when this film was coming out i wanted to see it really bad . i love war movies espicially ones based on real wars that are factaul. i was camping at the time and dragged my friends away from are vecation to go see this film . i feel so bad that i made my friends wach this gaurbage . this film had for ever eched why micheal bay is a **** director and always will be . first off ii remember when this film was coming out i wanted to see it really bad . i love war movies espicially ones based on real wars that are factaul. i was camping at the time and dragged my friends away from are vecation to go see this film . i feel so bad that i made my friends wach this gaurbage . this film had for ever eched why micheal bay is a **** director and always will be . first off i find it near impossable to screw up a war film based on actaul events when every thing is writtin for you all you have to do is read a history book and bam you have your scripts but no bay wanted to turn a tragic day in american history into a damn love story ... WTF does a love story have to do with the attack on pearl harbor? not a damn thing .i was expecting a indepth look into the US military and japanese military eplaining this all . but no it was a indepth look at a love triangle with some HORRABLE acting . this was micheal bay trying to rip off james cameron's titanic film . this film takes a HUGE crap on all the people who fought and died at pearl harbor . if i was a vet from that battle id go punch micheal bay in the face and poke his eyes out so he is unable to make more **** films like this. Expand
  24. Mar 30, 2011
    0
    I wish that someday Michael Bay is at some resort and something like this would happen to him. He has hit a career low, here. The only movies that are worst than this are Freddy Got Fingered, Battlefield Earth, The Happening, and Transformers 2.
  25. Dec 3, 2011
    1
    I thought this movie was pure crap! It made me want to puke my lungs out and then eat them again and then puke them out one more time. It's just another one of Michael Bay's nothing but special effect and cool action sequence movies which have absolutely no storyline and rely only special effects. That's why he's said to be one of the worst directors in all of movie making and has only fewI thought this movie was pure crap! It made me want to puke my lungs out and then eat them again and then puke them out one more time. It's just another one of Michael Bay's nothing but special effect and cool action sequence movies which have absolutely no storyline and rely only special effects. That's why he's said to be one of the worst directors in all of movie making and has only few okay movies (Transformers, The Rock). Enough about the director, let's talk about the actual movie I'm reviewing. Let's start with the less weak characteristics of this film. One is the length. There was an intermission and I had to switch the discs. Right when i thought it was finally over and I could get back to my life, it had another 3 hours. A little exaggeration but the movie felt like years to me because of the pain of watching it. It was so boring and just plain stupid that I was actually hesitant to put in the other disc and finish it, because after the first disc, it could have been over. It had a conclusion and everything and nothing was missing but Michael bay had to go and **** up Hollywood once again. Movies like this and Michael bay make me so mad (as you may have guessed) and it embarrasses me that good actors and directors, such as Spielberg and Matt Damon, are working the same jobs as these bozzos. Not only do I hate the length I also hate the acting and storyline. Both were terrible and Ben Affleck is the king of it. Almost every one of his movies (besides The Town and Good Will Hunting) are terrible and his acting is also bad. He's my least favorite actor for sure. The only reason I gave it a one is for it's special effects. They were actually outstanding fo its time and I at least applaud that, but everything else, I boo. So don't waste your time watchin this. It just makes me want to shoot my own movie and compare the two of them. In conclusion, MINES BETTER!! Take that Mike. Expand
  26. Nov 7, 2012
    1
    The most incoherent plotless war film I've ever been forced to sit through in my entire life.
  27. Nov 26, 2013
    0
    I need u like Ben Affleck needs acting school
    He was terrible in that film
    I need u like Cuba Gooding needed a bigger part
    He's way better than Ben Affleck
  28. Dec 11, 2015
    2
    'War", as someone once trilled, "what is it good for?" Well, bloody huge summer blockbusters, apparently. At least, that's what scourge of the arthouse crowd and best bud of the multiplex mob, Jerry Bruckheimer, was betting when he decided to plough $135 million of Disney's money into Pearl Harbor.

    A risky proposition when you realise that it's not only a story about the invincible
    'War", as someone once trilled, "what is it good for?" Well, bloody huge summer blockbusters, apparently. At least, that's what scourge of the arthouse crowd and best bud of the multiplex mob, Jerry Bruckheimer, was betting when he decided to plough $135 million of Disney's money into Pearl Harbor.

    A risky proposition when you realise that it's not only a story about the invincible American military being caught with its pants down but has a cast, that while not by any means likely to turn up on Lily Savage's Blankety Blank in a hurry, are certainly no guarantee of financial success. The question, then, is, have Bruckheimer and his buddy Michael Bay (Armageddon) pulled it off?

    The answer is that, as usual, the Bruckheimer brand has delivered an almost dead-cert hit. Whilst a bit on the anorexic side in the dramatic weight department, it's a natural born blockbuster that amply excuses its slightly soggy beginning and cut and shunt end with a centre-piece attack sequence that ratchets the action bar up dozens of notches and represents the final coming of age of CGI. Quite simply, you have never seen anything like it.

    Story-wise best pal flying aces Affleck and Hartnett row over the affections of Kate Beckinsale, after she accidentally shags the latter when the former is supposed to have been shot down over Europe. It's a slightly soapy plot-line, not aided by Bay's determination to shoot everything by what appears to be a permanent sunset (and a pleasing sense of humour from Affleck vanishes far too quickly).

    Bay's pre-war America looks like it emerged from a beer ad - little boys fly soapbox Sopwiths, while real-life biplanes zoom over amber waves of grain. But it's the bombing itself that was always what this movie was going to live and die on, and here Bay really delivers, from an astonishing first 'bomb's eye view' shot that sees the camera follow a falling munition through the decks of the USS Arizona. Then comes the perfectly timed detonation, using fantastically detailed long shots of hundreds of Japanese Zeroes buzzing around the exploding fleet.

    It's an amazing, visceral experience. ILM's CGI is, for the first time, indistinguishable from reality. Torpedoes hiss under the thrashing feet of drowning soldiers, men are blown through upturned ship's propellers towards the camera, and fighters plough into each other. It's an astounding, nerve-shredding experience that leaves the mealy-mouthed whinings about flat-packed characterisation bobbing in the wreckage.

    As long as you're not expecting Dostoevsky in the drama department, it's a thoroughly well-built dramatic actioner with awesome CGI and a surprising structure which delivers the bit you know about in the middle, leaving an ending with at least a little surprise.
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Metascore
44

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 35
  2. Negative: 6 out of 35
  1. 50
    It's a Ritalin-deprived sensibility, but it keeps you skating over the dull spots, in which the film unfortunately is rich.
  2. Fiction and fantasy to evade reflection on the world we actually live in.
  3. If you decide to hit the concessions stand (where you're bound to have lots of company), I'd suggest going out for popcorn during either the first hour or the third, because the second features some pretty good big-screen effects involving planes, ships, and explosions.