Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 173 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The Thin Red Line tells the story of a group of men, an Army Rifle company called C-for-Charlie, who change, suffer and ultimately make essential discoveries about themselves during the fierce World War II battle of Guadalcanal. (Fox)
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. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    Could be called the "Red Badge of Courage" of World War II movies.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    No movie in the last decade has succeeded in psyching out critics and audiences as fully as the powerful, rambling war epic The Thin Red Line.
  5. 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.
  6. 70
    What Malick has fashioned here is less a conventional narrative than an impressionistic mosaic of our common, yet varied experience of life and death, as focused and clarified through the relentless lens of war.
  7. But it is precisely with these contrapuntal strands of huge, timeless nature, of the complexity of every human mind, that Malick bloats his film into banality. [Jan. 25, 1999]

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 71
  2. Negative: 11 out of 71
  1. 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! Expand
  2. Dec 9, 2013
    Beautiful, surreal and thought provoking. The Thin Red Line is inarguably one of the finest war movies ever made and succeeds in answering some of the primal questions about the need for war and our conspicuous disconnection from nature. Expand
  3. uuu
    Dec 27, 2012
    Being a combat marine this is the closest depiction of many diverse lives being thrown into the gauntlet of war and the reactions to same. the brave, the cowards, the religious etc. but more importantly thin red line is the ONLY film i have seen that even cracks the expanse of the human mind of combat personnel. What emotions we felt, what our minds gravitate too during times of immense stress and emotional pain and what we do to maintain some sort of relationship with sanity. Many films in my opinion have tried to accomplish what Malick has so eloquently scratched the surface of. No other film has threw me back into the grinder like thin red line...i cried for hours after......9.5/10 Expand
  4. Sep 20, 2013
    Probably the best war movie of all time. One war told through the words of many. Famous voice over scenes are probably some of the best scenes in movie history. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone. However what really makes this movie brilliant is its strong message. Brilliant! Expand
  5. Mar 15, 2012
    If you want a superfluous fairy tale, spoon-fed sentimental narrative, watch Saving Private Ryan*. If you've got the balls to sit with silence in your head and can take a contemplative question or two, without fearing a lack of answers -- and want to see a film -- watch The Thin Red Line. Those who complain about not seeing the point, miss the point while demonstrating it.
    *Knocks go only to the writing/moralized plot of Private Ryan; the rest of it was well done, I liked it.
  6. 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. Expand
  7. Jan 14, 2011
    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. Expand

See all 71 User Reviews