User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 197 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 197
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  1. TelorandF
    Jan 9, 2008
    1
    Quite possibly the worst waste of three hours I have experienced. I rarely knew who I was looking at, as the soldiers all looked the same, and even more seldom was the feeling that I should care about them. The voice-over-narrators all sounded the same, all spouting a similar, formulaic monologue to the effect of, "Who am I? Why are we fighting? Where do thoughts come from?" When I Quite possibly the worst waste of three hours I have experienced. I rarely knew who I was looking at, as the soldiers all looked the same, and even more seldom was the feeling that I should care about them. The voice-over-narrators all sounded the same, all spouting a similar, formulaic monologue to the effect of, "Who am I? Why are we fighting? Where do thoughts come from?" When I wasn't bored with the monologue, I was engulfed in a score that lacked any power and swelled when it should have been silent or was silent when it should have swelled. In fact, the characters had no dynamics either. They all acted like scared little boys, both the experienced and those whose first war this was, and it is a wonder they weren't all killed by the Japanese. That would have been impossible, however, as the Japanese were inept at shooting just about everything, not to mention they seemed to enjoy running over the hill towards the enemy, shouting instead of taking up positions and shooting. One shining example of this is when the Americans take Hill 210 and run into the main encampment of the Japanese, much to their surprise. The clearly outnumbered Americans then slaughter nearly every Japanese they can point their gun at while the Japanese simply decide it is better to run away than pick up their guns and fight. This film is misguided and sporadic, having only a vague plot, obscure goals, little to no characterization, and a pace so slow there is time to formulate your own cliche ponderings on life. Collapse
  2. Dec 22, 2010
    1
    A great book turned into a crappy film. This is the second screen adaptation, attempted adaptation, of James Jones classic novel, and both fail miserably. Three, long, boring hours of meandering garbage. Japanese soldiers inaccurately portrayed, story garbled, an incredible waste of time.
  3. JoyceM.
    Jan 10, 2006
    2
    Ridiculous. The emperor is without clothes.
  4. Nevin
    Sep 3, 2002
    0
    This is the only movie I had to apologize to my friends for dragging them to go see. The commercials had me think it would be a "Saving Private Ryan" in the Pacific. That's a gross mis-representation of a long, boring movie that seemed to have very little to do with war. It's a 3 hour long "Obsession" perfume commercial, or at least it makes as much sense as one. This is the This is the only movie I had to apologize to my friends for dragging them to go see. The commercials had me think it would be a "Saving Private Ryan" in the Pacific. That's a gross mis-representation of a long, boring movie that seemed to have very little to do with war. It's a 3 hour long "Obsession" perfume commercial, or at least it makes as much sense as one. This is the typical art crap that critics love and the general public detests. If you like your war movies to focus on a flower in the middle of the combat, or to flash back to some guy's wife 20 times, then this movie is for you. Otherwise, go rent a good war movie like "Ryan" or "Enemy at the Gates". Expand
  5. JorgeI.
    Aug 2, 2004
    1
    I made the same mistake as nevin. This is a sorry excuse for a movie. It tried to hard to be dramatic and in doing so it made me and my friends fall asleep. Go see 'Saving Private Ryan' if u want a good war movie.
  6. NaziPunks
    Oct 14, 2002
    2
    This is a horrible movie - too absent and distorted to make any sense of a character structure or plot structure. The movie was so choppy and full of meaning that the audience has an overdose of metaphor and irony. To string together voice overs and the character's saying them is next to impossible unless it is Bell because at least then it flashes to his wife - making that This is a horrible movie - too absent and distorted to make any sense of a character structure or plot structure. The movie was so choppy and full of meaning that the audience has an overdose of metaphor and irony. To string together voice overs and the character's saying them is next to impossible unless it is Bell because at least then it flashes to his wife - making that connection. Wit is such an intricate character that a three hour movie could be done on him alone. There is no purpose for George Clooney, Woody Harrelson, John Savage, or John Travolta, and their scenes - because out of all their scenes only the Cloony one has any positive motion for the movie. This movie had such success only because it is an American war movie done artistically, and now - a - days everyone wants to be part of that. People who don't even understand this movie hail it as a masterpeice. But there is a moral here, THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES moral, everyone pretends that they are something they are not and are only jackasses for it. That pride and unconprimising attitude of Americans about our wonderful country reminds me of something - oh yeah, they were called the Nazi's. Get real people. Expand
