Critic Reviews

89

Metascore

Based on 37 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Newsweek
It's unprecedented, a sorrowful and savagely beautiful elegy that can stand in the company of the greatest antiwar movies.
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
Rolling Stone
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).
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.
90
Variety
Taken together, "Flags" and "Letters" represent a genuinely imposing achievement, one that looks at war unflinchingly -- that does not deny its necessity but above all laments the human loss it entails.
90
Terse is the word for Eastwood's directorial style. It rarely editorializes; it doesn't emote or orate. It just tells the damn story of a soldier's honor, which means doing the job no matter the odds--indeed, no matter the mission.
90
Village Voice
The special power of Eastwood's achievement is that, save for one indelible moment, the mutual recognition between sworn adversaries happens not on-screen, but later, as we piece the two films together in our minds.
88
This is sentimentality of the best kind, a touching display of male bonding amid terror and aching loneliness worthy of Howard Hawks at his finest.
80
For my money, Flags (however clunky) cuts more deeply, but Letters is more difficult to shake off. Together, they leave you with the feeling that even a just and necessary war is an abomination.
75
Letters from Iwo Jima is a unique American-made war movie for at least two reasons: it depicts the battle from the perspective of the losers and it represents the United States as the "enemy."

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