Band of Brothers : Season 1

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  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 9, 2001
Band of Brothers Image
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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9.3

Universal acclaim- based on 300 Ratings

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  • Summary: Band of Brothers is a 10-part miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks for HBO. The miniseries follows Easy Company, an army unit during World War II, from their initial training at Camp Toccoa to the conclusion of the war.

    The series is based on the book written by the late
    Band of Brothers is a 10-part miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks for HBO. The miniseries follows Easy Company, an army unit during World War II, from their initial training at Camp Toccoa to the conclusion of the war.

    The series is based on the book written by the late Stephen E Ambrose. Tom Hanks approached Steven Spielberg, who just finished production of Saving Private Ryan. Together they approached HBO with their idea. The station was willing to spend a industry record sum of $120m to realize the project.
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  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Christian Science Monitor
    Reviewed by: M.S. Mason
    Aug 15, 2013
    100
    An amazing accomplishment. It refrains from emotional manipulation (unlike Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan"). All 10 parts portray human nature as it is - mixed motives, conflicting impulses. It earns every emotion it inspires in us. If it is heartening, it's because it defies cynicism and reveals the realities of courage, compassion, and brotherhood as real men in a horrendous war practiced it. [7 Sept 2001, p.15]
  2. New York Post
    Reviewed by: Adam Buckman
    Aug 15, 2013
    100
    After watching the 10-hour Band of Brothers, I'm so drained by the intensity of what I have just beheld that I'm ready to declare this World War II miniseries the finest piece of work ever produced for television. [7 Sept 2001, p.117]
  3. The Hollywood Reporter
    Reviewed by: Barry Garron
    Aug 15, 2013
    100
    It is doubtful that any war movie on the large or small screen has captured the varied experiences of ordinary soldiers better than Band of Brothers. Whether it's the sheer terror of facing an unseen enemy or the momentary joy following a successful mission, the mini eschews the typical movie cliches while revealing and reveling in the humanity within each member of Easy Company. It explains in large measure why this group of regular guys and others like them have come to be called the Greatest Generation. [5 Sept 2001]
  4. Deseret News
    Reviewed by: Scott D. Pierce
    Aug 15, 2013
    90
    It doesn't even look like a TV miniseries -- it's more like 10 theatrical films that do an amazing job re-creating battles. [7 Sept 2001, p.W01]
  5. Boston Herald
    Reviewed by: Marisa Guthrie
    Aug 14, 2013
    88
    Band of Brothers stands as a very satisfying adaptation of Ambrose's meticulous and engrossing account. [9 Sept 2001, p.61]
  6. Philadelphia Inquirer
    Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    Aug 14, 2013
    80
    The production is so technically expert that it's agonizing to watch. And with the emphasis on authenticity, there's almost none of the tension that usually moves drama along. To get through it all, viewers will need to be almost as committed to Band of Brothers as the soldiers were to fighting the war. [9 Sept 2001, p.H01]
  7. Washington Post
    Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Aug 15, 2013
    50
    A glorious bungle. It has been produced on a dauntingly massive scale (by no less than Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, those old war hands) and is at times visually astonishing...Unfortunately it also suffers from disorganization, muddled thinking and a sense of redundancy. [8 Sept 2001, p.C01]

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 33
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 33
  3. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Mar 23, 2016
    10
    The HBO original mini-series “Band of Brothers” is the kind of filmmaking enterprise that makes the word “epic” seem inadequate. The seriesThe HBO original mini-series “Band of Brothers” is the kind of filmmaking enterprise that makes the word “epic” seem inadequate. The series (smartly) takes a myopic view of the war, focusing on a small group of men instead of giving us a grand tale that encompassed all the different shades and theaters of the war effort. It is, for all intents and purposes, a personal story about the trials and tribulations, the victories and defeats, and the heroism and cowardice of a single company in a war that involved hundreds of thousands of companies. The company in question is Easy Company, a tiny fraction of the 101st Airborne Division, the American military’s paratrooper corp. The mini-series, which ran for 10 straight weeks on HBO, was produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, with Hanks serving as writer and director on a couple of episodes.

    The men that starts and ends as the heart and soul of “Band of Brothers” is Dick Winters (Damian Lewis), a mild-mannered small-town man who proves to be an extraordinary leader, and Winters’ best friend, Lewis Nixon (Ron Livingston), a rich Easterner who discovers his many inadequacies during the war. The mini-series follows Easy Company from their training to their deployment into France during D-Day, and finally into Germany, where Easy Company liberates Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest — the Third Reich leader’s hideaway mountain retreat.

