User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 40
  2. Negative: 7 out of 40

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User Reviews

  1. JereD.
    Nov 19, 2002
    1
    The only windtalking is in the title. A wonderful tale of WWII is given short shrift. Cage is wooden. The cliches are too numerous. The battle scenes bear little relationship to real war. Skip this and re-watch Pvt.Ryan.
  2. BlancoA.
    Jun 12, 2002
    5
    Mark Ruffalo is clearly the best actor in this film, but I don't think the movie as a whole has much to offer. Compared to other WWII fare such as "Thin Red Line" and "Band of Brothers," this one is truly a lightweight. The opening sequence was so melodramatic, I though Cage might wake up as if was all a bad dream. The music was pretty damned annoying as well.
  3. GiorgioZ.
    Jun 18, 2002
    1
    Rather than repeat what the others have said. In a nutshell, it is just a BAD movie not worthy of your time.
  4. Crowlee
    Jun 12, 2002
    6
    Great opening sequence that initially gives emotional gravity to the film but Woo loses sight of this in the second act. Of course there's great action (although, not exactly signature Woo) but the story lacked the historic resonance I wanted to learn about from this film. The movie boils down to a buddy pic with performances ranging from good (Beach) to stereotyped bad (Emmerich). I Great opening sequence that initially gives emotional gravity to the film but Woo loses sight of this in the second act. Of course there's great action (although, not exactly signature Woo) but the story lacked the historic resonance I wanted to learn about from this film. The movie boils down to a buddy pic with performances ranging from good (Beach) to stereotyped bad (Emmerich). I enjoyed the bond that was forged with the company of men and went along for the ride. Hey, with Woo's movies it's about what he brings behind the camera, the story comes second and that's what you get. Expand
  5. ChadS.
    Jun 28, 2002
    5
    If the Najavos aren't allowed to take center stage, why bother? A generous lead actor would've allowed more insight into the culture than what is shown here, which is extremely hokey. That's not a slam of Native-Americans, but rather the filmmakers who reduced the sacred into a cliche. Ironically, however, the weakness (making Cage the central protagonist in favor of If the Najavos aren't allowed to take center stage, why bother? A generous lead actor would've allowed more insight into the culture than what is shown here, which is extremely hokey. That's not a slam of Native-Americans, but rather the filmmakers who reduced the sacred into a cliche. Ironically, however, the weakness (making Cage the central protagonist in favor of Beech), is also the film's strength. It's probably his best performance since "Leaving Las Vegas". Expand
  6. [Anonymous]
    Jun 30, 2002
    9
    I thought the movie was good.
  7. MaartenB.
    Sep 10, 2002
    4
    One of the worst and unrealistic war movies of the past years.
  8. PhilK.
    Jun 12, 2002
    6
    By no measure is this a bad film, and certainly not boring, but it is lacking enough not to become a landmark war film like Ryan etc. Kudos, however, for bringing to light a crucial element of WWII tactics that I, for one, knew nothing about. The natives of this land deserve this recognition. However, we don't learn a heck of a lot about Navajo culture, which seems like a huge lost By no measure is this a bad film, and certainly not boring, but it is lacking enough not to become a landmark war film like Ryan etc. Kudos, however, for bringing to light a crucial element of WWII tactics that I, for one, knew nothing about. The natives of this land deserve this recognition. However, we don't learn a heck of a lot about Navajo culture, which seems like a huge lost opportunity given how rarely Hollywood explores this subject. Action-wise, however, you couldn't ask for more. EXCEPT for the battleship scenes which were STOCK wartime footage! How awful. The sound editing contributes considerably in creating truly jolting, hyper-violent battle scenes. They do get tiresome after a while, though, and my empathy for any of the characters who die along the way was rather limited, given the narrow development of their personas. Worthy of note:This time around, John Woo could not justify showing his hero being followed throughout the film by a halo of flittering doves. But we do get a full shot of one white seagull! Expand
  9. JoshB.
    Mar 24, 2003
    8
    Very well made special effects, good storyline also!
  10. YoonMinC.
    Sep 28, 2003
    5
    Woo's silly soap opera/blood ballet antics worked like a charm on a small scale in such cult classics as Better Tomorrow. Here in inflated, epic form it's like using a condom to fit a whale. There are some bruising moments on the subject of racial prejudice, and the actors generally do nicely but the enemies here are crazy 'Japs' of WWII propaganda, and the special Woo's silly soap opera/blood ballet antics worked like a charm on a small scale in such cult classics as Better Tomorrow. Here in inflated, epic form it's like using a condom to fit a whale. There are some bruising moments on the subject of racial prejudice, and the actors generally do nicely but the enemies here are crazy 'Japs' of WWII propaganda, and the special effects look fake; worse, they aren't even necessary. Woo claims to be a Christian but his idea of Jesus must be some dude wearing sunglasses and packing two semi-automatics. Expand
  11. Jovi
    Jun 11, 2002
    6
    Cool action sequences, and Woo's signature style of depicting the duality of man makes this an entertaining film. Somewhat cheasy dialogue and a bit long, the film all in all is fair and worth watching. Ironically, the movie is more about the bond of 2 different men than that of the role of the Navahoes and the development of the code. I would have enjoyed a little more story than action.
