Everyman's War (2009) Poster

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Excellent Soldier's Story
vjmamm11 August 2011
The Bad: We gotta take points away because many of the actors were just noobs. The German general waving his finger around like he's clever, the two older people reciting Pollyanna lines at the end of the movie.

The Ugly: Not much. Great pains were made to make this film an extremely effective period piece, at the cost of all the memorabilia being in museum quality. I mean seriously, is every 1940 car going to be running around snow country spotless and with new wax? This is a minor point, but it would have been very easy for the filmmaker to address.

The Good: Excellent story, and excellent manner in which it was told. Excellent acting by the principles. Extremely effective combat scenes, which I claim raise the bar on Saving Private Ryan. But most effective of all was the telling of life in the trenches. This movie could easily fit in the miniseries Band of Brothers, and would outshine all those other episodes. The movie portrays the Germans as professional soldiers. Note that this is a true story, and remember that war is 99% boredom and 1% terror. Firefights showed the terror aspect, none of these soldiers was running around (Rambo), nor were they incompetent idiots (The Big Red One). Saving Private Ryan was an allegory on life. No squad actually stormed Omaha Beach, then walked 20 miles behind German lines to successfully stop a Panzergrenadier platoon. Everyman's War is the story of one real soldier, his sufferings, his terror, and his losses. And the fact that this movie is compared to Saving Private Ryan is a real testament to the filmmaker, who should be extremely proud of this movie.
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A great story and a good film!
freter14326 May 2010
I saw this film when it won best feature at the GI film festival in DC. in 2009 I have been waiting for it to come out on DVD. Being in the military I didn't know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised at its realism. Not in a Hollywood way but in a real way if that makes sense. If your just looking for senseless killing and gore then this isn't it. It has a story behind the battles. I think that's why some other people may not have liked it. While it has action it isn't a non stop kill fest! My girlfriend even thought it was awesome. I don't know what the other guys review is talking about I don't think a movie with bad acting would win an award like that but hey that's just my opinion. I liked it allot.
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World War 2 from a smaller perspective
directorkev-28 May 2010
From working in Hollywood, I'm use to seeing every kind of movie, from student films to big Hollywood blockbusters. Everyone wants their opinion on how a script should be written and what will draw an audience in. Refreshingly this movie doesn't fit any stereotype. While not a movie with a huge plot (ex: we must take this outpost or the world will end!) it focuses on one man's personal experience of what it was like being an infantry soldier in World War 2... and for once, the story is true.

