User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 52 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 52
  2. Negative: 7 out of 52
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  1. NeilB.
    Aug 6, 2005
    8
    A shame that such an important event in America's military history has been left unknown. This is an important film for younger generations to see,. For fand of technical acheivement the sound design is incredible, see it in a top notch theatre. The lead in and lead out footage is jaw dropping in the fact that such efforts were made to find this actual WWII footage. The film hints at A shame that such an important event in America's military history has been left unknown. This is an important film for younger generations to see,. For fand of technical acheivement the sound design is incredible, see it in a top notch theatre. The lead in and lead out footage is jaw dropping in the fact that such efforts were made to find this actual WWII footage. The film hints at two Spielberg classics, "Empire of the Sun," and "Saving Prvt. Ryan." This film is not as good, quite frankly. Yes, there was in fact a time when war was black and white, literally and figuritively. This film is a MUST see if only to more understand the sacrifice and bravery of a vanishing generation. The hardest thing about this film is when you fully appreciate this is a true story. It is not the fictinal war of Private Ryan. Expand
  2. EricS
    Jan 7, 2006
    10
    Never (at least in my experience) have professional critics been so wrong about a movie. I watched this film late at night out of sheer boredom, expecting nothing more than another mediocre account of a well-known historical event. However, this was not the case at all. "The Great Raid" rises above most other war movies because it views it is so faithful to what really happened. It Never (at least in my experience) have professional critics been so wrong about a movie. I watched this film late at night out of sheer boredom, expecting nothing more than another mediocre account of a well-known historical event. However, this was not the case at all. "The Great Raid" rises above most other war movies because it views it is so faithful to what really happened. It isn't just an excuse to tell some sappy, typical Hollywood drama that the critics seem to love so much. It is a true account of what happened, filled with real battles and real people. The acting was superb all around (as good as he was in "Spider-Man", I didn't think James Franco could play such a serious role), thanks to the absence of any big- name, no-talent actors or filmmakers. Everyone should see this movie, especially now when so many people view Americans as the bad guys. Just because the critics can't appreciate an excellent movie that doesn't force some corny, liberal message down the audience Expand
  3. Jane
    Oct 9, 2005
    10
    Awesome!
  4. SteveC.
    Apr 23, 2006
    9
    For those who said it didn't have enough action, whether reviewers on this site or actual 'professional' reviews, I must acknowledge my pity for your ignorance. It must be unfortunate to live with that frame of mind. I guess this movie was a little too real for you. Its sad that our society is so basic that we desire the action scenes to fulfill our dull lives. Perhaps if For those who said it didn't have enough action, whether reviewers on this site or actual 'professional' reviews, I must acknowledge my pity for your ignorance. It must be unfortunate to live with that frame of mind. I guess this movie was a little too real for you. Its sad that our society is so basic that we desire the action scenes to fulfill our dull lives. Perhaps if you realized what reality is ... not the reality that Hollywood spews out, but the reality that actually exists now, and throughout history, you'd have a glimmer of understanding about what this movie was really about. Its purpose wasn't to entertain you're simple mind - it was a basis of actual events, as a lot of modern war movies are. This one seemed to be a little closer to what actually happened - not the bastardized version that Hollywood usually vomits out. The original footage was the pinnacle of this film, and its use throughout is what pulled everything together. The style of this movie brought the best of old and new war movies. But unlike "Pearl Harbour," this movie didn't try and be all things to all people. It didn't try and bring in romance as one central theme. That's not the purpose of this movie. Special effects, to the same extent, wasn't the cornerstone of this film. This was a very accurate representation of documentary style war-telling, albiet in movie format. The performances herein, whether part of the conflict or on the side, as part of the resistance were well rounded, and lacked the superficiality that I imagined would exist in a movie like this. The acknowledgement of the resistance forces, in this conflict specifically was important, but the pinnacle of a war movie to acknowledge that forces other than military were important in winning this war. I invite all those who have any level of intellect or knowledge about this war or conflict specifically to watch this movie. If its too real for you, go back to your simple-minded action flicks and leave this movie to those it was meant to affect. Expand
  5. DavidZ
    Apr 1, 2007
    9
    This is one of the examples that most movie critics got it wrong. Their comments and evaluations became formulaic and predictable.
  6. JerryM.
    Aug 14, 2005
    10
    The critics that have panned this movie obviously have no sense of patriotism and nobility. Their prejudice blinds them to the excellent screenplay and design. This movie is a classic. Go see it! The critics are full of feces.
