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77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 91 Ratings

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  • Summary: Based on the true story of an American pilot, Dieter Dengler is shot down during a top-secret mission. Taken hostage, he endures unimaginable conditions at the hands of cruel captors in a makeshift POW camp. Dengler's iron will to survive guides him and fellow prisoners in a meticulouslyBased on the true story of an American pilot, Dieter Dengler is shot down during a top-secret mission. Taken hostage, he endures unimaginable conditions at the hands of cruel captors in a makeshift POW camp. Dengler's iron will to survive guides him and fellow prisoners in a meticulously planned, death-defying escape, only to discover the harsh realities of an unforgiving jungle beyond the camps walls. (MGM) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 100
    What a sweet collision is Rescue Dawn: the American psycho meets the German kook.
  2. Aside from a riveting adventure story that Herzog tells in all of its terrifying, stripped-down simplicity, Rescue Dawn is a fascinating study of human particularity.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    88
    To better capture the extremity of Dengler's ordeal, Bale once again underwent the kind of dramatic weight loss that shocked audiences of "The Machinist," but he's downright plump next to the emaciated Davies, who looks like Charles Manson in the end stages of a hunger strike.
  4. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    80
    As far as establishing a sense of period goes, Herzog cleaves to a refreshing less-is-more philosophy. This may be the first Vietnam-set film in history not to feature a bar of Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones or indeed any other rock music on its soundtrack.
  5. 75
    There's never any question how Rescue Dawn will end, but as conventional and straightforward as the movie is, it's easy to understand why Herzog was driven to tell this story twice.
  6. 70
    The canniness of Bale’s performance (which may be the best of his young but brilliant career) is that he plays Dengler as a fundamentally kind and simple yet rather ingenious man.
  7. 58
    Herzog's drive to bring Dengler's story to a wide audience might have paradoxically caused him to do what he seems normally to abhor: compromise.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 43
  2. Negative: 7 out of 43
  1. o.w.d
    Mar 27, 2009
    10
    Werner Herzog does an incredible job bringing home the reality of jungle war, torture and escape against all odds. Gripping movie and well Werner Herzog does an incredible job bringing home the reality of jungle war, torture and escape against all odds. Gripping movie and well done by Bale as well. Expand
  2. RobertM.
    Aug 25, 2007
    10
    Thrilling and exhilarating. No going back for that refill on popcorn during this movie. If I was in this situation I want Dengler with me. Thrilling and exhilarating. No going back for that refill on popcorn during this movie. If I was in this situation I want Dengler with me. Christian Bale earned himself better roles with his acting in Rescue Dawn. Expand
  3. JPC
    Apr 27, 2009
    9
    An amazing movy with no special effects or grandiosity. It looks real and intens, as if you were risquing your life every second in the shoe An amazing movy with no special effects or grandiosity. It looks real and intens, as if you were risquing your life every second in the shoe of Bale, whose performance is impressive. I can't help thinking he should have won an Oscar !!! I don't put a 10 only because the first 20 minutes have no interest. Expand
  4. BillySingerle
    Aug 8, 2007
    8
    Does anybody else believe Christian Bale should be awarded a special Academy Award for Excellence In Script Selection? Rescue Dawn is just Does anybody else believe Christian Bale should be awarded a special Academy Award for Excellence In Script Selection? Rescue Dawn is just his latest brilliant movie that goes all the way back to Empire of the Sun 20 years ago and it is one of the best prison films ever, right up there with Papillon and Midnight Express. Bale is, as always, a wonder to watch. He once again becomes the character he is playing without a false note. Rescue Dawn is well worth seeing just for the cinematography and score alone, add to that Steve Zahn's best performance to date and Christian Bale and it becomes a Must See!! Expand
  5. Dec 11, 2013
    7
    Rescue Dawn is an interesting POW escape movie. The performances are good and the film's beautiful Vietnam jungle location feels suitablyRescue Dawn is an interesting POW escape movie. The performances are good and the film's beautiful Vietnam jungle location feels suitably alien and hostile. Bale scores extra kudos here for doing many extreme things like eating worms, suffering from leeches, getting dragged behind an ox through the mud... He really actually did those things. So too for his and Steve Zahn's weight loss. Expand
  6. EK.
    Jul 13, 2007
    7
    Typical war movies, well acted cliche ending.
  7. BobF.
    Dec 9, 2007
    0
    This movie sucked and was a waste of my time. Why the XXl flight suit in the beginning, why the stage like appearance at the end not true and This movie sucked and was a waste of my time. Why the XXl flight suit in the beginning, why the stage like appearance at the end not true and very unprofessional. Expand

See all 43 User Reviews

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