Paramount Pictures | Release Date: December 20, 2006
8.2
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 335 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
283
Mixed:
29
Negative:
23
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5
KarenLMar 8, 2009
I was loving this movie. It was truly refreshing to see a crucial WWII battle from the Japanese point of view. In this film we see Japanese soldiers behaving both honorably and horribly. We see Japanese soldiers with a love for both honor I was loving this movie. It was truly refreshing to see a crucial WWII battle from the Japanese point of view. In this film we see Japanese soldiers behaving both honorably and horribly. We see Japanese soldiers with a love for both honor and life. We also understand that so many suicides happened out of fear of their peers and officers. But then we see two American soldiers murder a pair of the few Japanese soldiers who actually surrendered on Iwo Jima. This is a such a complete lie that it instantly ruined the film's and Eastwood's credibility for me. Read any accurate history about this conflict and you'll discover that Japanese soldiers who actually did surrender were astounded by the compassion of the Americans. They had been taught to expect the worse. Yes that was the Japanese propaganda given to their soldiers. But our very own filmmakers feel compelled to propagandize the brutality of America. It's sadly ironic that a country that provides a director the freedom to combat propaganda chooses his medium to propagandize himself. This was and should have been a great film. It dies, like so many of those who committed suicide on that island, in a lie. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful
4
TheSpoilerMar 29, 2008
I
0 of 1 users found this helpful
4
MaxFeb 12, 2007
As a piece of fiction this movie is just ok, but to try and interpret the enemy 60 years later is a stretch. I am a veteran and no matter what side you are on you are only thinking two things. 1) what are my orders and how do I achieve them? As a piece of fiction this movie is just ok, but to try and interpret the enemy 60 years later is a stretch. I am a veteran and no matter what side you are on you are only thinking two things. 1) what are my orders and how do I achieve them? There is no time for contemplation because there is only time for action. If you take time you die. On December 7th the Japanese made a decision to attack us, it was not the other way around. I am sure thousands of innocent fathers, husbands and lovers died because of the bad decision of a few but that was not our fault. We were attacked and 60 years ago this country was not scared to do what it takes to win. The mindset has changed over the decades and now 3,000 people in five years is cause for failure. How many people died at Iwo Jima? Guess . . . . of the 22,000 Japanese troops entrenched on the island, only 1,083 survived. The United States lost a total of 6,825 personnel in the battle for the island. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
ToddW.Feb 20, 2007
I must admit to being more than a little apprehensive about seeing this movie as my family has emotional ties to that piece of volcanic rock in the Pacific Ocean. My uncle, a United States Marine, died in March of 1945 at the tender age of I must admit to being more than a little apprehensive about seeing this movie as my family has emotional ties to that piece of volcanic rock in the Pacific Ocean. My uncle, a United States Marine, died in March of 1945 at the tender age of 22 of wounds sustained on that island. Although not expecting the intensity that is the first 15 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan," I must admit to being more than a little taken aback at the lack of horror and pathos that that invasion engendered in the DVD I saw last weekend. Instead, the entire movie seemed to focus around Native American Marine Ira Hayes and his experience on and after Iwo as a flag raiser in that historic second photograph, which ultimately led to his alcoholism and untimely demise. While that flag raising was important, and its politcal ramifications are undeniable, entire movies have been structured around the premise of our invasions of foreign soil. Witness "The Longest Day." Iwo Jima, Tarawa, Guam, Guadalcanal, etc. set the stages for some of the most vicious fighting of World War II, and news photography of those battles horrified our nation, yet they seem to have been relegated to being historical footnotes to the political ramifications of jingoistic symbolism of which some of these battles gave rise to. My uncle died far before his time for much more than that, I trust. If you really want to spare the easy political statement of "Flags..." in this time of true heroism, and make a stirring war movie in the process, Clint, how about a take on William Manchester's "Goodbye Darkness?" Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
[Anonymous]Feb 4, 2007
this movie was all right, but the first 15-30 mins. were really boring.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
JurgenM.Jan 19, 2007
It's OK, I guess, but so much of the characters and dialogue are stilted that were the film in English I doubt it would be getting so much praise. And do we really need another film about WWII even if it is from the point of view to It's OK, I guess, but so much of the characters and dialogue are stilted that were the film in English I doubt it would be getting so much praise. And do we really need another film about WWII even if it is from the point of view to humanize the "enemy"? Why in the midst of a very questionable invasion/occupation of Iraq are we still seeing so many films about the only "just" war of the 20th Century? Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
DaleMJan 22, 2007
