User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 87 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 87
  2. Negative: 10 out of 87

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  1. 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 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 the evasion/escaping but still liked the struggle between the characters and their minds.Definitely worth a watch Expand
  6. 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 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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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.