Based on the real life experience of Don Smith (the director's father) we get to see first hand what it was like for the "every man." Having to leave your family and loved ones... facing a fear of death on a daily basis and the human emotions and relationships that go hand in hand with fighting for your life. For an independent movie, this film has good production value and remembers and honors every soldier, no matter how small their role was in history.
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Finally a real HONEST depiction of a soldier's story!
sturm916 May 2010
Far too many "Hollywood" made films forget the truth in their quest to cash in on historically inspired stories. Also most want to come from the "big or grand picture" point of view. Using nothing but original vehicles; uniforms; weapons; equipment; and even ships, this one delivers a true story in an interesting and entertaining way. All from the view point of just one man from a small town in Oregon. The director/writers did not feel the need to re-write history or over dramatize the story with ridiculous special effects, excessive blood, or gore! Yet, it still has all the REAL aspects of war: anger, pain, monotony, excitement, and even the hopes fears, and love interests too. With spectacular production value, they kept it simple and powerful. As such, I find it a very moving and honest tribute to the simple soldier in WW2. A must see movie!
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My Husband and I loved this touching movie
ksimonsin6 May 2010
While i generally cannot stand war movies, my husband and i went to a showing of this movie that he had heard about. I can honestly say I loved this movie! It was extremely well done and touching. I cannot believe what horror these men went through while having to be away from their families. I cried so many times I was embarrassed. The lead is someone I had never heard of but I know I have seen him on other things just can't place where. All in all my husband and I really enjoyed it. Me more for the relationship part of it and my husband more for the "male bonding" aspects and the action! We would recommend. would be a good date movie.
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A good portrayal of the German soldier
MoMagPls13 May 2010
While talking with my friends after seeing this movie I think that the best part of this movie is that they portrayed the regular German soldier as not the regular caricature evil German. Having friends from a German heritage they really apreciated that. Many of those guys that were in the regular forces did not want to fight but feared what would happen to them or their families if they did not. We all really liked that aspect of this movie. It was very moving to see the interchange between the US soldier and the German towards the end. I won't say anything more cause I don't want to give anything in the story away. We really liked it. It wasn't some Hollywood retelling reworking of history.
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an excellent world war II film
beargonefishing6 May 2010
Most war movies out lately such as "The hurt Locker" leaves veterans with a love it or hate it attitude. One of the main reasons for this is because of the gross inconsistencies that these movies provide. Everyman's War however is not this type of film. From the beginning, you can tell that this was a labor of love. The filmmaker (Thad Smith) actually based this story off of his own fathers accounts of war from his division's experience during the Battle of the Bulge. I can say this film was very historically accurate and right on point in capturing the realities of this war. From the costume design to the weapons used, even the troop characteristics you can tell that (even for a small budget) no expense was spared at recreating this event. Also the feeling and attitudes of those left home to worry about the troops was spot on.
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My dads a veteran he loved this film
lynn-733-2262958 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I took my 83 year old father to see this movie when it came to the theaters here. I have only seen my dad be affected by a few things in my life and this movie was one of them. He said it was very realistic in its depiction of the fight that they were in, in Europe at that time. He was particularly amazed at how well the German soldiers were portrayed and that he thought they were using real machine guns of that time. I was glad that there wasn't so much overdone gore like so many big movies that hit the screen. I really liked the main girl that is in it. I liked seeing the story of how these guys came to be together in the war from all walks of life. Not all of them even really wanted to go. I can relate to that. But when called up they did there duty like my dad did I would recommend to veterans.
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Realistic World War II drama . We watched in Bend Oregon
dhodge-732-6132307 May 2010
We watched in and met the cast on stage . Great World War II very touching drama. I would recommend seeing it.This is realistic warfare that depicts the drama soldiers and their families and loved ones faced and the dilemma of re-enlistment or staying home and being with your loved ones. I would think with a limited budget this was an outstanding real life drams of the mans father and the challenges he faced in helping our country fight for our freedom.The sound effects were great and made you feel like you were in the middle of the war zone. The veterans were proud of this movie.I am looking forward to this being put on DVD as we saw this in a stage and met the cast. thank you for allowing my submission. Bob
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My wife even liked this war movie set in beautiful Oregon!
portlandphats7 May 2010
My wife and I had a chance to see this movie in Scappoose, Oregon at the world premier. There were fighting scenes, but all of the other elements that make a good film too. My wife never likes war movies! Oregon looked amazing! Watching something like this really makes you understand that there were stories like this happening all over Europe. It's important that movies like this are made because war will never be like it was back then. Kids today think of war as fighter jets and smart-bombs. They need to know how brave their great grandparents are and how hard the world has fought to protect liberties. Looking forward to the DVD release!
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watchable but nothing special
plan nine24 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Don't expect too much of this picture, this isn't an a-movie, there's neither an ingenious script nor some extraordinary special effects or something like that. Surely, it got some story, but the theme about the young soldier going to war leaving his girlfriend behind does not seem very unique at all. Also the last sequence, where Don has grown old, remembering his war experiences, seemed pretty familiar. The most annoying thing was, that the German soldiers (in particular the officer while briefing his men, but the others too) were talking in a very odd way. Not only that I instantly noticed their American accent, the few lines they had to say weren't even grammatically correct. Casting two or three native speakers can't be that hard!?

Apart from that it's not a bad movie, it probably shows what was being a soldier in WW2 like in a pretty authentic way. Ambitious low-budget production.
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Really bad acting
bjmshooter20 August 2011
I love WWII movies but this was some really bad dialog. Like they just learned their lines for the first time. Really weird. Oh and like everyone else said about the Germans but at least they were speaking German so not that noticeable.

This movie is like someone's first movie they made out of film school and they couldn't afford actors. The story line is bad, the special effects, the game looking scenes the put in was funny as heck. Everything was bad but the dialog stuck out even more. How did this even make it to final draft?

Really bad stuff. I wish I didn't see it.
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This is not a movie for some people
soo kim18 September 2011
I don't know why people are giving such a high stars for this.

this movie might be a Hollywood movie but the acting is poor, the action was horrible.

all you see is people shoot, /cut/ fall down/ shoot/ fall down shout nonsense, shout shout. poor acting.

history? i've seen better story and better plot.

