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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 82 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • 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 meticulously planned, death-defying escape, only to discover the harsh realities of an unforgiving jungle beyond the camps walls. (MGM) Expand
  • Director: Werner Herzog
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Biography, Drama, War
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Runtime: 126 min
  • More Details and Credits »
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. Bale is extraordinary, grinning like a kid, displaying wily intelligence, sinewy resolve and spirit - and a bit of craziness, too.
  4. 80
    But like much of Herzog's work, it's essentially apolitical, focusing on a man at war with his environment -- and no one plunges into the foliage like he does.
  5. Although nothing beats seeing and hearing the real story, Herzog has done a fairly compelling job of blending staged action with docudrama authenticity.
  6. 70
    Rescue Dawn is the closest thing to a "real" movie that Herzog has ever made. The lone conquistador has joined the club. Rescue Dawn is a Rambo movie without the Man (who, if I remember my Rambology, was himself of German descent).
  7. It's a well-acted but rote and strictly by the book "war movie."

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 40
  2. Negative: 7 out of 40
  1. o.w.d
    Mar 27, 2009
    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
    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. MichaelM.
    Jan 24, 2008
    As someone who's life was strongly influenced by the Vietnam war I was thrilled to see a non-polemic story set in the period. Bale was excellent as was the supporting cast. The VC were painted as real people not as either villains or as simple victims. Taught, competent, spare and compelling. Expand
  4. PaulK
    Jul 26, 2007
    Given the direction of the story, this surprisingly wasn't as slow as it could have been. Worth seeing at some point.
  5. Aug 24, 2011
    The acting is great and their dedication to the project is amazing (read up on how much weight they all lost!). But the story seems just a little too predictable and slow for me when watching a hostage/rescue movie. I would prefer The Way Back or Black Hawk Down to this movie, but it is still a gripping tale of a (somewhat) true story. Would have liked to see a bit more of the evasion/escaping but still liked the struggle between the characters and their minds.Definitely worth a watch Expand
  6. JasonS.
    Jul 12, 2007
    I give this one a 6 for the great acting, Bale carries this movie on his back. Ther is no story in this movie, other then a few interesting situations Bale's charecter goes through as a P.O.W. in a very lame Veitnam. which is not a story, more like a "what if you were in this situation" script. Bale's acting shins more than the movie itself. Bale in Iraq would have been way more interesting! Better to watch this one on DVD, rather than the big screen. Expand
  7. BobF.
    Dec 9, 2007
    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 40 User Reviews