Flags of Our Fathers 2006

Critics score:
73 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: If Flags of Our Fathers lacks human dimension, though, it certainly succeeds as an exploration of the nature of heroism. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Once this World War II drama finds its footing -- and much of the film goes by before it does - it's extremely moving. At the end, a flag dances quietly in a whispering breeze, celebrating the film's real-life heroes as eloquently as any words. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: There's a tremendous amount of material here, and the script covers too much of it, often confusingly. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Consistently the film is, while not exactly patriotic, at least respectful. And even though it focuses on a battle and a war that took place some 60 years ago, it remains all too resonant and relevant today. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: [Flags] fits into Eastwood's late-in-life agenda -- to make violence, even in self-defense, seem soul-killing, and to expose the gulf between reality and myth. After this, how can we ever again make our peace with the iconography of war? Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: This is underimagined and so thesis ridden that it's nearly over before it starts. Read more

Joanne Kaufman, Wall Street Journal: His is a deeply affecting account, admittedly a sometimes muddy one, of the band of brothers in THE iconic photograph of World War II. Read more

Ebert & Roeper: Read more

Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Flags is classic Eastwood, filmed with weighty purpose and, often, skilled precision. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: Clint Eastwood's Flags Of Our Fathers seems like a potent piece of revisionist history, boldly examining what heroism really means and how it can be manufactured for the "greater good." Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: You could argue that the story is as much about the aftermath as the battle, but Eastwood still jumps around too much. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: It's a monumental subject, and this heartsick but diffuse movie only occasionally glimpses its entirety. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: His sad true story wrings you out emotionally because it's concerned with both the deaths of young men in battle and what happens when the needs of those who survive clash with what society expects and politics demands. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: Flags of Our Fathers may well be an accurate depiction of war-zone tumult and its psychic wounds, but that does not make for a cogent narrative. Read more

Tom Charity, CNN.com: The full weight of a lifetime's experience has been brought to bear in the unobtrusive staging, the delicate score (by Eastwood himself), and a thoughtful, honest accounting of World War II's bloodiest and most iconic battle. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Clearly Eastwood wants the story of what happened to these men to resonate as much for our own era as for theirs. It's a movie about the toll that heroism extracts in a wartime culture ready-made for heroes. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Some movies and their makers are essential to our understanding of ourselves. Eastwood has become such a director. With Flags, he once again proves he is filmmaker for what ails us but also for what can make us extraordinary. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: There's some slight, indefinable lack to Flags of Our Fathers, some piece of missing brimstone that keeps it from setting the heart afire, leaving it a wholly admirable piece of filmmaking, but nothing more. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: In Flags of Our Fathers, Eastwood is here to tell us that the reality of World War II was scarier and darker than any inspirational photograph. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: Clint Eastwood has played his share of heroes in the movies. Yet when he directs, his films tend to look at the American legend-making machinery through a critical, squinting eye. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: Flags of Our Fathers is as handsome and gutsy as we want all our soldiers to be. That they can't always live up to our needs has more to do with us than with them. Read more

Jan Stuart, Newsday: As a storyteller, Eastwood has rarely seen a period that he couldn't transform into an ellipsis or exclamation mark. Read more

Lisa Rose, Newark Star-Ledger: The cliches undermine the power of the story. Read more

Bob Mondello, NPR.org: Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: In his no-nonsense style, the 76-year-old filmmaker is merely telling the story he was given. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: [Captures] the spirit of our time with its mixture of cynicism and idealism, irony and conviction, satiric skepticism and red-blooded patriotism. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Symbols can be moving and powerful summations of feelings. But they should never take the place of the truth. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: At its best, Flags of Our Fathers is eye opening and though provoking. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Eastwood's two-film project is one of the most visionary of all efforts to depict the reality and meaning of battle. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com: The flaws in Flags of Our Fathers are at least partly attributable to Eastwood's attempts to do too much. Still, even when he overreaches, he somehow hits the mark. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Flags of Our Fathers is as painstaking as a documentary but without the satisfaction of a documentary or the impact of a drama. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: It feels disrespectful to say it, but this kind of war movie, like war itself, is starting to feel sickeningly familiar. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times: An American masterpiece. It is a searing and powerful work from a 76-year-old artist who remains at the top of his game. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: The case is strong; it's the casing, the film, that is uneven and redundant. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: If the larger vision in Flags is somewhat out of focus, there are many small glimpses and grace notes that show Eastwood's well-developed sense of the particular in revealing a larger truth. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: In Flags of Our Fathers, the story behind that Iwo Jima image, Clint Eastwood has crafted a bold and meticulous epic. Read more

Geoff Andrew, Time Out: Here, the feelings run very deep, and dark as dried blood, with Clint aware that some things don't need to be said and others shouldn't be shown. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: It is one of the year's best films and perhaps the finest modern film about World War II. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: A pointed exploration of heroism -- in its actual and in its trumped-up, officially useful forms -- the picture welds a powerful account of the battle of Iwo Jima... with an ironic and ultimately sad look at its aftermath for three key survivors. Read more

Scott Foundas, Village Voice: With Flags, Eastwood has made one of his best films -- a searching, morally complex deconstruction of the Greatest Generation that is nevertheless rich in the sensitivity to human frailty that has become his signature as a filmmaker. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: Flags of Our Fathers stands with the best movies of this young century and the old one that preceded it: It's passionate, honest, unflinching, gripping, and it pays respects. Read more