AND THE WORST THING? they put in this weird NOT EVEN SAD dramatic song and NON dramatic scenes.

its just pathetic.

just because its a war history movie, don't mean it get to be so popular and emotional.
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I don't know what people are hyping about this for
johnbluefinch25 May 2011
I don't get what the big hype is for. i got this movie out on the strength of all its five awards it got, didn't end up being able to sit through the whole thing. If you speak any German do not watch this, the movie does not cast the average German soldier in an evil light like many other WWII movies, but the accents are like getting your teeth pulled out. Why couldn't they get some decent German actors? the American actors speaking in German are truly awful. The plot is weak in the extreme, and the acting and dialog is disjointed and awkward. This movie would be fine if you are really bored. Apart from that the movie is on a super low budget, so you don't even get good action scenes to make up for the terrible German accents and the sloppy lines.
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Scripting poor & acting wooden. A big miss.
barrybolton18720 March 2012
Hoped for more, a Band of Brothers type movie perhaps? Sadly no, the script was terrible & dialog was flat, contrived & generally cringe-worthy. The acting was amateurish & forced, no realism in the characters or in the delivery. I could barely watch in the end. The scene with the repeated cuts back to the same dead body was painful to watch. The action scenes were cumbersome & predictable, in fact its hard to imagine a poorer depiction of events. I didn't feel connected to any character portrayed in this movie

Production values were low and it shows, that doesn't mean that low budget should equal low quality cinema, but in this case it only adds to the general malaise.

Not one for my tastes, missed by a mile.
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not the best movie...
szucsidike10 May 2010
with all the respect for the story and the people who experienced such things in wars, this movie is not well done... a "war movie" doesn't have to be all about killing and scenes full of blood, I agree, the true story would be just enough as a special viewpoint of the war, how Don Smith saw it... however a good story as a base is important but not enough to make an enjoyable film.

a good director is not allowed to do such a mistake on scene when the actors talk about freezing cold, but you can not see their breath and even: they are sweating with all the heavy clothes, probably in a studio...! cuttings are not good either, and the actors' play seems sometimes far-fetched. I thought maybe they are not real actors, so that would make the film more taste of life. but so many "small" mistakes formed my opinion about it as a very badly made movie.
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Glad to see this released on DVD finally.
jsullivan9210 May 2010
I am glad to see this movie come to DVD finally. I have been following the website from time to time since I attended a screening of it in Colorado while at a convention. I have a special place in my heart for all veterans but especially the veterans that went through that war. This movie depicts them as real people and not some caricature of them. After finding out the story of how this movie came to be after seeing it, it makes it all that much more appealing to me. I will definitely pick up a copy as it has been awhile since the screening. Really great story and heartfelt ending which I won't give away. If you like dramas about that time in history you will probably enjoy it very much. And the Germans speak German not English with a British accent, thank God! And yes the German is subtitled.
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tlmpdx22 June 2013
The movie has all the making to be a good or great movie, all the makings yet so very wide of the mark. I fail to see why there are so many reviews that are remotely positive about it.

It is a real story and honors men that were there, but an experienced director might have saved the movie. The acting was unrealistic, stilted and sub-par; it was more like they are all doing a first time read through without even having seen the script prior.

I have seen stage plays by 6th graders, videos made on cell phones on YouTube that had better acting and Videography.

I do not think I should have even given it a 2, however the story idea at least deserved that much.
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salihkarakis22 September 2015
One of the poorest weakest ww2 films I have ever seen! with very bad acting.

scripted very badly which had no feel of a ww2 movie. not a lot of research was put into this film.

filming was not as good as i expected it to be, e.g. battle scenes are dry and boring, no action!!!!

i couldn't finish watching it as it was that bad!

