Top 5000
Down 32 this week

The Thin Red Line (1998)

R  |   |  Drama, War  |  15 January 1999 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 131,265 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 1,443 user | 153 critic | 32 from

Terrence Malick's adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.



(novel), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Top 25 Trivia Items From the Last 25 Years

Here are some amazing facts and figures to deepen your appreciation of the movies you love.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 13 Jun 2011
a list of 35 titles
created 29 Oct 2012
a list of 32 titles
created 26 Jan 2013
a list of 27 titles
created 24 Apr 2013
a list of 31 titles
created 10 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Thin Red Line (1998)

The Thin Red Line (1998) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Thin Red Line.

User Polls

Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 25 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The New World (2005)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of the English exploration of Virginia, and of the changing world and loves of Pocahontas.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Colin Farrell, Q'orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of a family in Waco, Texas in 1956. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents' conflicting teachings.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A hot-tempered farm laborer convinces the woman he loves to marry their rich but dying boss so that they can have a claim to his fortune.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard
Badlands (1973)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An impressionable teen girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend go on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at The Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in WWII.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Barry Pepper, Joseph Cross
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it.

Director: Randall Wallace
Stars: Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe, Greg Kinnear
To the Wonder (2012)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After falling in love in Paris, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems arise. Their church's Spanish-born pastor struggles with his faith, while Neil encounters a woman from his childhood.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

123 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore
Platoon (1986)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young recruit in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe
Windtalkers (2002)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two U.S. Marines in WWII are assigned to protect Navajo Marines who use their native language as an unbreakable radio cypher.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach, Peter Stormare
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader.

Director: Andrew Dominik
Stars: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard


Cast overview, first billed only:
Marty Bell
Pfc - Beade


In World War II, the outcome of the battle of Guadalcanal will strongly influence the Japanese advance into the Pacific theater. A group of young soldiers is brought in as a relief for the battle-weary Marines. The exhausting fight for a strategically-positioned airfield that allows control over a 1000-mile radius puts the men of the Army rifle company C-for-Charlie through hell. The horrors of war form the soldiers into a tight-knit group; their emotions develop into bonds of love and even family. The reasons for this war get further away as the world for the men gets smaller and smaller until their fighting is for mere survival and the life of the other men with them. Written by Julian Reischl <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Every man fights his own war.


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for realistic war violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | |

Release Date:

15 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La delgada línea roja  »

Box Office


$52,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$223,548 (USA) (25 December 1998)


$36,385,763 (USA) (7 May 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Was released the same year as Saving Private Ryan. See more »


There is a modern, fiberglass and foam surfboard on the beach. See more »


[first lines]
Private Edward P. Train: What's this war in the heart of nature? Why does nature vie with itself? The land contend with the sea? Is there an avenging power in nature? Not one power, but two?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Composer Wrangler. . . Moanike'ala Nakamoto See more »


Referenced in Perception: Warrior (2013) See more »


The Unanswered Question
Composed by Charles Ives
Performed by The Orchestra of St. Luke's
Conducted by John Adams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A haunting exploration of the meanings of life, death and war through the eyes of a group of disenchanted soldiers
2 November 2001 | by (Brisbane, Australia) – See all my reviews

This is one of the most beautifully crafted and haunting films that I have ever seen. Not only is the amazing ensemble cast give truly beautiful, effective performances, but the direction and cinematography combines to create a magnificent visual and mental feast.

This story about the Guadalcanal campaign during WW2, based on the James Jones novel, weaves the lives of many characters together seemlessly, creating a philosophical/emotional experience of war. It's not just about war. It's about love, faith in yourself and others, friendship, humanity, morality and also works as a startling indictment of man's conflict with nature. The amazing opening sequence, sets up a tranquility as the character Witt, finds peace on a secluded island among the natives, a peace which is shattered by the war.

What follows is not a mindless battle-after-battle onslaught of pyrotechnics, smoke, dust and blood, but a thought-provoking, visually and verbally poetic analysis of war and humanity. In my opinion it is the greatest war film since Apocalypse now, which I believe bears more flaws than this. It's not an Us-and-Them war story about the glory of the USA defeating the evil Japs. It sticks close with the characters, as we hear the thoughts, their hopes, their fears, leading to a moving experience.

This film was released a few months after Saving Private Ryan and unfortunately did not experience the same attention that the latter film did. Ryan was an excellent film, but to offer a comparison, The Thin Red LIne treads where Ryan didn't dare. Ryan sat in the safe territory of Good vs Evil with a bit of Futility of War and a lot of American Patriotism. It seemed to be more about America at some points than about war. The Thin Red Line is about war, the people involved and the destruction it creates for the mind, the soul and for nature. It does not deviate from this to make simple contrasts and offer easy binary oppositions.

In fact, TTRL is not an easy film. Gasp, it even tries to make you think. Though the title is not really explained in the film, I believe it is implied, and could have many meanings - the line between sanity and insanity, morality and immorality, love and hate, companionship and loneliness, nature and man, war and peace. While the characters share their thoughts, deeply poetic as they are, the meaning is not thrown in your face and neither is the answer to the questions raised. In this way it is the most thought-provoking war film I've ever seen and one of the best films of all time in my book. Top ten easily.

Now to my whinge. I think TTRL was shunned unmercifully at the 1999 Oscars. Shakespeare in Love beat two brilliant films - TTRL and Elizabeth - to get that oscar, and don't get me started on Gwyneth's award. This is the best film of 1998/9, in line with Elizabeth. It's unfortunate that the two, thoug h greatly revered, did not achieve the success and attention they deserved.

Don't be afraid by its length, it's a beautiful journey, full of rich colour, sound and the reward is a deeply moving human experience, unlike any other that the past decade has offered.

170 of 210 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
the baby bird. a question. AudgePaudge
Can someone help me understand why someone would hate this movie? DArKnight108
Everyone left the theater... mrpink18
Weapons dcantrell-59764
Thin Red Line vs. Saving Private Ryan -- The Better Movie? aeternalis
Captain Staros was a weak leader forwrdlif
Discuss The Thin Red Line (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: