Rescue Dawn

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 96 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 96
  2. Negative: 10 out of 96

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User Reviews

  1. Jul 4, 2015
    9
    Rescue Dawn seems like a typical survival movie. Yes, it is.
    But the performance made this movie excellent. I have no idea how Christian Bale prepared for his role.
    Christian Bale is Brilliant!! Actually the whole cast is amazing. I even cried at the end of the movie not because I was sad, but because I was happy. In the end, I would say Rescue Dawn is an inspirational excellent movie
    Rescue Dawn seems like a typical survival movie. Yes, it is.
    But the performance made this movie excellent. I have no idea how Christian Bale prepared for his role.
    Christian Bale is Brilliant!! Actually the whole cast is amazing. I even cried at the end of the movie not because I was sad, but because I was happy. In the end, I would say Rescue Dawn is an inspirational excellent movie and I am very glad that I just watched this beautiful movie.
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  2. Feb 18, 2015
    8
    Despite it's sluggish and uninteresting 1st act, the film manages to find it's pace by making us feel for the survivors of this terrible event. Thanks to Werner Herzog's solid directing and a criminally underrated performance by Christian Bale, it is definitely a must watch even though if at it's core, may be just another survival movie.
  3. Aug 20, 2014
    8
    Really good acting and good action scenes.This movie has everything you ever wanted to have in an action movie.We believe what is happening and we feel bad for them.
  4. Jun 18, 2014
    9
    One of very few movies about the epic Vietnam War that pleased me by the fact that the image of "brutal, heartless Vietnamese soldiers" were eliminated as you think about other flicks of the same genre such as "We were soldiers" or "The Deer Hunter". Rather than depicting the "cruelty" of the communist Vietnamese, which American people often saw in TV as a political propaganda for supportOne of very few movies about the epic Vietnam War that pleased me by the fact that the image of "brutal, heartless Vietnamese soldiers" were eliminated as you think about other flicks of the same genre such as "We were soldiers" or "The Deer Hunter". Rather than depicting the "cruelty" of the communist Vietnamese, which American people often saw in TV as a political propaganda for support of American idealism, Werner Herzog's "Rescue Dawn" focused on a man's determination to survive, and all possible risks he was willing to take as long as it gave him a chance to return home. I find the tale of a combat pilot's survival much more realistic and meaningful than that of two ground troopers playing Russian Roulette yet still living in "The Deer Hunter" 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 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.
  6. Dec 4, 2012
    2
    The crash scene was the worst I have ever seen. The flight instruments show the plane rolling yet the plane is in a descent. The VFX very poor. The music terrible. The story is not new. The best part is the ending. If you want a good Vietnam film watch Platoon or The Deer Hunter.
  7. BKM
    Jul 20, 2012
    7
    Rescue Dawn is a gripping tale of survival against all odds and a fitting tribute to the American soldier that is blessedly free of political bias. But most interestingly, thanks to Christian Bale's remarkably strange and hard to classify performance, it is an examination of how the will to survive requires not only courage and brains but also a touch of insanity.
  8. Aug 24, 2011
    7
    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 theThe 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
  9. Feb 15, 2011
    0
    Wow...I bought the movie for one dollar at the store, and it was a wasted dollar. My expectation was to see a movie that sucks, mainly because Christian Bale was starring. I was right. Every movie he is in sucks, and he is the main reason. Throw in a director, Werner Herzog, who I really believe either has a twisted mind, or is on drugs all the time, or both, and you get a film that isWow...I bought the movie for one dollar at the store, and it was a wasted dollar. My expectation was to see a movie that sucks, mainly because Christian Bale was starring. I was right. Every movie he is in sucks, and he is the main reason. Throw in a director, Werner Herzog, who I really believe either has a twisted mind, or is on drugs all the time, or both, and you get a film that is truly...weird. It is unreal. Bale is a POW, yet he acts like he thinks it is all one big joke. After being captured, he is dragged around the jungle by his captors, for what ? There is not one scene in the movie that is believable, starting from when his plane crashes, and he strangely comes flying onto the scene from...the side...completely unharmed, to pretty much all of the dialogue, which simply makes you cringe. Howdy ? My god, that must be the stupidest thing ever said in a movie.
    The biggest problem with this film is the complete lack of intensity. It is simply boring. The second biggest problem is that none of the characters are developed, they have no depth, and they act unreal.
    Conclusion: I am not sure where Werner Herzog gets the money to make films, he really is not a filmmaker, he has no feel for making movies, whatever he does just nauseates the audience. As with many so-called artists, people gravitate towards the weird side because they think it has significance, which it has not. Weird is just that, weird.