The story line was so cliché nothing original at all, i actually felt embarrassed and offended as a ww2 enthusiast.

i wouldn't recommend this to anyone which is upsetting as it cannot compete with the likes of 'Saving Private Ryan', 'Days of Glory' etc..
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liked this movie at screening last year
lbm238110 May 2010
I went to this film screening in Bend, OR and thought it was great! The lead actor, Cole Carson, did a great job and I expect that this is just the beginning for him. I think the lead female actress, Lauren Bair, did a very nice job too. This film won the GI Film Festival award for Best Written Narrative last year which is impressive I think. My Grandpa was a WWII vet and I wish he was around to see this film. I think it has many scenes that depicts what many of the battles were like and what the GI's went through. I'm certain it had a much smaller budget than say, even an episode of Band of Brothers but I think it was high-quality production despite that. Looking forward to its release!
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Horrible, Horrible acting
This is certainly a textbook "B" movie of the WWII genre. The acting throughout is horrible, the production values are obviously very low. There is very little action dispersed among what seems to be the main focus of the movie - the actual drama surrounding the characters' lives, which is really gut-wrenching considering the acting just makes you want to turn it off. To be honest, 40 minutes into it, including some fast-forwarding, I couldn't bear to watch the entire film.

I give it two stars instead of just one because some of the action sequences - despite being obviously very cheap and again "B" movie material, were all-in-all not too bad.

Would not recommend this film to anyone.
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Finally a movie without Hollywood BS
littlefieldandrew14 May 2010
This is my favorite film that I have seen lately. It's got heart and soul! I.ve watched it a few times with my friends too. Very unlike the typical crap that comes out of "hollyweird" where every car going off a cliff magically bursts into flames! and they have endless bullets in there guns! I felt as if i was watching real guys in real wartime. Although I am glad I don't know what real wartime is like. I would have not wanted to be a part of that. The flashbacks are cool. The girl in it is hot! and the Germans are badass! I want the machine gun they use in the snow scenes. the FX were cool but not overdone. I liked the actors. The Italian guy is funny. I love war movies like this! i give it a 9 out of 10.
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A movie to pass the time with
john-valenti18 March 2017
Well, I don't have the minimum of five lines to write a review but I am going to write it anyway, so there you are. The acting appears to be of a high school play - C- at best. Someone should have told someone that guys in the army don't speak with perfect diction and grammar. Also, someone should have told someone that the ammo belt for the machine gun should have been loaded with 30 cal bullets which had bullets loaded into the cartridges. They should not have used blanks! You can't kill krauts with blanks. Anyway, you can pass the time with this movie while you are eating popcorn; just don't expect much. Well, I guess I made it past the 5 line minimum.
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Disjointed But Decent Narrative
Heres_Johny8 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
*May Contain Minor Spoilers* Fallen Not Forgotten tells the tale of Sergeant Don Smith, who at 19 volunteered for the Army and in 1944 participated in the Battle Of The Bulge, one of the bloodiest battles of World War Two and the final mass German offensive of the war.

At the center of the film is Sergeant Smith (Cole Carson), an everyman stand-in for everything we think of when we picture the sort of clean-cut All-American boys who volunteered for duty before the draft caught them. As he confronts the horrors of war he longs for Dorrine, the bright-eyed red-headed singer who is (hopefully) waiting for him back home. Beyond his survival, the budding romance he left behind is the key stakes for Smith, who can't help but wonder how the world and his place in it will have changed by the time he returns home, if ever.

Fallen, however, falls distinctly within the genre of a comrade war-film like Saving Private Ryan or the Band of Brothers miniseries. Smith gets the most limelight, but Fallen tries to split the focus otherwise equally among his friends in the 94th Infantry. Two in particular grabbed my interest. Pvt. Benedetto, a down on his luck miscreant who took Army service over jail-time; and Pvt. Heinrich, an enlistee of German heritage who – after confronting anti-German bigotry back in the states – was compelled by patriotic pride to assert undeniably his Americanism by enlist and fight. While Smith pines for his love back in the states, Benedetto struggles under the disciplinarian Army regimen, at one point abandoning his post to meet an opportunistic Frenchman and trade rations for a cask of brandy. Heinrich, meanwhile, has to work and fight twice as hard as any soldier in the 94th to earn the respect of his brothers in arms, who predictably haven't taken any special liking to the man in their midst with the heavy German accent.

The split narrative was one of the highlights; my concern for these two characters and their survival sometimes even overshadowed Smith's everyman story (which, while engaging, has been told many time before). With better editing and a tighter script, they could have made for an amazing movie.

But the split narrative was also, unfortunately, one of Fallen's primary weaknesses.

Like the Battle of the Bulge, Fallen Not Forgotten is, technically, a victory. It was enjoyable as a war film, and the romantic thread interwoven was sufficiently dramatic enough to keep me engaged and rooting for Sergeant Smith. The acting was in a few instances applause-worthy; it wasn't entirely cringe-free, and Tom Hanks and the rest of Private Ryan's cast aren't going to be handing over any of their awards, but for a war film they passed the bar.