  7. Jerry
    Aug 19, 2005
    9
    With the exception of a distracting love interest thread, this movie had a well developed plot. Being a true story made it that much more surreal. The enemy was portayed historically accarate, whicj makes a chilling staement of war. I recoomend this movie to all who want to understand some of the reasons why as Lee once said, it is good war is so terrible,...
  8. gib
    Aug 20, 2005
    3
    I had been looking forward to seeing this movie ever since I heard about it since the real story behind it is so compelling. Alas, I must report that I was somewhat dissappointed with the final product. When I think Bataan Death March POWs, I do not think "romance", but in some assinine appeal to women, they threw a love story into the movie and that just turned me off. I wanted to hear I had been looking forward to seeing this movie ever since I heard about it since the real story behind it is so compelling. Alas, I must report that I was somewhat dissappointed with the final product. When I think Bataan Death March POWs, I do not think "romance", but in some assinine appeal to women, they threw a love story into the movie and that just turned me off. I wanted to hear the story about the men who endured such horrible circumstances and the men who tried to rescue them, not watch some ahistorical B-rate love story. I can understand them trying to use the love story as a way of giving depth to certain characters, but they just didn't pull it off well at all--and it just made the movie drag on. Worse, the concentration on the love story seemed to take away from the character development of other key persons--such as one POW who seemed determined to try to escape. As it was, this character just seemed like a caricature. Aside from the love story, the rest of the movie was ok, with the action sequence of the raid itself being pretty good. There was a fair amount of cliche'-ish war-movie type dialogue (actually, now that I think about it some more, there was a whole lot of cliche'ish dialogue) and some of the background music seemed like it was stolen from Saving Private Ryan (and possibly The Shawshank Redemption). All in all, I think Hollywood screwed up what should have been an incredible movie about an incredible event. The best part of the movie is actually the closing credits. Not one person in the almost full theater I attended got up to leave while the credits were rolling. (I won't spoil what happened during the credits in case anyone goes to see the movie). Expand
  9. NicholasF.
    Aug 8, 2005
    8
    I thought it was pretty well done. Most likely it will be overlooked due to the lack of knowledge about WWII in the Pacific.
  10. DanielC.
    Aug 9, 2005
    3
    It's boring, tedious, and unengaging. It's a shame that with a setting rife with emotions and real stories, the director and first-time screenwriters couldn't create any character to care about.
  11. Alvin
    Sep 13, 2005
    10
    Tremedous movie. Loved it. Ensemble cast was terrific. Definitely worth the watch. The professional critics give War of The Worlds a 74 and this movie a 48? If you ever wanted a proof that these critics are bought and paid for all you need do is have the public watch both movies. One is awful and this one is great. Don't miss it.
  12. IanD.
    Jan 14, 2006
    1
    I give it a one because it's a true story. Otherwise, the pacing was slow, the story was scattered and James Franco's acting can be compared to a stone wall, lifeless. No wonder this sat on the shelf for two years...if it was any good, they would've released it back in 2002. Think about that...
  13. Spriggangirl
    Oct 20, 2007
    2
    I only watched the movie just to see Jackson! That was about it... Nothing else.
  14. DeeJ.
    Aug 10, 2005
    9
    I loved this film and think it's the best one of the year.
