Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 100
    To see this seamless "reconstruction" - consisting of some 15 entirely new sequences as well as augmentations to 23 others - is to behold a masterpiece revealed.
  2. A grand-style, idiosyncratic war epic, with wonderful poetic ideas, intense emotions, and haunting images rich in metaphysical portent.
  3. 90
    Marvin's performance, much enhanced by "The Reconstruction," is a marvel.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    Marvin's taciturn performance--a moving demonstration of masculine grace under pressure--may be his finest.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    90
    It's a terrific war yarn, a picture of palpable raw power which manages both Intense intimacy and great scope at the same time. (Review of Original Release)
  6. What the movie may lack in "Saving Private Ryan"-style gloss, it more than makes up for in authenticity, or, in other words, heart.
  7. The combination of old-time Hollywood valor and ahead-of-its-time surprises makes this restoration a big event.
  8. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    80
    Powerful, humorous, and touching. (Review of Original Release)
  9. 80
    Fuller was never a poetic director, but in The Big Red One he finds what in himself was closest to lyricism. Fuller's movie is like flowers thrown on a battlefield in remembrance, and it makes the overblown war movies that have followed seem like cheap and tatty Veteran's Day poppies.
  10. 80
    In some respects a less tidy film than before, particularly when it veers off into a subplot involving a Nazi soldier played by Siegfried Rauch, the new cut mostly retains the original's virtues while adding details and episodes that make it more recognizably a Fuller film.
  11. The Big Red One, for all its uncompromising brutality, is viscerally, angrily alive. Fuller was lucky to survive the war. It is our good fortune that this film, a tribute to his luck (and to those who did not share it), has come back to life.
  12. The Big Red One, for all its uncompromising brutality, is viscerally, angrily alive. Fuller was lucky to survive the war. It is our good fortune that this film, a tribute to his luck (and to those who did not share it), has come back to life.
  13. 75
    Hard-boiled, filled with action, held together by male camaraderie, directed with a lean economy of action. It's one of the most expensive B-pictures ever made, and I think that helps it fit the subject. "A" war movies are about War, but "B" war movies are about soldiers. (Review of Original Release)
  14. Reissued with the addition of 50 minutes trimmed from the original 1980 cut, Fuller's only A-budget movie is still among the lesser works of this frequently brilliant filmmaker.
  15. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    There are sequences in The Big Red One that you can't forget, and every one of them could have been made better with a bigger budget and a realism that was beyond Fuller's grasp at the time.
  16. Reviewed by: Bill White
    75
    In his lifetime, Fuller longed for a restoration of what he considered his most personal film. Schickel's version is a labor of love that, despite the controversy it is bound to ignite, comes close to fulfilling the director's vision.
  17. 70
    Its kitschy grabs at the surreal--the scene in a lunatic asylum, where German troops are billeted, manages to be at once implausible and offensive--that blocks any close engagement with the drama. That said, you must see this film for one unstoppable reason, and that is Lee Marvin.
  18. 60
    Certainly a testament to Fuller's tenacity, but recent raves notwithstanding, it's no masterpiece...The Big Red One isn't even Fuller's greatest war film. Of those, I'd rank it fourth -- but that's not half bad.
  19. Lee Marvin, it must be said, is terrific as the platoon commander, and Fuller deserves props for the film's one sustained sequence: the D-Day attack, in which the platoon gets pinned on the beach for a hellish eternity.
  20. Though 45 minutes longer than the original release, still feels thinner, less complex, more mythic and far less compelling.

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