Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 51 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: From director John Dahl comes the stirring true story of one of the most spectacular rescue missions ever to take place in American history: "the great raid on Cabanatuan," the daring exploit that would liberate more than 500 U.S. Prisoners of War in the face of overwhelming odds. A gripping depiction of human resilience, the film vividly brings to life the personal courage and audacious heroism that allowed a small but stoic band of World War II soldiers to attempt the impossible in the hopes of freeing their captured brothers. (Miramax) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 29
  2. Negative: 5 out of 29
  1. 75
    The Great Raid is perhaps more timely now than it would have been a few years ago, when "smart bombs" and a couple of weeks of warfare were supposed to solve the Iraq situation. Now that we are involved in a lengthy and bloody ground war there, it is good to have a film that is not about entertainment for action fans, but about how wars are won with great difficulty, risk, and cost.
  2. While one might have wished for a better movie, and a few smarter decisions regarding the screenplay, generally it's a riveting, even inspirational account of an American feat of arms about which few know but about which many more should.
  3. 63
    With material like this, Samuel Fuller or David Lean might have fashioned an epic war movie for the ages, chock-full of hard-boiled characters and against-all-odds heroics. But in John Dahl's hands, The Great Raid never really lives up to its name, delivering everything you might expect from such a movie, but not an ounce more.
  4. Reviewed by: Joanne Kaufman
    For all its noble intentions, its striving for authenticity, its unblinking look at the savagery of war, The Great Raid is far more dutiful than dramatic.
  5. Characterizations are rudimentary, performances dull.
  6. 50
    A lumbering, disappointingly bland war movie.
  7. A tedious World War II epic that slogs across the screen like a forced march in quicksand.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 37
  2. Negative: 5 out of 37
  1. JaredB.
    Jan 26, 2007
    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. Expand
  2. Victor
    Sep 18, 2005
  3. AnitaH.
    Oct 21, 2005
    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. Expand
  4. TreP.
    Aug 26, 2005
    Worthwhile and necessary in this era of over-to-top Hollywood everything. I highly recommend it.
  5. DavidZ
    Apr 1, 2007
    This is one of the examples that most movie critics got it wrong. Their comments and evaluations became formulaic and predictable.
  6. ManuelR.
    Dec 16, 2005
    Should have had more action. I read the book and it was good.
  7. IanD.
    Jan 14, 2006
    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... Expand

See all 37 User Reviews