Critic Reviews

89

Metascore

Based on 37 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Letters From Iwo Jima, takes audiences to a place that would seem unimaginable for an American director. Daring and significant, it presents a picture from life's other side, not only showing what wartime was like for our Japanese adversaries on that island in the Pacific but also actually telling the story in their language. Which turns out to be no small thing.
100
Entertainment Weekly
Clint Eastwood's profound, magisterial, and gripping companion piece to his ambitious meditation on wartime image and reality, "Flags of Our Fathers."
100
Eastwood's direction here is a thing of beauty, blending the ferocity of the classic films of Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai) with the delicacy and unblinking gaze of Yasujiro Ozu (Tokyo Story).
100
It takes a filmmaker possessed of a rare, almost alchemic, blend of maturity, wisdom and artistic finesse to create such an intimate, moving and spare war film as Clint Eastwood has done in Letters From Iwo Jima.
100
Wall Street Journal
The view taken by Clint Eastwood, directing from Iris Yamashita's exemplary screenplay, is elegiac, but -- and this is remarkable, given the nature of the production and the sweep of his ambition -- not at all didactic. He lets the film speak for itself, and so it does -- of humanity as well as primitive rage and horror on both sides of the battle.
100
Eloquent, bloody, and daringly simple.
100
Philadelphia Inquirer
One of the great war movies - or antiwar movies - of all time.
100
New York Daily News
"Letters" isn't about numbers or the battle or even the morality of war. It's about the sanctity of life and how we value our own.
100
Chicago Tribune
The word masterpiece costs nothing to write and means less than nothing in an age when every third picture and each new Clint Eastwood project is proclaimed as such. After two viewings, however, Letters From Iwo Jima strikes me as the peak achievement in Eastwood's hallowed career.
100
Premiere
Letters from Iwo Jima isn't just the film that Eastwood wanted to make, but one that the film's producer Steven Spielberg had tried to make twice with "Empire of the Sun" and "Saving Private Ryan."
90
The Hollywood Reporter
Now Eastwood turns on a dime and tackles not just his first war movie but two war movies of considerable scope and complexity. If he doesn't nail everything perfectly, he nevertheless has created a vivid memorial to the courage on both sides of this battle and created an awareness in the public consciousness at a most opportune moment about how war feels to those lost in its fog.
75
Far superior to its companion piece, "Flags of Our Fathers," released earlier this year, "Letters" is a grim and humane film that has to be counted among the director's better efforts.

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