  12. NickS.
    Jun 11, 2002
    4
    I wanted to like this film so badly. John Woo and Nicolas Cage in a war film! What else do you need? Woo's Bullet in the Head was a great story of friendship in a time of war. Unfortunately, Windtalkers just didn't have a story. There was no one to really root for. There were so many flaws throughout the film, and I found it ridiculuous that Woo didn't notice them. I wanted to like this film so badly. John Woo and Nicolas Cage in a war film! What else do you need? Woo's Bullet in the Head was a great story of friendship in a time of war. Unfortunately, Windtalkers just didn't have a story. There was no one to really root for. There were so many flaws throughout the film, and I found it ridiculuous that Woo didn't notice them. Everytime a character was introduced, I knew whether they were going to live or die. The whole film was so predictable. The Navajo were so important to the war but we didn't see them doing anything super important. The screenplay was horrible, and I can't believe Woo went ahead with it. Of course the action stuff was great and that made the film entertaining. But I wanted more than that. I wanted to feel something and all I felt was disappointment. Expand
  13. MichaelF.
    Jun 15, 2002
    2
    This is a bad movie. The good: I liked the panic or the battle scenes a little bit and the acting was fine. The bad: The cinematography was HORRIBLE and just flat-out dull! a completely laughable screenplay. There was none of that old fashioned Woo anywhere in the movie. It was cheesy as hell and bad bad bad. The horrendous PEARL HARBOR was even better than this. The worst war film of This is a bad movie. The good: I liked the panic or the battle scenes a little bit and the acting was fine. The bad: The cinematography was HORRIBLE and just flat-out dull! a completely laughable screenplay. There was none of that old fashioned Woo anywhere in the movie. It was cheesy as hell and bad bad bad. The horrendous PEARL HARBOR was even better than this. The worst war film of probably the last 30 years. Collapse
  14. SteveM.
    Jun 19, 2002
    2
    The only reason to see this movie is because you lost a bet of such great magnitude your friend forces you to do something short hurting yourself. Bad on so many levels it is hard to know even where to start. Direction/Screenplay: John Woo should be relegated to small budget films until he proves himself worthy of handling great storylines and good actors. He mishandled both in this case. The only reason to see this movie is because you lost a bet of such great magnitude your friend forces you to do something short hurting yourself. Bad on so many levels it is hard to know even where to start. Direction/Screenplay: John Woo should be relegated to small budget films until he proves himself worthy of handling great storylines and good actors. He mishandled both in this case. And why did he chose to edit in footage of battleships from my highschool government and history class? The only thing John Rice and Joe Batteer (the writers) didn't forget were the cliches. They included every single one I can think of. Haunted, leader with flashbacks from previous battles lost, the prejudicial soldier who taunts the Navajo soldiers (only to be saved by one of them), [insert others here]. You get the idea. The themes behind the movie are very interesting, one can easily see why a book and now a movie (albeit, awful)have been created, based on them. Save your sanity and 8 bucks by reading a book on the subject. You will be happy you did. Now, go out and make a wager you know you can win, with a friend who will forgive you. Expand
  15. PatC.
    Dec 19, 2003
    3
    It continues to amaze me how Hollywood can take good non fiction and turn it into bad fiction.
  16. KoR
    Jul 19, 2005
    9
    I thought the special effects looked fine, a couple of the big shots with the planes flying over could have been from a computer game but they still look more realistic than some of the over-the-top effects seen in several big budget films. I thought the action was also filmed very well and gave a different sort of view of the action than from many other war films.
  17. PeterS.
    Sep 25, 2005
    4
    Strange that a film with so much bloody carnage could be so unexciting.
Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 35
  2. Negative: 2 out of 35
  1. New Times (L.A.)
    Reviewed by: Andy Klein
    50
    The over-the-top sincerity that is so rewarding in "Face/Off" (1998), Woo's best American film, feels too clichéd in this more conventional context.
  2. This is a great subject for a movie, but Hollywood has squandered the opportunity, using it as a prop for warmed-over melodrama and the kind of choreographed mayhem that director John Woo has built his career on.
  3. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: Michael Sragow
    63
    Woo's antiwar intentions and his talent are at odds. In Windtalkers, war is a beautiful hell.