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The Great Raid More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Very Well Done!!!

Author: pr24user-1 from Tulare, California
8 March 2006

I've read the book and seen the film, & i can honestly say that this is the war movie of the terms of story, script and acting...clever the fact that it really did happened, and our veterans consider the Raid in Cabanatuan a very dangerous mission but turned out to be the most successful one, very excellent film! will reminds you of the saying "live and learn" and never forget your history!...Please be informed that in the book, their Sgt. didn't die...He did survive and saw him once at History Channel rekindling the his memorable WWII experience...Just a very excellent film............for those of you who loves war movies, this is a must see really is good.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

This movie should get more recognition

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 7 people found the following review useful:


Author: pied from Ohio
18 September 2005

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Based on actual events, The Great Raid tells of the rescue of 500 American POW's interred in the Philippines by the Japanese. The Japanese, during WWII were fanatical fighters and brutal captors. They considered surrender dishonorable not only for themselves but for anyone who surrendered to them. To be a prisoner of the Japanese during WWII was to suffer.

These 500 Americans were scheduled for execution by burning as hundreds of prisoners had perished before them.

Another overlooked fact about the war in the Pacific was the bravery of the Philippine people, both their soldiers and civilians.

This movie hasn't been a big hit so far, but it deserves to be.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Reviews from professional critics are disappointing...

Author: tonysoppranose from United States
2 September 2005

Having read "Ghost Soldiers" I was interested in seeing this movie but on opening day not a single theater in my county was running it. Eventually a Regal theater in the next town had it and I went to a matinée where every other moviegoer (all 15 of them) was over the age of 75. No, this isn't a moneymaker, but it is a salute the greatest generation....

Of course that's why the professional reviews were so poor. Professional reviewers today are not of the greatest generation, they're of the 60s generation. The 60s generation condemns the film as "propoganda" with "negative Japanese stereotypes", when the reality is Japanese brutality was much more horrific than shown in this film. I'm sure the use of the word "Jap" in the film also made them cringe. (As an aside, it's Japanese-Americans who are on a crusade to rid the world of the term, not Japanese.) In my opinion, this film is better than Saving Private Ryan and Thin Red Line. It's the best American made Pacific War film I have scene since Empire of the Sun. Read one of the books on which the film is based and then go see it. The differences are minimal.

This movie should be required viewing in all high school classrooms.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Exciting and heart-wrenching American POW action-drama plus the heroes who rescue them: U.S. troops, Filipino guerrillas and the civilian underground.

Author: (emvinluan-1) from United States
15 August 2005

The classic World War II POW film is "Stalag 17" and now "The Great Raid" can join those ranks. Movie audiences have had many examples of war-torn European cities so it is significant to complete that visual history with pictures of wartime Manila. Presenting the role of the Filipino guerrillas and underground network playing their crucial role in the war also makes history more complete.

Great care was taken with the cinematography that gives a feel for the historical period with sepia tones. I appreciated the fact that this film was not used as a vehicle for a Hollywood celebrity's career nor used as mindless entertainment, like empty calories. I was surprised to find out later how long the movie actually was because it didn't seem that long; it was well paced, always filled with something interesting -- story-wise and visually.

My Filipino uncles were guerrillas who fought in that war, survived the Bataan Death March, and they were realistically presented -- finally! Now hopefully, the world will give Filipino World War II veterans their rightful recognition AND,coincidently, return veterans' benefits which the U.S. Congress denied or reneged on immediately after World War II. Because even though they fought under the U.S. flag and U.S. military leadership, Filipino World War II veterans were treated unjustly when it came to getting medical treatment at U.S. military veterans hospitals and the other usual veterans benefits (pensions, etc.). These veterans and their advocates and Filipino community activists have held protest demonstrations and presented legislation to Congress to have their veterans benefits restored. This movie shows why they deserve it!

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

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

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 9 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Movie: GO SEE THIS MOVIE

Author: surdavid2004 from United States
15 August 2005

My wife & I saw the movie on opening weekend. We don't go to the movies very often any more, because most of what is produced is garbage. This was a fast-moving, dramatic movie. It is on par with "Saving Private Ryan", "Band of Brothers", and "The Longest Day". It was refreshing, and a great relief, to see a movie that portrayed Americans as heroes, instead of "the bad guys". It was not concerned about portraying the Japanese as the enemy. This is not a "politically correct" movie (maybe that's why the reviews have not been 4 stars). I noticed a few seniors in the theater, and wondered, since I'm in a military retirement town, if any had participated in this "Great Raid". The Pacific Theatre has not received as much recognition as the war in Europe. I rarely purchase DVDs, but this is one I intend to buy, and watch again and again. In short, GO SEE THIS MOVIE.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Good story done poorly

Author: mayhem-4 from Memphis, TN
15 August 2005

Director John Dahl missed an opportunity to make a compelling story into a great move. Not only did he miss the boat, he never made it to the dock. The best part of the movie is the post-credits actual footage of the aftermath of the rescue.

After such great recent WWII dramas as "Saving Private Ryan" and "When Trumpets Fade", Dahl chose to follow the model of a sub-par war flick like John Woo's "Windtalker", where he tried to force a romantic interest into a situation where it was totally out of place.

Hampton Sides provided plenty of plot and action in his book "Ghost Soldiers" that a good screenplay could have drawn from, unfortunately it did not occur.

I will say, the actual rescue scenes are energized and exciting but it is too little too late in the movie to prop up this cinematic failure.

Costume design!!! What did they do, go pick up some fresh uniforms off the rack for the POWs. These guys had been held in captivity for 3 1/2 years with the same clothes that they had survived months on Batan wearing. In reality their uniforms were mere rags, which should have been an easy detail to get right. Malnutrition - the prisoners looked better fed than I am. Really poor attention to detail.

James Franco's roll as Capt. Prince, one of the raid leaders, could have been played by a mannequin. He was awful, no wonder I'd never heard of him.

Read the books, skip the movie until you can get it on video.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

2 Thumbs Up!!!!

Author: humantorch125 from United States
14 August 2005

I've just returned from this movie a few hours ago and I have to admit, this is by far one of the best war films ever made! Since this movie is based on true events I think everyone should see it to get a better understanding of what some of our soldiers went through in World War 2. They must have made this movie very accurate to the real thing because I was sitting next to an old couple in the theater and they were crying throughout almost the entire film, so I believe that they might have actually been in World War 2. Aside from that though, the movie itself is unbelievable. The acting is close to perfection, the cinematography is flawless, and the score finishes off very nicely. I advise anyone who has not seen this movie to get to your local theater A.S.A.P.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Very Good Movie

Author: rvenezia from United States
10 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The best World War II movie dealing with the Pacific Theather of the war. I saw a sneak peek of the movie on Saturday. The movie is a stirring tribute to the 6th Ranger Regiment and the prisoners of wars in the Cabanatuan camp. In American military history never had so many Americans surrendered at one time then surrendered in 1942 in the Philippines. After the surrender of the American soldiers on Philippines, they were put through three years of hell. From the Japanese mistreatment and murder of prisoners and the lack of food and water the prisoners had almost lost hope.

At the beginning of the movie there was a very sad and moving scene showing Japanese soldiers butchering and burning alive 150 American POWS at Palawan. The whole rest of the movie shows the 6th Ranger Regiment moving towards their objective to free 513 American and Allied prisoners of war at Cabanatuan, and the inside of the camp.

The last 30 minutes of the movie probably was the best ending in any movie I've seen in a while. The Raid was well shoot and was moving. By the end of the movie, nearly everyone in the movie theater was crying or at least shedding a few tears. The movie was probably one the best of 2005.

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