  7. AngusG.
    Jan 14, 2005
    2
    A movie more about the soldiers feelings and fears, the soldiers all seem to have personal delema's each time they have to do anything. I find it iritating to watch and annoying, also slightly depressing. They seem to have no training and cant make decisions on how the take on the enemy. The soldiers are all soft and teary eyed. Overall you couldnt pay me enough to watch it again
  8. IanB
    Apr 1, 2009
    1
    Well, let me blow these ratings apart. My whole family watched this, ages 18 to 60 and we all thought it was terrible. A badly overdone, unrealistic, dark movie that looked like a stage play, pathetic script, campy Shakespearean actors, as wooden as it gets. If it wasn't so damn boring we could have enjoyed it as a comedy. I was hoping they would all die quickly and that was about Well, let me blow these ratings apart. My whole family watched this, ages 18 to 60 and we all thought it was terrible. A badly overdone, unrealistic, dark movie that looked like a stage play, pathetic script, campy Shakespearean actors, as wooden as it gets. If it wasn't so damn boring we could have enjoyed it as a comedy. I was hoping they would all die quickly and that was about half way through this home video. Expand
  9. RobertM.
    Jun 14, 2002
    0
    Perhaps the most boring movie of all time. I think I would prefer 3 consecutive dental appointments than be forced to again stare at dolphins swimming around while some guy reads poetry. Imagery shimagery, it was pretentious and dull.
  10. Jan 14, 2011
    0
    Was like suffering through a 2 hour Calvin Klein commercial, Apocalypse Now style.
    My God what a heady bunch of crap!
    Should be called the "The Thin Pink Line", 'cuz this was a complete Metro waste of film.
  11. Nov 4, 2011
    2
    This film is more entertaining than a 3 hour delay at Heathrow,,, but only marginally. If the film were edited down to the scenes with humans in (or better still to those where they actually have something to do or say!) then you would be left with a powerful 60 mins. Sadly, the director has self-indulgently bloated it out with hour after tedious hour of rivers, dolphins, trees, fields,This film is more entertaining than a 3 hour delay at Heathrow,,, but only marginally. If the film were edited down to the scenes with humans in (or better still to those where they actually have something to do or say!) then you would be left with a powerful 60 mins. Sadly, the director has self-indulgently bloated it out with hour after tedious hour of rivers, dolphins, trees, fields, sunsets (sun-rises..). A shot of a field or a mountain has told me everything it can after 5 to 10 seconds, so why am I forced to stare at it for another minute and a half!? Clearly some arty farty space-cadet types like it, but I suspect the common mortal like myself, will lose the will to live long before the half-way point. Expand
  12. Jul 29, 2014
    1
    This movie is boring and dull. It doesn't even have a plot... Worst war movie I have ever seen, It tries to be dramatic but it fails hard. It's over actuated.
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    90
    Misshapen but magnificent vision of a soulful quest -- in the thick of misery and fear -- for the meaning of our lives.
  2. 75
    The movie's schizophrenia keeps it from greatness (this film has no firm idea of what it is about), but doesn't make it bad. It is, in fact, sort of fascinating: a film in the act of becoming, a field trial, an experiment in which a dreamy poet meditates on stark reality.
  3. 80
    An intensely internalized portrait of external pandemonium, a slippery, insidiously haunting work of poetry rather than brilliantly realized pulp.