  15. MikeB.
    Aug 13, 2005
    10
    Hi Everybody, Don
  16. Triniman
    Aug 14, 2005
    6
    Inspired by the true story about the greatest rescue mission ever undertaken by the US military, The Great Raid tells how 125 mostly novice troops from the 6th Ranger Battalion embarked upon a very dangerous journey to free about 500 US POWs, held in a Japanese prison camp, in the Philippines, in 1945. The Japanese policy regarding POWs at the time was to let no one escape, kill them all Inspired by the true story about the greatest rescue mission ever undertaken by the US military, The Great Raid tells how 125 mostly novice troops from the 6th Ranger Battalion embarked upon a very dangerous journey to free about 500 US POWs, held in a Japanese prison camp, in the Philippines, in 1945. The Japanese policy regarding POWs at the time was to let no one escape, kill them all off and leave no trace, to eliminate war crime witnesses. At the time of the war, the Americans were more focused on stopping Hitler in Europe, but once that was under control, they turned their attention to the Pacific theatre and the Japanese. As the Americans began to make a foothold in the Philippines, the Japanese would attempt to massacre all their POWs. In one of the opening scenes, we see groups of American soldiers herded into abandoned snipers nests. Drums of gasoline wee placed at the entrances to barricade them in but to also burn them alive. Anyone who managed to escape, while on fire, was machine gunned to death. New intelligence told the military that there were 500 souls languishing in dire straits, for about three years now, in a POW camp, and they would be in jeopardy of being wiped out. Could a relatively small contingent of troops plan a rescue mission, travel undetected and pull it all off? Being spotted by even one Japanese scout would jeopardize the entire mission as thousands of Japanese troops were nearby. The tentative Captain Prince, played by James Franco, was charged with drafting the rescue plan and leading the men in the field, under the supervision of LCol. Mucci. Mucci spoke to men about how they were the finest trained Rangers yet to see action, etc., and that their actions will either mark them well historically or they will be forgotten over time if they failed. He hoped that his pep talk could get a lot of heart out of the troops who had no combat experience. There is a parallel story here about the Philippine underground resistance, working to smuggle medication into the camp. Nurse Margaret Utinsky (Connie Nielsen) worked in one the cells. She was the former wife of an American officer, deceased, who fell in love with an American Maj, Maj Gibson (Joseph Fiennes.) Gibson ended up as prisoner at the camp and acted as the ranking officer for the POWs, and suffered terribly from life-threatening malaria. On one of the camp's shopping trips to the local market, in which they enlist the soldiers to replenish supplies (who knew?), Maj Gibson made contact with one of the Philippine underground to smuggle in some medicine, from Margaret. This is the film's only romance. Will it be spoiled by the Japanese military intelligence? Meanwhile, the rag tag rescue party snuck their way towards the camp, evading the Japanese as best they could, although not without incident. Is this like Saving Private Ryan, but on a larger scale? Yes and no. The aim, to rescue otherwise doomed POWs, is not unlike trying to save Pt. Ryan. Saving Private Ryan was a superior film, ironically, with a much stronger emotional impact, even though that film was about rescuing one person. Also, The Great Raid is not as good as the 1957 classic film Bridge on the River Kwai, which has similar subject matter. By and large, the acting was very solid. I found it unfortunate that there wasn't enough character development of the rescue mission soldiers. Getting to know them a bit better would have increased my interest in their struggle. Joseph Fieness, honestly, was exceptionally miscast. He was dour and lifeless and just plain boring, showing not enough depth of humanity or emotion. Ironically, maybe he was too much like a real POW in that regard. Dale Dye is a name you may not be familiar with, but he shows up once again, playing a US military officer, this time in the form of General Kreuger. You'll recognize him when you see him. At the end of the film, as the credits rolled against footage of POWs being liberated, ushered home on ships, reunited with loved ones and finally paraded in front of adoring crowds, the remaining audience sat in silence, absolutely transfixed by what they were watching. Some, I think, were likely thinking back to the war and their loved ones who participated. And the sacrifices never forgotten. No doubt, this film will stir deep feelings for some, particularly those who have loved ones fighting oversees. It's interesting to note that another film about LCol Mucci is apparently in the works - Ghost Soldiers, another Spielberg/ Tom Cruise effort, based on the book of the same name by author Hampton Sides. The Great Raid has too many slow moving parts and not enough character development. No one person stood out as the protagonist. It's not the landmark film that it set out to be. The film was supposed to be released first in 2003, then in 2004, but it was delayed by the dissolution of the Disney-Miramax partnership. With the lack of advertising, I believe Miramax doesn't believe in this film. Opened August 12, 2005. Expand
  17. SubanD.
    Aug 16, 2005
    8
    It's a very beautiful film, visually and dramatically. Sometimes I wonder if critics would write better things about films if they got to see them for free.