But the Battle of the Bulge was, despite being the final nail in the Nazi coffin, hardly the huge success the Allied generals would have wanted. They barely held on. American troops spent a month entirely surrounded by Germans, cut off from their supplies, starving, freezing in the snow, low on ammunition and even lower in spirit.

Fallen Not Forgotten, I'd say, barely held on. As an indie production it took risks your usual blockbuster studio war film wouldn't even contemplate, and while they didn't fail, I can't honestly say they succeeded.

Early disorganization was one of the hardest hurdles to overcome for me as a viewer. Within the first few minutes there's a * double * framing device; the first shot presents Smith narrating as an old man, only to them zoom to 1944, with a battle-hardened young Smith now serving to frame with another, sometimes hokey narration. Then we flash-back to before the war, or at least before our heroes joined, to learn how they all got into the Army.

Then we flash forward again, or I think so anyways. By then I was thoroughly confused. The introductions of each character come one after the other, prolonging the relatively boring first act setup without ever giving me enough time to get to know these characters (I remained uncertain about some of their names well into the film).

Fallen held my interest long enough to get me into middle act, though, which redeems the sloppy introduction and flows relatively seamlessly thereon. The action sequences are what you'd expect from an independent production: don't hold your breath for any huge cinematic shots or dazzling special effects, but it holds its own. Nor does it suffer from any excessive gore, or over-glorification of violence, which should make it more accessibly to a wider audience.

Scoring isn't great, and the narration detracts from immersion, but the cinematography is decent, and Cole Carson's acting improves once the plot gives him more to work with. His struggle with being promoted to Sergeant provides good plot juice, and for a novice actor, he delivers well the emotional turmoil of the sudden responsibility for his men, their survival, and his own leadership, whether it's integrating German-born Heinrich into the company or curtailing Benedetto's recklessness and criminal tendencies. At times, though, I got the impression they'd shoehorned the romantic subplot in to emulate the success of the likes of The Notebook and other war films which featured heavy romantic elements.

My recommendation for Fallen depends entirely on who I'm addressing. The die-hard war-drama fans won't love it, but it scratches the proverbial itch if you're looking for a decent WWII tale. If you're in it for the sweeping battle-shots and hyper-realistic war tale, though, it falls short. Conversely, wider audiences will enjoy the dramatics, and possibly appreciate a war movie that doesn't overly focus on blood and guts.

Tighter editing would have been nice, and the screenplay probably looked better on paper than screen. It certainly isn't anything new for the Battle of the Bulge.

But Fallen Not Forgotten, in the end, is enjoyable enough to warrant getting past the mishandled opener.
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A fine, patriotic World War II film, but not from unpatriotic Hollywood
vitaleralphlouis22 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Most people my age remember when Hollywood was populated by patriotic Americans, making war movies that (guess what!) were pro-American, and today's pathetic bundle of anti-American propaganda spinners were not even in nightmare visions of the future. Today we rely on independent film-makers for patriotic films.

I have to write this review because of the wealth of mis-information on this website.

First, the movie focuses on several (4) American guys fighting the Battle of the Bulge; not about one man's experience.

Second, there are plenty of combat scenes. The film is loaded with combat scenes (how could anybody not notice) and they are better and more convincing, for example, than Steven Spielberg's famous but silly opening scenes in Saving Private Ryan.

Third, some have written about "World War II in Oregon." This is an amazing viewpoint. Do not such writers know (a) that almost all World War II movies were filmed in California, not Europe or Asia, and (2) that Oregon in winter strongly resembles the part of Belgium where the Battle of the Bulge took place.

There is a part of the film that seeks -- like hundreds of other films -- to perpetuate the idea that World War II was about the Jews. It was not. The war was about the invasions of France, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Austria, the bombing of London --- lots of things.

There is no point in the film where "moral equivalence" comes into play, seeking to make the GI's and the Nazi army equal. The Germans are and were the bad guys.

I'm very glad to praise this fine film and recommend it. It's much better than any of 2010's bloated, boring high-budget movies -- and a credit to film-making.

One small nit-pick: In a scene where the home-folk are listening to war news on the radio, WOR is broadcasting NBC. Not so, Mcgee! WOR was the original and long running affiliate of the great Mutual Network,
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