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USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage
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Index 27 reviews in total 

37 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

Sharknado 5

Author: Alexander Zalessky from Russia
24 September 2016

Men of Courage is not meant to be anything more than a generic mid- budget war movie with sharks, but it underdelivers even if you keep your expectations low. The script follows historical events pretty closely, but writing has lots of flaws, and romantic storyline is disappointing. Nicolas Cage gives a sensible performance, but his character doesn't move anywhere from "good captain" cliché. The writers add lots of voice-over narration to add depth to characters, which makes things worse. The Japanese captain is reduced to ridicule near the ending, where the two captains burst into tears while saluting each other.

If you only look for special effects, war scenes and sharks wreaking havoc, this movie won't be any less disappointing. Warship effects are of acceptable quality (for television at least), but man-eating sharks are either roughly made CGI, or replaced with smaller sharks which are obviously harmless. Not a single scene shows sharks biting humans; edits carefully avoid that part. No attention is given to the actual details of shark species present on the site of USS Indianapolis demise. For a movie that closely follows actual events (and even includes documentary footage), Men of Courage has an unacceptable number of inaccuracies. It's also badly edited, with scenes interrupted and tied together in strange places. Two hours last like four.

The story of USS Indianapolis appears more fascinating when you read the sources and memoirs, and it certainly deserves a better adaptation than one made by this movie's screenwriters.

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20 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Laughably Bad

Author: ChasMon from United States
31 October 2016

The true story of the Indianapolis is a compelling one of bravery, intrigue, unimaginable suffering and governmental cowardice. This movie never comes close to conveying any of that. It rushes through the set-up, never pausing for us to get to know any of the principals in any depth. The movie can't wait to get to the sharks, but when it does, it almost turns into a comedy of unconvincing action, gaps in logic, ridiculous dialogue and clumsy CGI. Poor Nic Cage is reduced to a near catatonic state, forced into unnatural situations and dubious decisions. In Jaws, Spielberg did a better job in five minutes with Quint's recounting of his Indianapolis experience than this movie does in two hours. A fiasco. McHale's Navy was more realistic.

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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Wow, did that suck!

Author: Mike Murphy from Minnesota
9 November 2016

Bad across the board. One of the few movies I would really want my money back from.

Bad acting, bad plot, horrible cgi, bad script. I really can not find anything positive to say about this film. Even at 128 minutes its was way too long for the lack of substance. There is a scene where McVay speaks to the Japanese Sub Commander. It was pretty schmaltzy, but it had a moment of decent drama when they just looked at each other.

I am embarrassed and ashamed that this pile of crud is supposed to reflect on what happened to those men.

You are better off reading the book "In Harms Way" to get some sort of feel for what they went through. Heck for that matter you are better off watching Jaws and having Quint (Robert Shaw) tell the story about his tattoo, and the story of why he will not wear a life jacket.

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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

A good story made bad through awful CGI and props.

Author: moreirajf
22 October 2016

I was really interested in this movie but oh boy, what have these people done? This is one of the worst CGI works I have seen in years, they simply destroyed the movie as a whole. The ship appears washed out, never matches the surroundings. Every action scene is CGI'd, in a cheap way. Scenes on the deck, when explosions happen are clearly fireworks!!! I could not believe my eyes. And some scenes are repeated! I never reviewed on IMDb but created an account just to tell others what a bad work this was. I was really interested in the movie but the lousy work that has been done simply could not pass without being noticed. Watch it and see for yourself. What a disappointment!

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Skip movie, use Google

Author: johnsaltas from United States
13 November 2016

The single scene in the movie Jaws where Robert Shaw scares the crap out of Richard Dreyfus as he describes the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the terrifying shark aftermath, has more truth, terror, realism and great acting than the entire movie USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage. This film's amazing true story was hijacked along the way to make room for fictional back lines of power, love and racial tensions that all fall flat. Anachronisms abound--FNG is from the Vietnam war, the neon sign is not of the period, and Wayne Gretzky wouldn't make his "miss 100 shots you don't take" quote for another 50 years. It's like the scriptwriter used Google to write the script but forgot to use Google to fact check it. I wanted to like this movie, to pass along a great history lesson to my son watching with me, but from the first wobbly special effect to when we gave up and went to bed as the wrong shark species showed up, USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage never failed to disappoint. At least we know how it ends and at least there's Google to get it right and Jaws to tell it better.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

shocked at how bad this story was told.

Author: anthonybratchet from cardiff
15 October 2016

An actual true story I was expecting an amazing film but wow was this hard to watch! The start is like something from a cartoon not a big budget film from 2016! some of the scenes looked like props from a school play. terrible acting from all. Look at the scenes from top-gun on the ship real very tense this was more like a local theater show. Completely ruined this story just awful. Id racked my brain to find some part of it that was at least watchable but its really bad the start is just unbearable. Cage is not 1 of my favs but this was a terrible part as its meant to be a tense film but doesn't come close it was actually embarrassing to watch the acting honest I've seen better effects and acting from Sinbad the sailor. I pray that its just me and every one else enjoyed it but not me I'm afraid

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27 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Secrets, Survival, Sharks

Author: 3xHCCH from Quezon City, Philippines
25 August 2016

Set in mid-1945 during World War II, the USS Indianapolis, led by Captain Charles McVay (Nicolas Cage), was secretly tasked to deliver parts of an atomic bomb (which would later be dropped on Hiroshima) unescorted to a naval base in the Pacific. Back in open sea after successfully delivering their cargo, the ship was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine in the Philippine Sea. The sailors spent five gruelling days with minimal supplies floating on life rafts in shark-infested waters. Only 317 of the original 1,196 crew members survive the ordeal.