  18. MarkB.
    Aug 18, 2005
    8
    Neonoir specialist John Dahl (Red Rock West, The Last seduction and the terrific road/horror movie Joy Ride) would at first seem to be a very odd candidate to direct this resolutely old-fashioned World War II movie, quite possibly the most consciously retro film of 2005. (At age 48, I was quite possibly the youngest member of the audience at my showing and perhaps the only male there who Neonoir specialist John Dahl (Red Rock West, The Last seduction and the terrific road/horror movie Joy Ride) would at first seem to be a very odd candidate to direct this resolutely old-fashioned World War II movie, quite possibly the most consciously retro film of 2005. (At age 48, I was quite possibly the youngest member of the audience at my showing and perhaps the only male there who hadn't at least served in the Korean War!) Actually, Dahl's particular talents and interests serve him well; obviously the climax, in which specially-trained and briefed forces storm the Phillippine-located, Japanese-run prisoner of war camps in which their brothers were held, starved and set up to die, is exciting and vivid...but Dahl also brings considerable tension and drama to the film's 90-minutes of establishing sequences. He manages to raise the game of such normally uninteresting actors as Benjamin Bratt and Joseph Fiennes from "nonexistent" to "very effectively low-key"...and even the Obligatory Wartime Romance (involving Gladiator's Connie Neilsen) comes off with far more resonance than you'd have any right to expect it to. The movie's stunning, sepia-toned cinematography effectively communicates both the claustrophobic hell of the camps and the film's sense of being set in another time, place and atmosphere: visually, this would fit in with almost any 1950 through 1975 World War II film that Turner Classic Movies schedules on extended Memorial Day weekends. Speaking of which, I really admired Dahl's matter-of-fact handling of the film's sensitive ethnic politics: the depiction of the Japanese domination of both the American POWs and the Filipinos in the area doesn't whip audiences into a crush-every-lotus-and-Japanese-beetle-on-the-face-of-the-earth rage the way that films actually made DURING the war such as Objective, Burma! and The Purple Heart did --but neither does Dahl feel the need to apologetically and artificially shoehorn in a sympathetic or questioning Japanese character for the sake of balance the way so many postwar movies on the subject did. The attitude here is simply that it is what it was. The only two things really wrong with The Great Raid are the nondescript title (surely Miramax should know that most films that begin with "The Great..." end up being notorious box office disappointments, with the notable and ironic exception of another POW drama, The Great Escape) and the rating. No doubt an R was administered due to war violence, but it's not explicitly presented; most of the really rough stuff happens off camera or in long shot, and anyway nothing that actors are hired to recreate could be anywhere near as harrowing as the Bataan Death March archival footage that opens the film. With historical knowledge among American high schoolers at a disgraceful low, today's adolescents need to see examples of the sacrifices that previous generations made so that they could enjoy rights and privileges that are too often taken for granted...and the MPAA should be ashamed of itself for not giving this film a PG-13. Expand
  19. JohnF.
    Aug 18, 2005
    10
    Great movie.
  20. Rocky
    Aug 18, 2005
    10
    Simply outstanding. It has you from the opening minute sitting on the edge of your seat. Where have movies like this been? Do not miss it.
  21. CarolAnnC.
    Aug 22, 2005
    10
    This is a "real " movie in the sense that it not riddled with special effects and superfulous dialog.You really cared about the characters. A trully courageous group of men and women. I am telling everyone to go to this wonderful experience called "the Great Raid"
  22. anna.
    Aug 24, 2005
    10
    I loved this film. It made me proud of the military leadership which is something I seldom feel these days. We have so much to learn from history and this film shows courage, comittment, and dedication to our soldiers. I would hope that all our current military leadership would view this multiple times. Thank you Weinstein brothers.
  23. TreP.
    Aug 26, 2005
    9
    Worthwhile and necessary in this era of over-to-top Hollywood everything. I highly recommend it.
  24. Tomas
    Aug 27, 2005
    10
    Gib you are dead wrong in your critique of this film. It is one of the better films to be turned out in many years. If you fail to see this you will be missing out on a fantastic story presented in a straight forward manor with all the warts and fleas. Just a fantastic job in bringing this true story to the silver screen. Don't miss it.
  25. Leslie
    Aug 28, 2005
    10
    Simply fantastic. A movie that is richly rewarding and should not be missed. I am amazed that Hollywood did not manage to screw this one up as they usually do? One of the best movies of the year.
  26. Detroit
    Sep 15, 2005
    10
    Thank you Hollywood for a great movie.
  27. JaredB.
    Jan 26, 2007
    10
    The fact that some critics gave this movie such harsh reviews lets me know that some people just don't know a great movie when they see it. Sure, it could have been at least 10 minutes shorter. However, despite the length, this is a stunning, action-packed retelling of the most successful rescue operation ever attempted by a U.S. military outfit. An excellent film.
  28. JerkGuy
    Sep 24, 2007
    8
    Simple truth, what do critics know? I guess all that matters is how you felt when you watched it, I heard that this film was really bad so I never bothered to go out of my way to see it, however I stumbled upon it on cable recently and I didn
  29. AnitaH.
    Oct 21, 2005
    10
    I was so excited to see this movie since my Dad was one of the Rangers that went on the raid. I was glad the movie stuck to the facts. Can't wait to get the CD so I can play the end frame by frame and maybe see my Dad.