    And yes, Christian Bale should have never become an actor...he ruins each and every movie he is in. Almost like Ben Affleck, I don't know which one is worse.
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  10. 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 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.
  11. 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 done by Bale as well.
  12. AzarA.
    Nov 8, 2008
    8
    One of the better movies based on the Vietnam war. This movie perfectly depicts the horrors of not only war, but also horrors of becoming a POW. Acting is almost top notch, no need to go Shakespeare on this one as it is about the reality of war, and in a situations like this, different people behave differently; so is the case in the characters in this movie. I enjoyed it a lot. Great film.
  13. DanC.
    Aug 1, 2008
    5
    What a strange film. The tone was just off from the first moment. The dialogue is amazingly wooden in many pars. The viewing experience left me quite perplexed. I can't recommend it.
  14. PDaddy
    Mar 28, 2008
    5
    Not a great film; not a particularly bad one. Feels too long and scripted. But that said, respect to the real life guy who managed to escape.
  15. PeterJ.
    Jan 25, 2008
    7
    A very good film indeed. The ending was a bit silly, which is why I only gave it a 7...
  16. MichaelM.
    Jan 24, 2008
    9
    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.
  17. Kellyd.
    Jan 21, 2008
    0
    Wow what a major disappointment! Not that i was particularly looking forward to the movie as i had no background knowledge of Dieter, instead i watched for the sake of Christian Bale. I continued to try and make myself beleive that this movie was worth while as i choked up words like "wow that rock is big" or "it must have been really humid". No use the movie sucked gracefully. I Wow what a major disappointment! Not that i was particularly looking forward to the movie as i had no background knowledge of Dieter, instead i watched for the sake of Christian Bale. I continued to try and make myself beleive that this movie was worth while as i choked up words like "wow that rock is big" or "it must have been really humid". No use the movie sucked gracefully. I don't know where the sucking began--if it was when Bale walked into the first camp and smiled--because being tied up, tortured, and forced along by non-english speaking foreigners always brings a smile to my face--or when he was told continually that Zane shits his pants every night. I couldn't help but laugh at the atrociousness of the writing, directing, and acting in this movie. Honestly i laughed more than once. Expand
  18. MarcieI.
    Dec 11, 2007
    10
    I was very impressed with Christian Bale's performance and the story really inspired me.. It is amazing what the human body and mind can do. Congratulations Werner, Cast and Crew.
  19. 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 very unprofessional.
  20. yesno
    Dec 7, 2007
    3
    It wasn't that great.
  21. VioletC.
    Dec 3, 2007
    10
    This was a brilliant film. The best movie I've seen for a long time. The story is about the human spirit more than war. Christian Bale was outstanding as the lead actor, Dieter Dengler and the supporting cast was excellent, too. I hope everyone gets a chance to see this. It should be nominated for best picture, best actor, best supporting actor, best director. I'm anxious to see This was a brilliant film. The best movie I've seen for a long time. The story is about the human spirit more than war. Christian Bale was outstanding as the lead actor, Dieter Dengler and the supporting cast was excellent, too. I hope everyone gets a chance to see this. It should be nominated for best picture, best actor, best supporting actor, best director. I'm anxious to see more Herzog films. Expand
  22. HalB
    Nov 25, 2007
    7
    A very engaging film with excellent performances by all, especially the three leads (Bale, Zahn, Davies). I was not expecting this good a movie. However (and this is alluded to in the DVD special features), the comment by MV below (regarding how his brother Gene is portrayed in the film -- "Gene from Eugene") is obviously a valid comment on Herzog's dramatic license. In fact, Herzog A very engaging film with excellent performances by all, especially the three leads (Bale, Zahn, Davies). I was not expecting this good a movie. However (and this is alluded to in the DVD special features), the comment by MV below (regarding how his brother Gene is portrayed in the film -- "Gene from Eugene") is obviously a valid comment on Herzog's dramatic license. In fact, Herzog offers a brief apology for how the Davies character (Gene) is depicted in the DVD extras... still, it makes one think twice about these so-called "fact-based" movies. There seems little doubt about the raw heroism of Deiter Dengler. But watch closely the scene where Deiter is confronted by Gene as Dieter plans their escape, and think about the moral dilemma from his (Gene's) perspective. Expand