    Through the 10 episodes, the focus shifts between different men of Easy Company, and by series’ end, everyone has been given their time in the spotlight. The remarkable thing is just how well the series works as a single series. At the beginning the characters blend together because there are so many of them, so many names and faces to remember, that they become indistinguishable. By the time the series wraps up with Episode 10, we have intimate knowledge of all those who have survived — and those who didn’t. Because the series is based on true accounts, all of the characters are based on real men, and those who die in the series actually died in real life. This gives the series a grounded and very gritty feel. These people actually died — or lived — through this hell.

    The series is based on a nonfiction book by noted World War II historian Stephen Ambrose. Each episode, besides focusing on different groups of men within Easy Company, uses a round robin of directors and writers. Some names are more famous than others, but each one has a very good grasp on the subject matter, and the directors all employ similar filming styles. It helps that the series employs only two cinematographers in Remi Adefarasin and Joel Ransom. The two men provide the series with a constant look and feel, giving the impression of one long 10-hour movie instead of a 10-part mini-series.

    The series’ maintenance on a constant vibe is also a testament to producers Hanks and Spielberg. The different episodes range from the storming of a French town to the hellish stand of Easy Company in the Bastogne forest under heavy German barrage. Each episode has its own unique view of the war, but the down-and-dirty and the you-can-die-at-any-moment feel remains throughout. Because the series was filmed for HBO, the language is raw, and so are the violence and massive bloodshed. In a word, “Band of Brothers” doesn’t flinch from the horrors and miseries of war, and those with a squeamish stomach will have plenty to close their eyes at. Everything is here, shown in brutal color. Death comes suddenly and without notice, and survival is a miracle of circumstances.

    Besides Damian Lewis and Ron Livingston, other actors of note are Donnie Wahlberg, formerly of the New Kids on the Block, who shows up as an embattled soldier with an unyielding determination to not only survive, but keep his fellow “brothers” alive as well. There’s Matthew Settle as Ronald Speirs, a Captain who may or may not have murdered dozens of German POWs in cold blood. Speirs embodies the stone-cold courage and psychosis of a man born for the single purpose of fighting wars.

    Another very smart move by the producers was to invite the real-life survivors of Easy Company to narrate the beginning of each episode. In each one, we see these grizzled men talking about the horrors of the war, the friendships they built, and the brotherly love they shared for the men of their unit — strangers who became closer than brothers. It’s all real and completely honest. The producers also refuse to identify the real-life men of Easy Company until the very end, in Episode 10. This keeps the audience who hasn’t read Ambrose’s book from guessing who will die and who will survive. It works, and the death of various characters was shocking and sad, and the survivals of others were stunning and euphoric.
    Expand
  2. Sep 6, 2013
    10
    I loved everything about this T.V movie series, it's got its fair share of heart touching moments and violence. The actors were great in thisI loved everything about this T.V movie series, it's got its fair share of heart touching moments and violence. The actors were great in this series, everyone was great actually, the story was very touching and violent and revengeful. I'd watch the series again if I had to! 10 out of 10, would totally recommend. Expand
  3. Nov 21, 2011
    10
    An excellent achievement in television storytelling. The amount of time and dedication put into this show by the team at Dreamworks and HBO isAn excellent achievement in television storytelling. The amount of time and dedication put into this show by the team at Dreamworks and HBO is stunning. Expand
  4. Sep 29, 2011
    10
    Seldomly have I been so moved by a TV series, cared so much for the characters. The show is surprisingly free of pathos and hollow patriotism,Seldomly have I been so moved by a TV series, cared so much for the characters. The show is surprisingly free of pathos and hollow patriotism, even if it mostly shows only one side of the war. It's realistic, honest and gritty, much more so than the flawed Saving Private Ryan. Expand
  5. Mar 22, 2016
    10
    The HBO original mini-series “Band of Brothers” is the kind of filmmaking enterprise that makes the word “epic” seem inadequate. The seriesThe HBO original mini-series “Band of Brothers” is the kind of filmmaking enterprise that makes the word “epic” seem inadequate. The series (smartly) takes a myopic view of the war, focusing on a small group of men instead of giving us a grand tale that encompassed all the different shades and theaters of the war effort. It is, for all intents and purposes, a personal story about the trials and tribulations, the victories and defeats, and the heroism and cowardice of a single company in a war that involved hundreds of thousands of companies. The company in question is Easy Company, a tiny fraction of the 101st Airborne Division, the American military’s paratrooper corp. The mini-series, which ran for 10 straight weeks on HBO, was produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, with Hanks serving as writer and director on a couple of episodes.

