War

[7.0] Robert Altman directs this adaptation of David Rabe’s award-winning stage play about four young Vietnam draftees who let their fears and insecurities get the better of them after one of them reveals he’s gay. Streamers is a character study that takes place over two nights in a U.S. army barracks. Matthew Modine plays the all-talk tough guy, David Alan Grier plays the mediator of the …

[7.0] This isn’t the romanticized WWII of modern cinema, it’s probably closer to the real thing. The Story of G.I. Joe is based on print journalist Ernie Pyle’s interviews with soldiers in the field. Pyle was in the foxholes with them, and he was in it for the long haul. His newspaper column became the public’s window into life on the battlefield. William Wellman’s (The …

[8.0] Oliver Stone’s Platoon was one of the first major motion pictures to deal with the Vietnam war. Charlie Sheen stars as an infantry volunteer who finds himself in a moral quandry, torn between two sergeants of differing philosophies. Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe give solid, Oscar-nominated performances as the two sergeants, but it’s the director’s voice that comes through most strikingly in Platoon. As …

[8.0] When it comes to graphic novels brought faithfully to cinematic life, 300 is one to beat. It’s the simple story of how three hundred proud Greek soliders stood valiantly against overwhelming Persian forces in the Battle of Thermopylae. More than anything, 300 is an exercise in style, and with its equal doses of bloodshed and ripped male torsos, it’s probably one of the most …

[8.0] To say this movie is an expose on the horrors of war is an understatement and an oversimplification. War is just a backdrop, and the indictment is a broader one of man’s inhumanity to man. What makes Paths of Glory different from other anti-war films is that the injustice comes not from the enemy, but from within. After French soliders refuse a suicide mission …

[6.5] There is at least a certain amount of fun to be had in watching Clint Eastwood pump lead into Nazis. Where Eagles Dare is about a group of Allied forces trying to raid a Nazi stronghold to rescue a captured General who knows the secret plans of D-Day. The film tries very hard to be The Guns of Navarone (they’re both written by Alistair MacLean). …

[6.0] Richard Attenborough (Gandhi, Chaplin) reenacts the elaborate but doomed Operation Market Garden, a World War II strategy the Allied Forces valiantly attempted to execute in order to defeat German Forces in the Netherlands. A Bridge Too Far is a three-hour Cliffs Notes version of a historical event, largely plot-driven, with a lot of cross-cutting storylines being juggled at all times. The all-star cast get little …

[7.5] Christopher Nolan serves up a wartime survival flick about Allied soldiers stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk, France, while the German army surrounds them. The water was so shallow, warships couldn’t pick up the troops, so loading the hundreds of thousands of soldiers was simply impossible. But the battle later became known as ‘The Miracle of Dunkirk,’ as hundreds of civilian boats came to the military’s …

[7.0] William Holden leads an ensemble cast in Billy Wilder’s adaptation of Stalag 17. The film takes place entirely in a German prisoner-of-war barrack, where the captured Americans are beginning to suspect that Holden’s pessimistic black marketeer character may be informing on them to the Germans. But Holden knows better — that there’s a German spy planted in their midst, secretly thwarting all their chances …

[7.0] Paul Verhoeven (RoboCop, Turkish Delight) draws upon his memories growing up in 1940s war-torn Holland for this adaptation of Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema’ autobiography. When the Nazi’s occupied the Netherlands, Roelfzema and several classmates left college to join the resistance. Soldier of Orange begins with fraternity initiation, shortly before war was declared. Rutger Hauer plays Roelfzema’s alter-ego, Erik, who spends the first half of the picture …

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