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The Great Raid
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Great Raid More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

This movie should get more recognition

10/10
Author: ssbn657 from United States
31 December 2005

I read the book "Ghost Soldiers" awhile back. It was great. This movie, now out on DVD, was a good translation from print to screen. It did not do weell in release; maybe few are left that want to see a great WWII flick. In the spirit of John Wayne and others, this is a perfect WWII movie. This is a real story of how US POWs suffered under the Japanese Army. The plan, on the part of the Japanese, was to eliminate any evidence of war crimes and then slip away to Japan. The plan on the part of the US was to rescue the POWs. It shows how much the US Military progressed, in tatics and equipment, as the war evolved. Also, we get a good view of the Phillipine Resistance who took on the Japanese for 3 years. I found the scenes very moving at times and at times I got angry about the treatment of POWs and humanitarian workers. I recommend that you rent this movie,and sit back and enjoy it.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Saw special (History Channel?) & director on Fox prior to Movie - Excellent

9/10
Author: Tom C from United States
13 August 2005

Prior to seeing the movie, my son and I were lucky enough to catch 2 events on TV; a special on the historical accuracy of the movie (we believe it was the History Channel), and the director on Fox (Fri night with Oliver North).

The movie was even more powerful knowing that everything in the movie (with the exception of the love theme) was accurate - timing, casualties, key participants, everything. Knowing that there was no Hollywood enhancement to the overall event made it even more compelling.

If you're a history buff or just like movies that "get it right", I would strongly recommend seeing this movie.

Seems this may have been on the shelf for a little while. I'm glad they decided to bring it out. Good stuff!!

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A story worth telling but not told well

3/10
Author: R FC from New York
13 March 2006

I like a good war story but this is not one. The film has a Disney look and the characters all look like they're acting. It feels like it has all been done before and a lot better, especially by David Lean. With a feel of a Hollywood set,combined with a make-shift love story, I never became involved, except when the shooting starts in the last 20 minutes. Up until then, I had my finger on the fast forward button a great deal. The actual war footage, and the fact that the raid was based on a true story is all that keeps this film from being ignored. Such an event deserves to have been given a better director. I did enjoy the bonus materials much more as they had interesting interviews with the real POW's, and the time-line of the pacific war was a good synopsis of what occurred. Too bad the film was not as captivating.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Rare Movie Look At A Japanese POW Camp

6/10
Author: sddavis63 (revsdd@gmail.com) from Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada
2 December 2013

After the American evacuation of the Philippines following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, thousands of American servicemen were abandoned to the Japanese enemy, finding themselves facing brutal conditions in Japanese POW camps, and feeling forgotten by their country. "The Great Raid" is the portrayal of a rescue mission to save five hundred of those POWs at the Cabanatuan camp before they're killed by their captors, as the Americans begin to close in during the closing days of the war.

As far as I can recall there haven't been very many movies depicting conditions in Japanese POW camps. "Bridge On The River Kwai" springs to mind, but this is the only other one I think I've come across. It's always hard to judge the accuracy of how the enemy is portrayed in a movie like this. In this case, though, we do know that the Japanese were in fact brutal captors. Surrender was the ultimate dishonour, and prisoners, therefore, were seen as deserving of neither honour nor respect. The conditions portrayed in the camp, therefore, were believable and probably historically accurate.

The portrayal of camp conditions is one of the highlights of the movie. The other is the actual raid carried out. It was portrayed in great detail and, again, in a very believable way. The basic problem with this movie, though, is that it repeatedly seems to get bogged down. Frankly, when the movie strays from those two subjects it just isn't that interesting, and all the various sidebars end up making this longer than it needed to be. The character of Margaret Utinski (played by Connie Nielsen) was especially problematic. Utinski was a real person - and a winner of the Medal of Honour - but there are historical questions about her life, and there was certainly no romance involved in her actions, as is suggested throughout the movie.

Aside from Nielsen, the cast were fine, but in all honesty no one stood out to me as outstanding. As I've suggested, there are certainly aspects of this movie that make it worthwhile viewing, but it certainly can't be mistaken for a masterpiece. (6/10)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Simply Amazing

8/10
Author: Richmond Sim from Philippines
22 September 2012

My friend told me about this movie and said that this was shot in the Philippines and is quite good for the genre of war films, so I pursued finding a DVD to watch this and find it myself whether it really is good or not.

The whole film technically was about journeying towards the end of the second world war where American soldiers were trapped and they are to be rescued. However, the film went beyond the storyline which made it better. It showed not only friendship but camaraderie, and showed not only battalions but brotherhood.

The actors really did well, including local actors coming from the Philippines. They really did raised the tension on the part of the audience. I, for one, was so affected.

