Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor Image
Metascore
44

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 224 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Against the backdrop of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, two friends (Affleck, Hartnett) find themselves drawn into the war and in love with the same woman (Beckinsale).

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 35
  2. Negative: 6 out of 35
  1. 100
    The film's immense cast and crew, headed by director Michael Bay, writer Randall Wallace and stars Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale, blend artistry and technology to create a blockbuster entertainment that has passion, valor and tremendous action.
  2. Until a disappointing tailspin in the last hour, Pearl Harbor is the best piece of popular entertainment to come along in years.
  3. A movie meant to explode off the screen -- and it's at its best when those explosions are going full blast.
  4. Miami Herald
    Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    50
    With all the obvious work that went into this beautifully detailed, giant-scale movie, and considering the historical importance of the subject matter, was it too much to ask for a trace of intelligence, or maturity, or even insight?
  5. Philadelphia Inquirer
    Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    50
    A script with the most underdeveloped characters and spectacularly realized visuals since "Titanic."
  6. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    40
    The net result of this mighty effort is perhaps predictable: near total inconsequence.
  7. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    10
    Littered with low points -- lame comedy, dubious history, fumbling drama and a love story so inept as to make a pacifist long for war.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 81
  2. Negative: 28 out of 81
  1. mirandao
    Jun 12, 2009
    10
    I absolutely love this movie! i cry almost everytime i see it near the end, and when rafe comes back of course! i think the love story is I absolutely love this movie! i cry almost everytime i see it near the end, and when rafe comes back of course! i think the love story is bittersweet, and the film is marked with outstanding special effects during the battle scenes. the only minor flaws with this movie is affleck's mediocre acting and sometimes-corny dialogue. you should definitely buy a copy of pearl harbor!! Expand
  2. GerronK.
    Jul 26, 2006
    9
    "Pearl Harbor" is an intricately made war movie. Forget the superficial romance and the especially bad dialogue in the first 30 minutes of "Pearl Harbor" is an intricately made war movie. Forget the superficial romance and the especially bad dialogue in the first 30 minutes of the movie. It gives an intense perspective of what happened on that fateful day and what happened after. I enjoyed the movie a whole lot. It may have been 30 minutes shorter, but as it is it works. Expand
  3. Mar 28, 2015
    6
    Though similar to Titanic in the form of a love/disaster story, Pearl Harbor loses points in the form of originality, but makes up forThough similar to Titanic in the form of a love/disaster story, Pearl Harbor loses points in the form of originality, but makes up for thrilling action sequences. Aside from It being a film, may it serve as a reminder of the events that took place at Pear Harbor long ago. Expand
  4. Dec 16, 2010
    4
    So disappointing ... just when i thought Hollywood was going to continue to make great War flicks (which i love btw) this comes out. Not onlySo disappointing ... just when i thought Hollywood was going to continue to make great War flicks (which i love btw) this comes out. Not only did it get the sappy "Hollywood spin" but it dragged on and on and I was surprised I was so bored with it half way through. Truly I love War movies and they are my favorite genre but what a bore this was. Only the great special effects saved it from being a total Turkey and eking out a 4! Expand
  5. Jan 4, 2016
    4
    From a producer/director duo famed for commercial movies comes a spectacular flag-waver that's as fun as it is empty. It's history as aFrom a producer/director duo famed for commercial movies comes a spectacular flag-waver that's as fun as it is empty. It's history as a McDonalds' Happy Meal - - well-packaged, bland yet satisfying, filling without being worthwhile and crammed with pounds of processed American cheese.

    From the pointless characters-as-kids preamble to the repugnant My Heart Will Go On-style end-credits warble, director Michael Bay infuses the movie with his trademark kinetic ferocity. Which, for a romantic historical epic, is only fitfully suitable. Even though it's a three-hour movie, Bay gives you little cause to complain about slow sections - - Rafe's romance with Evelyn, for example, blasts from meeting to tearful farewells in a pleasing flurry of iconic `40s set-pieces. But by avoiding boredom, Pearl Harbor has no time to inject any warmth, or to characterise any of the characters. The only workable relationship, for example, is Danny and Rafe's, while Evelyn is merely a cipher in scarlet lipstick.

    Surprisingly, this dynamic approach works badly where you'd think it'd be a bonus - - during the main attack. For, while the Battle Of Britain scenes seamlessly combine live footage with CGI planes and tracer fire to masterfully create the violence of mechanised death, the actual Pearl Harbour bombing is soulless - - a dazzling 45-minute effects showcase. But every time you want to linger on a sky full of planes or a battleship rolling over, Bay's restless camera cuts away.

    Yet considering it's an American World War Two movie, the Japanese get plenty of screen time to establish themselves as humans. In the thrilling build-up to the attack, for example, subtitles are replaced by the voiceover of a young Japanese pilot writing to his parents. That leaves us Brits to take the real cultural hammering, coming across as defeatists who thank God that the Yank Eagle Squadron has come to fight our fight. Which, for a unit who actually shot down 73 German planes at a loss of 77 American, is nothing less than cheeky.

    Yet all these are minor quibbles compared to the final pointless hour, which exists merely to end on a small American propaganda victory rather than a major military ass-whupping. This reprisal raid on Tokyo doesn't just ruin the movie's flow, it's a different film in its own right. That Pearl Harbor doesn't stop at the natural ending of President Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy" speech can only be explained by America's deification of winners. But then again, what else would you expect from Bruckheimer and Bay?

    A relatively comfortable trip with no surprises to interrupt your enjoyment, Pearl Harbor is also like every war movie made during the last 60 years - - but with effects that were inconceivable even a year ago. Watch, enjoy, and then forget about it entirely.
    Expand
  6. 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
  7. 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 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. Collapse

See all 81 User Reviews