    The men that starts and ends as the heart and soul of “Band of Brothers” is Dick Winters (Damian Lewis), a mild-mannered small-town man who proves to be an extraordinary leader, and Winters’ best friend, Lewis Nixon (Ron Livingston), a rich Easterner who discovers his many inadequacies during the war. The mini-series follows Easy Company from their training to their deployment into France during D-Day, and finally into Germany, where Easy Company liberates Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest — the Third Reich leader’s hideaway mountain retreat.

    Through the 10 episodes, the focus shifts between different men of Easy Company, and by series’ end, everyone has been given their time in the spotlight. The remarkable thing is just how well the series works as a single series. At the beginning the characters blend together because there are so many of them, so many names and faces to remember, that they become indistinguishable. By the time the series wraps up with Episode 10, we have intimate knowledge of all those who have survived — and those who didn’t. Because the series is based on true accounts, all of the characters are based on real men, and those who die in the series actually died in real life. This gives the series a grounded and very gritty feel. These people actually died — or lived — through this hell.

    The series is based on a nonfiction book by noted World War II historian Stephen Ambrose. Each episode, besides focusing on different groups of men within Easy Company, uses a round robin of directors and writers. Some names are more famous than others, but each one has a very good grasp on the subject matter, and the directors all employ similar filming styles. It helps that the series employs only two cinematographers in Remi Adefarasin and Joel Ransom. The two men provide the series with a constant look and feel, giving the impression of one long 10-hour movie instead of a 10-part mini-series.

    The series’ maintenance on a constant vibe is also a testament to producers Hanks and Spielberg. The different episodes range from the storming of a French town to the hellish stand of Easy Company in the Bastogne forest under heavy German barrage. Each episode has its own unique view of the war, but the down-and-dirty and the you-can-die-at-any-moment feel remains throughout. Because the series was filmed for HBO, the language is raw, and so are the violence and massive bloodshed. In a word, “Band of Brothers” doesn’t flinch from the horrors and miseries of war, and those with a squeamish stomach will have plenty to close their eyes at. Everything is here, shown in brutal color. Death comes suddenly and without notice, and survival is a miracle of circumstances.

    Besides Damian Lewis and Ron Livingston, other actors of note are Donnie Wahlberg, formerly of the New Kids on the Block, who shows up as an embattled soldier with an unyielding determination to not only survive, but keep his fellow “brothers” alive as well. There’s Matthew Settle as Ronald Speirs, a Captain who may or may not have murdered dozens of German POWs in cold blood. Speirs embodies the stone-cold courage and psychosis of a man born for the single purpose of fighting wars.

    Another very smart move by the producers was to invite the real-life survivors of Easy Company to narrate the beginning of each episode. In each one, we see these grizzled men talking about the horrors of the war, the friendships they built, and the brotherly love they shared for the men of their unit — strangers who became closer than brothers. It’s all real and completely honest. The producers also refuse to identify the real-life men of Easy Company until the very end, in Episode 10. This keeps the audience who hasn’t read Ambrose’s book from guessing who will die and who will survive. It works, and the death of various characters was shocking and sad, and the survivals of others were stunning and euphoric.
    Expand
  6. Aug 25, 2010
    10
    my favorit tv show. 2 problems... 1, the sex scene... pointless, and pretty much ruined the episode. alittle warning next time!!!
    2, there
    my favorit tv show. 2 problems... 1, the sex scene... pointless, and pretty much ruined the episode. alittle warning next time!!!
    2, there were too many main characters that i found it very difficult to focus on only 1 character's development. still ill give it a ten
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  7. Aug 17, 2014
    8
    This series is an excellent achievement for the television medium. Mixing some of the most terrifying events in human history, as well asThis series is an excellent achievement for the television medium. Mixing some of the most terrifying events in human history, as well as providing a deft undertone of courage and heroic triumph all around, Band of Brothers is a visually-stunning and emotionally compelling story from start to finish, even if it does sometimes offer up a one-sided point of view. Expand

See all 33 User Reviews

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