I understand that darkness added to the effects of the film, but how I hope they added some lights on most scenes because it was quite difficult for viewers to watch long dark scenes. It appeared to be very dull and thus the interest of viewers is slowly fading out.

I also have noticed some goofs on geography. They could have researched more on this because it was a big turn off especially for Filipinos watching who really does know the proper names of the places.

However, despite some criticisms, I'd still give it 8 because the whole package was tough and rough, but is very good to watch.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Tribute To Americans And Filipinos During World War II

8/10
Author: TheArizonian2014 from United States
31 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Great Raid is a World War II film about the Raid at Cabanatuan that located in the Philippines.It was adapted from William Breuer's book of the same name.It stars Benjamin Bratt, Joseph Fiennes, James Franco, Connie Nielsen, Motoki Kobayashi and Filipino actor,Cesar Montano. It tells the story of the liberation of the Cabanatuan Prison Camp by the US Military with the help of Filipino guerrillas.It is directed by John Dahl.

During the waning days of World War II,General Douglas MacArthur chose to make good on a pledge that he made in 1942 that he would return to the Philippines after he and his troops were forced to retreat. However, MacArthur's determination was more than a matter of pride. Over 500 American soldiers were being held in Cabanatuan, a notoriously brutal prisoner of war camp in the Philippines operated by the Japanese army, and MacArthur wanted to see to it that they made it home. MacArthur chose Lt. Col. Henry Mucci to lead the Sixth Ranger Battalion on a mission 30 miles behind enemy lines to infiltrate Cabanatuan and liberate the American prisoners. With the help of Capt. Prince, Mucci leads his men on a life-or-death raid against forces known for their savagery with the help of Filipino guerrillas.

The conclusion of the movie,which was the raid of the prison camp,was well-done by the filmmakers.Unfortunately,the film ran too long due to many subplots such as a love story before the raid.Had the film just focused on what it was suppose to be,it could have been shorter and probably would have become a brilliant film.The performances of the cast were worthy of merit especially Filipino actor,Cesar Montano in his first Hollywood film.In summary,The Great Raid would have become a great film had it focused on the raid itself.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Based on the book Ghost Soldiers (a true story)

8/10
Author: wlb from Sacramento CA
12 October 2007

Sometimes the truth is better than any made-for-Hollywood script. This movie is about an untested Ranger Battalion who volunteered to go miles behind enemy lines on Luzon and rescue the remnants of starved American POWs.

It left a small part of the book out - how an advanced scout group was able to sneak in right under the Japanese to give an intel report.

But a few hundred Rangers were able to go 30 miles behind enemy lines - come in under night cover - sneak across 800 yards of cleared area around 10,000 Japanese to rescue these men.

This movie certainly honors those soldiers - about a battle that was hardly known to the country before the book was published.

It also honored an American nurse who stayed in Manila - worked with the Philippine underground and smuggled in medicine saving 100s of lives in the concentration camp.

And it is a all true history - the closing credits show films of the actual characters.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Agreement

8/10
Author: ekampfer from United States
1 October 2007

Yes, I agree with your comments. It must have been really special when all those people showed up in San Francisco. Those soldiers felt as if they had been forgotten and left for dead.

Well, this is a story that needed to be told. I couldn't remember if it was factual, but the stats at the end confirmed that it was.

There was another raid on a civilian camp in the Phillipines. It was on a lake. It was attacked simultaneously from the air, land , and water. There was a movie or a recreation on The History Channel about that one.

Whenever I get a little tired, hot, cold, hungry, I think about those guys in the jungles of Viet Nam, the freezing cold of Korea, or a multitude of discomforts of WWII and I say I can go on. I can do this. Just think about what those guys went through.

P.G.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

This movie touched me personally

7/10
Author: rohdil from United States
7 February 2006

I really enjoyed this movie because I felt that I had a personal connection with the characters. I am half Filipino and understand Tagalog.

On my dad's side of the family, I have relatives that fought that war in the Philippies. On my mother's side, I have relatives who fought in the underground resistance. Many of them were beheaded for helping the Americans.

In addition, this film shows a very personal side to war. It shows the heart and the real reason for war, not the political or military benefits. This is a war movie, yes, but it is also a very touching story of friendship, love, and sacrifice.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Excellent

9/10
Author: irwinth from United States
25 January 2006

This was a Phenomenal movie! I'm a huge fan of WWII and have read Hampton Sides' book "Ghost Soldiers." The movie remained highly accurate to history (except for love story) while being entertaining and also honoring our country's deserving veterans. Most historical movies fudge the plot line in order to make an entertaining film. This film did a wonderful job of keeping with the integrity of the actual story without losing any part of its entertainment value. Those men who participated in this raid and those being rescued are all heroes to the last man. My hat's off to all World War II veterans and all of our Veterans of the Armed Services.

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