  30. ManuelR.
    Dec 16, 2005
    8
    Should have had more action. I read the book and it was good.
  31. Maddy
    Dec 21, 2005
    7
    Another impeccable example of how utterly useless American critics are. Yet they'll eat up garbage like King Kong.
  32. MarkS.
    Aug 13, 2005
    2
    No one is arguing the importance of this historical story, however, the movie sucked. The screenplay was so horribly written, and the movie lacked any immersion that is necessary for a time-period film. What this story really needed was a Spielberg, Stone or Howard to give it what it deserved - a well portrayed, engrossing film of this great historic moment.
  33. [Anonymous]
    Aug 16, 2005
    10
    This is a straightforward simple movie, told the way it happened. While lacking in "sophisticated", artsy shots, it is such a noble and important film that I have to recommend it highly. The film has no central character. It has no Brad Pitt to pull the audience to the film. It's an ensemble piece that showcases many great talents. I hope more people see it despite Miramax's This is a straightforward simple movie, told the way it happened. While lacking in "sophisticated", artsy shots, it is such a noble and important film that I have to recommend it highly. The film has no central character. It has no Brad Pitt to pull the audience to the film. It's an ensemble piece that showcases many great talents. I hope more people see it despite Miramax's poor marketing job. Expand
  34. Rajiv
    Aug 16, 2005
    10
    The best movie of the summer. Honest, direct and to the point without the usual Hollywood fanfare. This is a must see film for everyone of all ages. It honors those brave men and women who laid everything on the line for their fellow Americans. And the Fillipino's are hero's also. As for you liberal minded idiots. If you do nothing else in your sorry lives, watch this movie and The best movie of the summer. Honest, direct and to the point without the usual Hollywood fanfare. This is a must see film for everyone of all ages. It honors those brave men and women who laid everything on the line for their fellow Americans. And the Fillipino's are hero's also. As for you liberal minded idiots. If you do nothing else in your sorry lives, watch this movie and then tell me about civil liberties in IRAQ by taking pictures. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I highly recommend this movie. Expand
  35. Victor
    Sep 18, 2005
    10
    Fantastic.
  36. Lyn
    May 30, 2011
    5
    The Bataan Death March is one of the most riveting stories of WW II, and I was excited to see this film about a related event featuring a heroic rescue of American prisoners. The action and real-life heroes of the Philippine theater deserve their own "Saving Private Ryan." This isn't it, however. Despite the presence of a bunch of decent actors, the humdrum script and phlegmatic pace ofThe Bataan Death March is one of the most riveting stories of WW II, and I was excited to see this film about a related event featuring a heroic rescue of American prisoners. The action and real-life heroes of the Philippine theater deserve their own "Saving Private Ryan." This isn't it, however. Despite the presence of a bunch of decent actors, the humdrum script and phlegmatic pace of this film make it a long, dull slog. Never quite believed Benjamin Bratt as a dynamic leader, much less the oddly disconnected "romance." (But I will say that the scenes of the actual raid are engrossing and well-done.) Collapse
  37. Sep 12, 2014
    6
    This movie has the same problems that most war movies I've seen share; the plot is decent and solid, but the characters and ranks are introduced so quickly that by the time they are out there, wearing helmets, shooting in the dark, bloody and/or dirty, it's hard to remember who exactly they are.

    The movie shows some real cruelty, which only human beings are capable of. I also assume
    This movie has the same problems that most war movies I've seen share; the plot is decent and solid, but the characters and ranks are introduced so quickly that by the time they are out there, wearing helmets, shooting in the dark, bloody and/or dirty, it's hard to remember who exactly they are.

    The movie shows some real cruelty, which only human beings are capable of. I also assume most of those details were real, and not made up or exaggerated.

    Other than that, "The Great Raid" is nothing special. It has good portrayal of people in war. Nothing overwhelmingly spectacular though. I liked that they focused on Filipinos and Japanese as well as the Americans, too.
    Expand
Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 29
  2. Negative: 5 out of 29
  1. The film brings a spectacular but little-known chapter of World War II to the big screen with meticulous attention to period detail -- and almost none to compelling narrative.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    40
    This overlong march will bore all but the most nobly patriotic.
  3. 40
    The Great Raid is ultimately scotched by History Channel–worthy nostalgia.