This movie is not gripping unless you are some kind of history buff. It is actually rather boring. The dialogue is stiff. The characters are caricatures and I found it difficult to feel emotionally for them, even though I knew that theThis movie is not gripping unless you are some kind of history buff. It is actually rather boring. The dialogue is stiff. The characters are caricatures and I found it difficult to feel emotionally for them, even though I knew that the idea of the film was too feel for these people. The Japanese cultural trait of suicide and killing your own brothers in arms is played up in the film in a way that you come away thinking how different of culture Japan must have had than us in WW II. From the way it is presented, you wonder how the battle lasted any time at all since after about 5 minutes of battle in the film, the Japanese seem pretty intent on just killing themselves. This leads me to believe that some re-writing of history must have gone on here. The whole metaphor about letters seems added on rather than really organic to the film. At some level of ideas, perhaps this films works, but, on an emotional level, it just doesn't work very well. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
JimJ.Feb 3, 2007
"Letters" is a C or C+ movie...at best. It is also critically flawed. No doubt, .U.S. troops on rare occasion murdered prisoners. Most often, however, U.S. troops treated their prisoners humanely. No doubt, Japanese troops were humane "Letters" is a C or C+ movie...at best. It is also critically flawed. No doubt, .U.S. troops on rare occasion murdered prisoners. Most often, however, U.S. troops treated their prisoners humanely. No doubt, Japanese troops were humane towards their prisoners. Most often, however, Japanese troops were barbarous in their treatment of prisoners. " Letters" shows one instance of humane treatment of a prisoner by Japanese troops and one instance of barbarous prisoner treatment by U.S. troops. "Letter" ignores historical fact and is nothing more than an anti-USA, anti-U.S. military piece of propaganda. "Flags of Our Fathers" was 10 times the movie, but couldn't receive its just due because the USA won. What tripe! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
BillyS.Feb 5, 2007
When I saw Flags of our Fathers back in October I rated it a generous 7 points and said it was simply a good war movie but because it was a Clint Eastwood film the critics would hail it as a classic. Well, the critics instead reserved their When I saw Flags of our Fathers back in October I rated it a generous 7 points and said it was simply a good war movie but because it was a Clint Eastwood film the critics would hail it as a classic. Well, the critics instead reserved their praise for Letters From Iwo Jima and the Academy, as I expected, nominated it for Best Picture and Director, which persuaded me take a chance and see it. It turns out I was right the first time but it applies even more to Letters. Just because it's in Japanese and it's told from their point of view, it's still just a typical war movie filled with American war-movie cliches and melodramatic set pieces that we've seen in every war movie ever made. BUT, it is a film by Clint Eastwood and therfore it's a masterpiece. An anti-war film that is universal about soldiers stuck in a hopeless battle in a war they started with no way out. Sound familiar. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
PatC.Jun 26, 2007
A commendable intelligent movie on many levels. Unfortunately it so fastidiously portrays the Japanese perspective at the expense of continuity that it makes being Japanese seem boring.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
EmilyM.Feb 23, 2007
There can be no doubt that Clint Eastwood is a master of genre. Or, more specifically, that he has the ability to masterfully investigate and overturn the formula of a specific genre and end up with something that is compelling, intelligent, There can be no doubt that Clint Eastwood is a master of genre. Or, more specifically, that he has the ability to masterfully investigate and overturn the formula of a specific genre and end up with something that is compelling, intelligent, and original. Anyone who has seen "Unforgiven" knows this. It was this talent that I was looking for in both "Flags" and "Iwo Jima," but this talent was, unfortunately, nowhere to be found. While "Iwo Jima" was not nearly the muddled mess that is "Flags," it is still ultimately a fairly regular, mundane, ok sort of war movie (albeit beautifully shot), where the characters are either hapless soldiers or vicious officers, who happen to be lead by a humane (and, not coincidentally, Americanized) general and a rebel officer who we audience members are meant to identify with. (This is not to say that Ken Watanabe isn Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
peterf28Jan 13, 2017
this is maximum 6.5/10 ... is boring, and the end is chaotic, clint had problems finishing this movie i think ... but ok it is interesting to see how it could have been from the **** side of view ...
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6
BroyaxJan 19, 2018
Un film très intéressant sur la mentalité japonaise pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, a fortiori lorsqu'il s'agit du début de la fin pour l'Armée Impériale et qu'à Iwo Jima sur cet infâme caillou volcanique, le reste des troupes japonaisesUn film très intéressant sur la mentalité japonaise pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, a fortiori lorsqu'il s'agit du début de la fin pour l'Armée Impériale et qu'à Iwo Jima sur cet infâme caillou volcanique, le reste des troupes japonaises démunies va se battre jusqu'à la mort pour l'Empereur et la Mère-Patrie face à l'inarrêtable rouleau compresseur américain...

