To End All Wars Image
Metascore
  1. First Review
  2. Second Review
  3. Third Review
  4. Fourth Review

No score yet - based on 3 Critics Awaiting 1 more review What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 38 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A true story about four Allied POWs who endure harsh treatment at the hands of their Japanese captors during World War II while being forced to build a railroad through the Burmese jungle. Ultimately they find true freedom by forgiving their enemies. (Argyll Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 3
  2. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. 50
    The dialogue and voice-over narration (by Gordon) are homily-heavy, and the staging sometimes awkward. The prison extras in particular are often left to stare blankly at the gut-wrenching action before them, with many, including Sutherland, looking awfully fit for men who've been starving for years.
  2. It is solidly crafted enough from inherently powerful true-life material, however, that WWII buffs and religiously inclined audiences won't be disappointed.
  3. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    30
    Grim in theme yet seldom effective or convincing in execution.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32
  1. Nariman
    Aug 20, 2006
    10
    Great movie. No wonder hollywood, left media, and other secularists don't like it. This is about true core meaning of Christianity - forgiveness and love. That's what truly ends all wars and gives such freedom, freedom to choose life and morality. Expand
  2. AmyR.
    Feb 20, 2006
    10
    Outstanding movie! It amazes me that this movie did not receive more critical acclaim.
  3. PhilC.
    Jan 1, 2008
    9
    A highly moving, yet sometimes brutally factual, account of a group of POW's in a Japanese camp who, whilst enduring incredibly harsh treatment, help build a railway line through the Kwai valley during WW2. The performances are good enough for you to properly hate, empathies, sympathies or simply admire the characters depicted. The film asks an impossible question of the viewer - would you be able to forgive in such circumstances? - perhaps the answer is most uncomfortable for many. However the very fact that you ask yourself that question means the film, the story and the performances have placed a grip around your soul in a way you wouldn't expect from such a low-budget and unknown movie. Expand
  4. DavidR.
    Jul 14, 2008
    9
    Great character study of men at their emotional and physical limits. Sutherland is quite good and Carlyle is perfect. Supporting of Asian actors is remarkable. Expand
  5. BernardoD.
    Sep 17, 2005
    6
    This movie is based on a true story and covers very similar material to that in "Bridge on The River Kwai". The latter movie is excellent in many ways, especially thanks to its cast, Alec Guinness in particular. This movie which seems to follow a similar plot structure is actually based on a book written by Ernest Gordon, one of the POW's. The set-up between Japanese and Allied POWs covers familiar ground - principally about the Japanese army's disregard for Rules of War (Geneva and Hague Convention), lack of humanity and out and out war crimes. But, unfortunately, this movie doesn't seem to capture the essence of the tensions that existed in those camps. It tries by using voice-over explanations and interchanges among the soldiers. There are some attempts to show torture and other horrors - and as bad as they may be, they don't seem to connect. The daily fear of not knowing whether one will live or die at any time does not come across with any particular effectiveness. Its talked about - but, the fear is hardly conveyed ... I'm not sure why this is so .... ... This movie does not capture the true horror and crimes committed by the Japanese. It presents a broad-brush paint-by-numbers approach. There is never a feeling that these POWs are in true life-despairing danger, although the portrayal of the danger is the crux of the story. The ability to portray the true fear and inhumanity is not any easy one - two examples of movies where this was truly accomplished are Sophie's Choice, Schindler's List and more recently The Grey Zone. To End All Wars hardly achieves that sort of level - as much as it tries. These criticisms aside, this movie is well worth seeing. There are some strong, powerful performances particularly those of Ciaran McMenamin, James Cosmo and Yugo Saso(the translator). In fact, the combined cast performances are all standouts despite the predictable plot development. In summary - this is a movie worth seeing - for the subject matter - for the production values - and for the strong cast. The weaknesses aren't so evident - there is no sense of time passing - some 3 years or so ... feels like a couple of days .... despite the effort to portray the POWs as suffering - they seem too strong, too quick to recover, and not really suffering as the real Ernest Gordon did ... the use of voice-over tends to be tiresome - and the noble message of forgiveness is absurd .... Japanese war criminals running those prison camps often exceeded the bounds of any humanity ... and regretfully, to this day, there has been no justice and no retribution .... the Japanese guards in this movie are fairly nice - with occasional outbursts of angry behaviour ... maybe that's the failing of the movie .... The director says that he didn't want to be perceived as anti_Japanese .... well, by doing so - the impact becomes limiting .... almost cartoonish in some aspects... Bottom line - this is a flawed movie, interesting to watch - a good history lesson for those not familiar with the facts of those terrible years - and a very strong cast. Expand

See all 32 User Reviews