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

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Excellent and outstanding. Hits the mark on a true war time action in WWII

10/10
Author: jimary56 from Florida
14 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Great Raid has a beginning, a middle and an end. Tightly scripted and well acted by all concerned. A well turned look at a military action that was forgotten and only remembered by those who's lives were changed on that day. It's poor reception by critics is a puzzle and why it sat in the can for three years is an unknown. The rangers and the American POWs are the heroes in this movie. The action is stark and without pity although the "love" story was a slight distraction but the intent was to show that for many Filipinos, the American POWs were not forgotten and would be helped even though the Japanese response was normally brutal and without mercy. The audience that viewed the picture with my wife and I were mostly older military retirees and many cried at what was being showed. Most stayed until all the movie credits were completed, something one normally doesn't see. This is a must see movie because the raid was true and this movie depicts it well. The 500 US POWs freed by this raid had been forgotten by all except the 6th Ranger Bn. Howaa.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A REAL War Epic

10/10
Author: mrgman from United States
14 August 2005

An excellent movie depicting a REAL event. A well portrayed war yarn that is not over the top. This is the way movies should be made. John Dahl did a great job as did the entire cast. If you are looking for Spielberg, Hanks, Dsvid Lean, or big dollar CG this movie is not for you. If you are interested in a SOLID film based on a overlooked war even this movie will definitely satisfy.

Let's face it there are very few war films made these days and this one is TOPS. Henry Mucci's character as well as the 6th Rangers preparation for the raid could have been better developed but the overall depictation of this historic event is well done.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Strong on story; a little light on action

Author: Harry T. Yung (harry_tk_yung@yahoo.com) from Hong Kong
13 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Billed as "inspired by true events" in the opening credits and "the most successful rescue mission in US military history" in the end credits, this movie is shot in such a traditional style that it could have been taken as having been made in the 60s. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

Depicting events taking place in 5 days, this movie has a clear focus of telling the story of the rescue of 500 prisoners of war from slaughter in the Philippines just prior to Japan's surrender. Two parallel story lines, about the prisons and the rescue troop, provide good alternating angles in this two-hour plus movie. The prison camp story, augmented by a simple subplot of the underground resistance movement of the Filipinos, is rich in human stories of endurance, illness, comradeship, courage, as well as cruelty and atrocity. The story of the rescue troop, understandably, takes a secondary role, dwelling mainly on tactical development. Still, we see a mild personality conflict between commander and subordinate, which ends in mutual respect.

It isn't until the two story lines finally converge (the rescue mission reaching the POW camp) that we finally see some action. Those looking for continuous action throughout the movie may be disappointed but the action sequence, when we finally get to it, is very capably shot and well paced with clarity that the audience can easily follow (but don't expect gut-spilling reality in the vein of "Saving Private Ryan"). More importantly, the stories preceding this exciting finale are well watchable (albeit a tad too long) and well cast.

First, on the prison camp front, that Joseph Fiennes is a good actor should not require particular vouching but the closest he ever came to a war movie is probably Enemies at the Gate (which is not really a typical war movie), until this one. His persona here is that of the "enduring hero", a POW plagued with malaria and yet holding up as an inspiration to his fellow prisoners. Playing his best friend is Marton Csokas who played the bad guy in "Kingdom of heaven". Connie Nielsen (who gave a good performance in "Basic", left an impression in "The hunted" and had a role in the overrated "Gladiator") played a nurse, who is involved also with the Filipino underground resistance, in a Manila hospital under Japanese occupation.

On the rescuer front, James Franco (superb in "Sonny" but unquestionably much better known as Spider Man's nemesis) probably leaves the most favourable impression in this moving, playing a young gallant captain. Benjamin Bratt, who can be traced back to the first "Miss Congeniality" playing opposite Sandra Bullock, is the commander of the rescue troop.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The Great Raid

9/10
Author: futurestevenspielberg from United States
12 August 2005

A Action/Drama/War based in the Philippines during world war two about a battalion of rangers including Lt. Colonel Mucci(Benjamin Bratt,Miss Congeniality) and Captain Prince(James Franco,Spider-Man).Who are ordered to set out on a mission to liberate 500 American soldiers(POW's) that have been in a Japanese POW camp for 3 years including Major Gibson(Joseph Fiennes,Enemy at the Gates) and Captain Redding(Marton Csokas,xXx).