Le film excelle ainsi à nous montrer et nous dépeindre ce qui se passe dans la tête de ces guerriers : du troufion de base aux officiers aguerris, tous ont gardé un indéfectible esprit "samouraï", résultat de décennies (et même davantage) de lavages de cerveaux et de propagande nationaliste. Tous ?.. sans doute pas, car certains ont tenté de se rendre mais certains seulement...

La majorité des gars s'est fait hara-kiri à la grenade (c'est très impressionnant), d'autres se sont rués sous les balles ennemies, et d'autres se sont tirés une balle dans la tête ou dans le coeur : il en fallait du courage ou du désespoir (?) pour en arriver là. Ou simplement une idée très précise de l'honneur, l'Honneur avec un grand H.

Les acteurs japonais sont excellents et par petites touches qui sont autant de fugaces souvenirs ainsi que de ces fameuses lettres, Papy Clint nous raconte la vie d'avant la guerre, humanisant chaque soldat japonais, chaque gradé japonais, chaque personne en somme entre deux combats et deux assauts.

Puis, malheureusement (!), Papy Clint décide de s'engouffrer dans le mélo typiquement hollywoodien, c'est-à-dire pleurnichard et violoneux (même si la trompette geignarde remplace ici les violons, c'est normal, car la trompette, c'est pour les militaires). L'épisode du clébard par exemple est ridicule : on s'en branle du clebs, putain ; ou bien la question posée à Watanabe, la question à 2 dollars : et si les USA et le Japon entraient en guerre, qui gagnerait gnagnagna...) : vraiment grotesque...

C'est dommage d'en rajouter comme ça, car les faits parlent d'eux-mêmes, Môssieur Bois de l'Est ! garde ta guimauve pas fraîche pour la ménagère de moins de 50 ans, putain.

A part ça, la réalisation est très correcte et malgré sa longueur, on ne s'ennuie pas. On déplore cependant cette désaturation exagérée des couleurs, une sale manie initiée par cet abruti de Spielberg et copiée-collée par la suite par nombre de films de guerre : c'est vraiment énervant.

Tout cela est un peu dommage, voire carrément regrettable, car Lettres d'Iwo Jima est un bon film dans le fond qui offre une belle neutralité. Pourquoi s'est-il mis à nous pondre du gnangnan plaintif à tire-larigot décolorisé ? et cette trompette, faites-lui un sort, nom de nom !
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6
amheretojudgeMay 23, 2019
If the world is at war then so is Eastwood, the experience shared isn't exactly observed in here.

Letters From Iwo Jima Eastwood is a good pretender. Usually, he makes things look easy. And this time, the director, Clint Eastwood, may not
If the world is at war then so is Eastwood, the experience shared isn't exactly observed in here.

Letters From Iwo Jima

Eastwood is a good pretender. Usually, he makes things look easy. And this time, the director, Clint Eastwood, may not have things served up front on the table. And even though he has to reach out for it, stretching his hand with enormous effort, he has still got that cowboy-ish smug on his face. As much as fascinating or innovative the idea is, the shift in perspective had to only make it familiar. And aware of this very fine window, Eastwood narrows down the behavior of these men calculatively similar; language changes but not the nature.

Jolting that very fear of being alone in a forsaken land along with fellow companionship who too are equally scared, his version of war may not be crowded or exhilarating as Steven Spielberg's in Saving Private Ryan, but it surely is an homage to those 50s The Bridge On The River Kwai- alike projects. Addition to it, it also has the vocab of that one man army script, as in, amidst all the broken political schemes applied left and right, it is inspiring to see this brutal battlefield, turn into mano-y-mano gritty action that is tailed with the obvious, survival spirit.

Personally, I feel there was a lot to accomplish in here, especially the aftermath of this heroic event. Yes, with an emotionally driven final act, it is quite a full stop Eastwood concludes on, but the film is more about the ongoing action rather than the consequences of it. Partly sinister and partly hopeful, he makes sure that you are at the brisk off your emotions when things break down to either side of the coin; and yes it mostly lands on the losing side, I mean it is about war, for not even the Letter From Iwo Jima could take that away and neither can Eastwood.
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