Critic Reviews

48

Metascore

Based on 29 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
The Great Raid is perhaps more timely now than it would have been a few years ago, when "smart bombs" and a couple of weeks of warfare were supposed to solve the Iraq situation. Now that we are involved in a lengthy and bloody ground war there, it is good to have a film that is not about entertainment for action fans, but about how wars are won with great difficulty, risk, and cost.
75
Philadelphia Inquirer
Lacks the visceral sweep of "Saving Private Ryan." But Spielberg's story, for all its gut-wrenching intensity, was a fiction. Dahl's movie, slower in pace and conscious of its own artifice, addresses the same issues of courage and sacrifice - and tells a true story. That's worth something. In fact, it's worth a lot.
75
Chicago Tribune
The action is brilliant, the combat sharp and rattling, and the film follows the historical record more closely than most Hollywood films.
63
New York Daily News
Not a great movie, but it certainly does justice to the great historical event it dramatizes.
63
Miami Herald
With material like this, Samuel Fuller or David Lean might have fashioned an epic war movie for the ages, chock-full of hard-boiled characters and against-all-odds heroics. But in John Dahl's hands, The Great Raid never really lives up to its name, delivering everything you might expect from such a movie, but not an ounce more.
63
The Great Raid amounts to a noble failure. This is sad news for those of us who remain hopelessly partial to Dahl's mean streak. The failure we can live with. It's the noble part that will never do.
50
Wall Street Journal
For all its noble intentions, its striving for authenticity, its unblinking look at the savagery of war, The Great Raid is far more dutiful than dramatic.
50
The Great Raid tells its story without irony, perspective or any leavening that would make it something other than an ordinary military-action caper.
50
The Hollywood Reporter
The film brings a spectacular but little-known chapter of World War II to the big screen with meticulous attention to period detail -- and almost none to compelling narrative.
38
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.
33
Entertainment Weekly
The main problem? Raid lacks a center. It's an exhausted sprawl with multiple story foci, none of them terribly compelling.

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