The Great Raid 2005

Critics score:
37 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Peter Debruge, Miami Herald: Obsessed with authenticity, the movie simply isn't 'Hollywood' enough. What could have been a valuable history lesson for everyone is just more fodder for military buffs. Read more

Michael Esposito, Chicago Tribune: The action is brilliant, the combat sharp and rattling, and the film follows the historical record more closely than most Hollywood films. Read more

John Hartl, Seattle Times: Dahl's approach may be somewhat pedestrian, but he tells his story clearly and with few unnecessary detours. Read more

Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle: The story line is telegraphed from word one and the meticulous unfolding plot plods ahead inexorably without the slightest bit of suspense. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: Director John Dahl has fashioned a worthy tribute to the soldiers who carried out this seemingly impossible raid. Read more

AV Club: Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: Although the story of The Great Raid may have never been told on film, it's like every other POW movie, in this case made about 45 years too late. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Amounts to a noble failure. Read more

Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times: Divided three ways among the rangers, the prisoners and the resistance fighters in Manila, the movie feels unfocused, schematic and overpopulated. Read more

Scott Brown, Entertainment Weekly: A WWII movie so parched, so Reader's Digest expository, so utterly expressionless, it confuses taciturn Greatest Generation nobility with paralysis. Read more

Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly: It has dreams of sugarplum Oscars dancing in its head, and never stops mistaking spectacle for the truly spectacular. Read more

Jan Stuart, Newsday: Represents another step in the depersonalization of John Dahl. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Dahl gets it half-right, and completely wrong. In studio fashion, he adds a composite character and a love story, which the story really doesn't require. In indie tradition, he refuses to cast any stars -- which the picture desperately needs. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: Not a great movie, but it certainly does justice to the great historical event it dramatizes. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: A tedious World War II epic that slogs across the screen like a forced march in quicksand. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: A great story filled with real heroics deserves better than this. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Unfortunately, although John Dahl's film may have the length one normally expects from a war film with an ambitious trajectory, it lacks focus and the pacing is uneven. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Here is a war movie that understands how wars are actually fought. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: The mission of the film is to inspire. Mission accomplished. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: The picture's broad outline may be fact, but everything inside gets painted in a deep shade of bogus. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: Feels less like a rousing action adventure than a military-sponsored lesson in invincible patriotic payback. Read more

Mike Clark, USA Today: Just about any golden age Hollywood hack could have made a zestier drama about one of the greatest rescue missions in U.S. military history. Read more

Robert Koehler, Variety: This overlong march will bore all but the most nobly patriotic of auds. Read more

Mark Holcomb, Village Voice: Ultimately scotched by History Channel-worthy nostalgia. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: Acting like a big-screen epic but coming across more like a cable TV extravaganza. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: While one might have wished for a better movie, and a few smarter decisions regarding the screenplay, generally it's a riveting, even inspirational account of an American feat of arms about which few know but about which many more should. Read more