Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. One of the most curious and perversely brilliant films ever made in the American studio system. It's a shining example of qualities we don't normally see in our big theatrical pictures: vast ambition, huge resources and technical genius mated to a unique and compelling vision of life.
  2. Here is something great and startling -- not necessarily the kind of comforting, consensus-creating film that wins Oscars, but unquestionably a movie that will live in the history of the medium.
  3. Unique and courageous. It may be counted as one of the year's few steps forward in cinema.
  4. Reviewed by: Graham Verdon
    This just may be the greatest war movie ever made.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard T. Jameson
    It's the awesome, metaphysically charged spectacle of man doing terrible things to man within the multicolored and multifarious cathedral of Nature.
  6. 90
    Malick's powerful intermingling of brutality and beauty, his signature cutaways to indigenous flora and fauna, and the gentle lyricism of his disjunctive narration and painterly images are too rich to fully register in a single viewing.
  7. 90
    As mystical as it is gritty, as despairing as it is detached.
  8. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    Misshapen but magnificent vision of a soulful quest -- in the thick of misery and fear -- for the meaning of our lives.
  9. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    Could be called the "Red Badge of Courage" of World War II movies.
  10. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    The film is a gorgeous garland on an unknown soldier's grave.
  11. The disturbing ideas it plants in the soil of the soul need time and darkness ? not light ? to germinate.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 181 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 73
  2. Negative: 12 out of 73
  1. Dec 30, 2011
    The Thin Red Line is up there with the greatest WWII movies of all time. It has incredible visuals that blow you away, and realistic war "gameplay." The Thin Red Line also offers the strangest insights into life lessons, mostly spoken by Witt. Ferociously suspenseful, The Thin Red Line is Terrence Mallick's masterpiece, and was a high contender at the 1999 Oscars. Full Review »
  2. Nov 21, 2011
    I have seen all of Malick's films and have found them average and overated. However the thin red line stands alone. Malick captures human nature beautfully through war with intesnse and masterfully crafted war scenes. Malick's style has never worked so well in a film! One of the best movies of all time! Full Review »
  3. Oct 25, 2011
    Along with the realistic portrayal of a battlefield and its fighting soldiers, Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line" is a WW2 masterpiece that derives from other movies like "Saving Private Ryan". The film, surrounded by strange tranquility, demands us of why war is fought and how humanity will overcome adversities of their own agenda in a time of despair and blood. A effectively clandestine movie that definitely is worth to watch. Full Review »