  23. MarcusAl.
    Nov 24, 2007
    10
    Wow was this movie good! Christian Bale once again proves how committed he is. And I am sorry for M V having to see is brother this way, but dude, the movie wasn't about him, way worse crap happened to Dwayne in this story. Besides how do you know what happened in this camp! You weren't there, he may have been a wonderful guy, but places like that mess with your mind, Herzog Wow was this movie good! Christian Bale once again proves how committed he is. And I am sorry for M V having to see is brother this way, but dude, the movie wasn't about him, way worse crap happened to Dwayne in this story. Besides how do you know what happened in this camp! You weren't there, he may have been a wonderful guy, but places like that mess with your mind, Herzog knows his facts, because he got them from a guy who survived it. My condolences to you for your brother, but you weren't the only victim from the Vietnam War. Expand
  24. JoeyN
    Oct 1, 2007
    10
    This is an amazing movie, a real artistic triumph. As with all Herzog's based-on-fact films it is largely fictionalized - which has lead the family members of one of the people a character is based on to go on the warpath - but expecting a dramatized movie to qualify as a history lesson is rather foolish. Christian Bale, Jeremy Davies and Steve Zahn all give excellent performances This is an amazing movie, a real artistic triumph. As with all Herzog's based-on-fact films it is largely fictionalized - which has lead the family members of one of the people a character is based on to go on the warpath - but expecting a dramatized movie to qualify as a history lesson is rather foolish. Christian Bale, Jeremy Davies and Steve Zahn all give excellent performances and the movie is an intense masterpiece. Highly recommended - and Herzog's earlier documentary on the same subject, Little Dieter Needs To Fly, is even better! Expand
  25. 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. Christian Bale earned himself better roles with his acting in Rescue Dawn.
  26. NickA.
    Aug 20, 2007
    8
    Acclaimed for his rigid style and dedication to the details of nature, Werner Herzog captivates his viewers by capturing the beauty within any and everything he so chooses to film. His latest project, 'Rescue Dawn,' though exceptional, is no exception. Herzog, who writes and directs for the film, again focuses his lens on Dieter Dengler
  27. MV.
    Aug 13, 2007
    0
    Gene was my older brother (he was 4 yrs older) and was a wonderful guy. This is probably the only time that i am thankful that my parents are dead; it would be so horrible for them to see what Herzog has done with their son! Didn't he have the decency to check out the facts? And there are plenty! How would Herzog feel if someone did this to his son or brother? Or, for that matter, Gene was my older brother (he was 4 yrs older) and was a wonderful guy. This is probably the only time that i am thankful that my parents are dead; it would be so horrible for them to see what Herzog has done with their son! Didn't he have the decency to check out the facts? And there are plenty! How would Herzog feel if someone did this to his son or brother? Or, for that matter, how would anyone feel? Think about it when you write your raving reviews. Expand
  28. RobertI.
    Aug 12, 2007
    8
    Werner Herzog's film captures the lush Southeast Asian land, where one man's determination overcomes imprisonment, malnurishment, and the defeatism of his peers. a classic war flick, but one we've never seen, with the ring of truth. Bale/Dingler's unflagging optimism seems superhuman, but must have been his ultimate salvation.
  29. 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 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 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
  30. C.S.
    Aug 6, 2007
    9
    Movie or no movie, a torrential downpour is still a torrential downpour, live worms in your mouth are live worms in your mouth, and most daunting of all, that evidence of gravity Christian Bale and Steve Zahn heard as they hurtled down the rapids must've put the fear of God in their collective Hollywood hearts, because I'm sure they were thinking the same thing- I hope Herr Movie or no movie, a torrential downpour is still a torrential downpour, live worms in your mouth are live worms in your mouth, and most daunting of all, that evidence of gravity Christian Bale and Steve Zahn heard as they hurtled down the rapids must've put the fear of God in their collective Hollywood hearts, because I'm sure they were thinking the same thing- I hope Herr Direktor doesn't ask us to test gravity. When Dieter Dengler(Bale) flags down that chopper, "Rescue Dawn" doubles as a momentary documentary, because I suspect Bale is flagging down that chopper down, too. Call it post-method. To himself, Bale seems to be thinking- I'm famous. Get me out of here. I'm scared. This man keeps calling me Klaus.- Bale and his fellow actors apparently survived a challenging shoot, but it was worth it. "Rescue Dawn" is a mostly extraordinary tale of survival in the bush. And best of all, I saw it in a mall with a real audience. Expand