The first hour of the film was quite brisk and eventful. The main storyline was laid out within the first scene. The backstory about some of the young sailors were introduced, oddly not too much on McVay himself. The USS Indianapolis embarked on its mission, torpedoed and sunk all within that first hour. However, this meant that the entire second hour would only be dealing about the survival ordeal of the sailors among the sharks awaiting rescue. It got maudlin and repetitive after the first few shark attacks. This was definitely not the war action film people were expecting to see.

The actors all seem to have come from the Nicolas Cage school of hammy acting. The major side story was about two friends who were in love with the same girl back home. Another side story was about a couple of sailors, one white, one black, constantly at odds with each other. There was also another side story about an arrogant young officer and his despicable attitude. All these rehashed side stories just served to fill out the rest of the running time before and after the sinking. The best actor for me would have to be Yutaka Takeuchi, the Japanese actor playing court-martial witness Commander Hashimoto, who displayed dignified subtly in his brief role.

For its Philippine release, this film's subtitle "Men of Courage" was replaced with "Disaster at (sic) Philippine Sea." However, for Filipino moviegoers expecting to actually see some part of the Philippines or see Filipinos in action in this film, they will be disappointed. The Philippines was mentioned but was never actually shown except for scene labels to establish the location. There was an extra card interrupting the closing credits stating how the search for the wreck of the Indianapolis was undertaken in 2001 in cooperation with the Philippine government and National Geographic. That was all about the Philippines here, nothing more. 5/10.

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17 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

I guess it could have been worse?

Author: deathhawk
13 September 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I wouldn't say that you shouldn't watch this film, although, I would defiantly say don't pay money to see it, or have high expectations. The effects were not very impressive, nor the props, sets, etc. it had a fake feeling about it. It was produced to the effect of being historical, but it seemed to skip important points, and embellish others. The story itself seemed to try to stuff in cliché sub-plots, a love story, a racial argument to fit the times, an officer vs. the crew, none of which seemed to fit. I couldn't get over the sharks being mostly great whites, when it is widely regarded the sharks were whitetips; I guess not as scary in Hollywood? The shark scenes themselves were reminiscent of a scifi movie, less the comedy, well it was comedic, depending on which light you see it in. I really won't touch on the acting, they made it on set, they acted, that's about it. It wasn't the worst film ever, but it could have used more heart, and less cgi great whites jumping out of the water, or maybe a whole lot more, and they could have called it USS Indianapolis vs. Jaws, in which case I would have scored it a 4 not a 2.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

At Least A Decade Late, At Least It Got Made: A Good Movie That Deserves To Be Great

Author: AudioFileZ from United States
13 September 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In time past movies like this would receive the blockbuster push as well as budget. I remember, for instance, the movie Pearl Harbor which had a big release with the current young actors/actresses of the day. Maybe this movie was shelved or something similar which caused it to be delayed until now. I would have thought the film would have come out in the early 2000's on the coattails of the bestselling book "In Harms Way" which caused a spike in public awareness of the USS Indianapolis and it's saga. I just get the feeling there was some delay in the big screen story finally being made to which it is sometimes seen in the lesser than current state of the art CGI and even the choice of side stories.

In spite of the anything that may have been going on with getting a movie made about the USS Indianapolis I'd say it's better late than not at all. While the big things like the ill-advised decision to not allow a destroyer escort are depicted with truth and realism making the USS Indianapolis a sitting duck for disaster, I'm not sure if the fictional side stories concocted by the writers add as much?

All in all even with the lessened production budget I enjoyed watching this movie. Even though he's past his prime, perhaps, Nicolas Cage did an admirable job of giving Lt. McVay that air of a great officer put into an almost impossible situation. It's literally a miracle the ship made the first leg of it's trip to deliver what would be not just a war ending cargo but a new age in which all the world would be thrust into. The crew of the USS Indianapolis deserve a movie to remember their sacrifice and since this is what we have I say see it. It's good enough if not exactly what they deserve. It can't be stressed that the final act of surviving captain McVay was needlessly tragic: the Navy being responsible for one more huge injustice.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Cage star power cant save this ship wreck

Author: Jim Baldwin from United States
15 October 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I struggled to stay with this film from the first historically inaccurate portrayal of officers on deck in battle, without the proper gear, shouting fire at each target to the horrible CGI and sparse sets. The CGI was actually worse than many video games. The life rafts look like they were salvaged from a war 60 years ago, not off a ship of the line of the US Navy in 1945. I actually at one point questioned when Nicholas Cage decided to to do a 'made for TV' movie.

The true historical story is fascinating drama, this film is a shadow of that story that is not worth the viewing. I tried to hang in to see the stranded at sea play out only to continue to be disappointed by the unrealistic shark sequences and a wounded sailor gratuitously holding a segment of his severed leg, shoe attached and all, through far too much dialog.

Cage's performance was if he knew all this during the filming and just wanted to get it over with. Now I know what critics call, phoning in a performance.

The Indianapolis was sunk by the CGI, script, directing and budget. I so much more enjoyed reading the story in wiki and listening to the story told by Robert Shaw's character Quint in Jaws.

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