Benjamin Bratt(Lt. Colonel Mucci)did a great job this is definitely the best movie he has done so far.James Franco(Captain Prince)showed me that he is not just a mediocre actor he is much much more and I expect big things out of him.Joseph Fiennes(Major Gibson)was exactly what I expected him to be he was great!!.Marton Csokas(Captain Redding)has really come along way from his "xXx" days he gave a very solid performance and he did a good job thinning out his accent.I am surprised that John Dahl(Director)was able to pull "The Great Raid" off the only real credible thing he has done was "Joy Ride" and I really didn't like that movie at all.The screenplay was great one of the things that bothered me however is that I think that soldiers in world war two would have used a little fowler language but I wasn't there so I cant be certain.The raid scene when the rangers were rescuing the POW's was excellent it is on a par with the last battle scene in "Saving Private Ryan".The storyline was great I have a feeling that it was pretty close to what really happened but again I wasn't there so I wouldn't know.I really liked how at the end of the movie they showed a bunch of footage of the real Lt. Colonel Mucci and Captain Prince and all of the pow's it showed how well the actors had there characters down.

Best actor/actress-James Franco

You can not afford to not see this movie-Jake Hyden

I gave this movie a 9 out of 10

Rated-(R) for strong war violence and brief language.

9/10

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The Great Raid

10/10
Author: aleq483 from Manila, Philippines
11 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers...

I watched this film yesterday (First Day) and all I could say is that it exceeded my expectations. The length of the movie did not bother me because the scenes were executed finely and according to some of the reviews I read, was at most historically accurate. With regard to the cast, a lot of character development came from James Franco (Spider-Man), and supporting roles from Benjamin Bratt (Catwoman) and Ralph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love). Of course our very own Cesar Montano (Jose Rizál) who was very "brown" and symbolically represented the "guerilleros" at that time was always at his best. One of the strongest and breath-taking scenes were showing the City of Manila, with a street filled with streetcars (named Meralco), churches, business establishments and the Pasig River which was the gateway of commerce. It was mentioned at the movie how magnificent the city was and why it was called the "Pearl of the Orient" because it served as a link between Europe, The Americas and Asia. Signs of corruption were evident. There were some inconsistencies in the Tagalog dialect but overall the film justified what happened back then. :-)

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The Raid May Have Been Great, But The Movie Isn't

2/10
Author: petesea from United States
24 April 2009

The raid to save POW survivors of the Bataan Death March took place over 5 days in January 1945 after US troops landed in the Philippines. This movie seems 5 days long as well – the plot inches along and there are so many characters that we hardly get to know any of them.

Why is the US POW senior officer so obsessed with the wife of his former commanding officer? I am not sure as this is not explained well. Why is the Colonel whose men have to raid the POW camp misunderstood and what are the "methods to his madness?" Again, not sure. Let's fool the Japanese by sending a single plane to buzz the camp while our troops are sneaking through open ground around the camp in daylight – you've got to be kidding!

The only interesting aspects to this story were the actions of the Filipino resistance (who knew there was one?) and the fact that only 2 raiders lost their lives on this attack – I thought was a Hollywood thing, but it is a fact.

Do not bother with this overacted, slow, boring movie.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

a excellent film about a little known raid

9/10
Author: texican1836_45 from United States
22 September 2005

I found this movie to be a very good film that touches a subject that we seem to have forgotten the POWs held by the Japanese and how they were treated. We need to remember that WWII was not started by the USA nor where the Japanese mere innocent victims of the Atomic Bombs. The Japanses were in a war to exert their racial superiority and political ideologies over those the conquered. they treated POs with contempt, and disdain killing them with very little thought to the concepts or rules of Western War that the Americans, British, Dutch, and French fought by. Only using the concepts and rules of Feudal Japan.

This story is about a raid made by a company of Rangers to secure and bring home American POWs held by the Japanese. And the assistance they received from the Filapino underground fighters that helped them.

If you ant to watch a movie that will keep you interested, intrigued and on the edge of your seat with excitement and suspense this is a movie you want to see.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Excellent!

10/10
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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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Reviews from professional critics are disappointing...

10/10
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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3 out of 6 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.

10/10
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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