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

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Universal acclaim- based on 50 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: 30 out of 36
  2. Negative: 5 out of 36
  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. anna.
    Aug 24, 2005
    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. Expand
  4. 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
  5. SteveC.
    Apr 23, 2006
    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
  6. JerkGuy
    Sep 24, 2007
    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 Expand
  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 36 User Reviews