  31. JacquelineC.
    Aug 2, 2007
    0
    As a family member in the line of decendents from the DeBruin family, and having not yet seen the movie, I can see where people may create or alter events or characters when making a fictional movie, however, when one is admist the building of a film that is based on the TRUTH, I feel it is both important and necessary to seek out what really happened, especially when portraying such a As a family member in the line of decendents from the DeBruin family, and having not yet seen the movie, I can see where people may create or alter events or characters when making a fictional movie, however, when one is admist the building of a film that is based on the TRUTH, I feel it is both important and necessary to seek out what really happened, especially when portraying such a sensitive subject. Had Dieter been alive to see the film, I think he would agree with me. Expand
  32. BibliotechaS.
    Jul 28, 2007
    8
    Hmm visuals are ok. Acting pretty good. Believability hard but true story so what the hay. All I know is it'd be tough to survive in the jungle for 23 days after being malnourished for 5 months, the arctic snow, desert, mountains, even tougher. I've studied survival and know about the play the jungle will have on the mind if you're ever stuck in there alone or at night with Hmm visuals are ok. Acting pretty good. Believability hard but true story so what the hay. All I know is it'd be tough to survive in the jungle for 23 days after being malnourished for 5 months, the arctic snow, desert, mountains, even tougher. I've studied survival and know about the play the jungle will have on the mind if you're ever stuck in there alone or at night with the animals. This is a movie, but the guy got lucky. He didn't do it all by virtue of his mind or "wit." It also helped that there was a war going on and helicopters/planes flying around for him to be rescued. Try surviving out there without all that then you've REALLY accomplished something. Expand
  33. ColbyS.
    Jul 28, 2007
    9
    So what if there was some artistic license? This was a brilliant if somewhat by-the-book classic POW movie that gets the job done. Herzog stretches the tension skillfully and Bale should be an Oscar contender for his performance. Stays with you.
  34. PaulK
    Jul 26, 2007
    8
    Given the direction of the story, this surprisingly wasn't as slow as it could have been. Worth seeing at some point.
  35. AlanA
    Jul 23, 2007
    8
    Did not like the ending.
  36. Filmfan
    Jul 21, 2007
    6
    This film is a disappointment. It is a Hollywood rescue adventure film with Herzog quirks- good as those things go, which is not enough considering the legacy of films that have attempted to address either Vietnam or at least war in general from some sort of critical perspective.
  37. RitB
    Jul 16, 2007
    10
    This is an intense, fascinating movie done with a degree of realism that will make you feel like you spent two hours in a jungle prison camp. Christian Bale, Steve Zahn and Jeremy Davies lived their roles more than played them. Davies deserves credit for 'getting into the role' because it looks like he brought his weight down to 100 pounds to look like an emaciated POW. One This is an intense, fascinating movie done with a degree of realism that will make you feel like you spent two hours in a jungle prison camp. Christian Bale, Steve Zahn and Jeremy Davies lived their roles more than played them. Davies deserves credit for 'getting into the role' because it looks like he brought his weight down to 100 pounds to look like an emaciated POW. One minor complaint I have is that the movie didn't make clear how much time elapsed from the time of Dengler's capture to his escape and rescue. Some quick research on different web sites indicates that he spent 5 months in captivity including 23 days roaming the jungle from the time of his escape to the time of his rescue. Approximately 500 people disappeared in Laos during the long Vietnam war, only Dieter Dengler made it out alive. Expand
  38. JohnA.
    Jul 15, 2007
    8
    Great acting, great cinematography, great musical score, but bizarre, at times. And I didn't care for the ending. But overall, very good film.
  39. patriciaB.
    Jul 15, 2007
    10
    A tremendous movie. Bale's performance is impressive precisely because he makes choices that aren't "obvious" - he's odd and entirely convincing. Herzog does a first-rate job as a director. There's hardly a false moment to be found.
  40. cydneyb.
    Jul 13, 2007
    9
    If you read all the published reviews above, you'll see the word that most often appears is "harrowing' -- you best believe it. This was a bit too intense for me, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Bale, Zahn and Davies are beyond extraordinary. See this one on the big screen.
  41. EK.
    Jul 13, 2007
    7
    Typical war movies, well acted cliche ending.
  42. JasonS.
    Jul 12, 2007
    6
    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 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
  43. keithw.
    Jul 9, 2007
    10
    What a story! Bale is an artist-Go his work.
  44. JJM.
    Jul 6, 2007
    9
    Great Herzog flick, Bale is great in the role.
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. The film, Rescue Dawn, is so good it makes you wish that Herzog had gone Hollywood earlier in his career. His pet theme is here: man tested against nature, his sanity more precarious than his body.
  2. 70
    There is honor, boldness, and grip in the new movie, but other directors can deliver those. Werner Herzog is the last great hallucinator in cinema, so why break the spell?
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    80
    As taut and exciting as many edge-of-your-seat Hollywood escape movies.