IMDb > Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
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36 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

This movie is far more than anti-war.

Author: Valley from ShenZhen City
12 November 2016

Many people said it is an anti-war movie,I don't think so. This movie is far more than anti-war.Because it is not a rich story ,but a rich truth and an emotion. It doesn't want to give you an opinion about what war is, but show you an emotion about a young man and a war. A so-called hero came back from Iraq, how is his life?

In the real world, the truth and emotion are complicated. So it is hard to say what its theme is. Maybe the theme is to doubt our fake society Maybe the theme is to show the hero's confused life. However, they are parts of this movie. It is more like a section of Billy's life. He has family,battle companion, stranger and girlfriends. Sometimes he is distracted at his important moment,sometims all in front of him remind him of war. He sees and thinks.He might find that life is difficult to choose,finally he go back to the place where he belongs.

If you can feel you are Billy Lynn, you can feel how ridiculous this society is.Nobody understands you,people see what they want to see.the sad thing is, you can change nothing but follow the direction of fate.

If you don't have sensory substitution,this movie is boring.

From the beginning of Billy's halftime show, I can't help crying. I even can't detail the reasons of my tears. The emotion is so strong, so complicate and so advanced. I feel so sad about Billy's life.

I think it is a good movie, not very fun, but revolutionary.

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21 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Emotional and Moving

Author: alexanderrodman from Suffern
16 October 2016

I just watched this film as part of the New York Film Festival early screening and it's a film that will be stuck in my mind for awhile, it's a deeply emotional and moving film with great acting (particularly newcomer, Joe Alwyn), cinematography and an original score. The ending was strong and had me choked up, the movie is based on a satirical novel so there is definitely some humor in it so it's not a totally depressing film but definitely a thought-provoking one, this was the film I was anticipating the most out of the 2016 releases then upon reading some underwhelming reviews from the opening night my expectations went down a little but I think it will be go down as one of the best films of the year, it's images and its anti-war message in my opinion were powerful and the film should inspire a lot conversation about what it means to "support the troops" and how we can help those returning who are suffering from PTSD, overall I give it 8 out of 10 stars, I hope people go out and see this in the theater and talk about it afterwards.

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Effective and insightful anti war movie

Author: phd_travel from United States
11 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a very effective anti war movie. And it achieves a lot with a pretty low body count. It looks at a young soldier who after performing a heroic action caught on camera is involved in a promotional tour. It's subtle but completely clear in it's message.

Through flashbacks there are many effective contrasts here between what went on in Iraq in attacks and the public relations football match slash Destiny's Child concert. Also showing the troops rounding up men in their home with their families watching.

It is very insightful how he was about to give up the soldier life for this cheerleader he hooked up with only to find she only was interested in him as a hero.

Another great realism shown is how the slimy developer magnate played by Steve Martin wants to short change them for rights to a film about the soldiers.

Liked how they are so unappreciated by the guys back home who try to pick fights with them The most touching parts are with his sister played by Kristen Stewart who is the only one who really cares for him and tries to do something about it. There is no sentimentality wasted in the movie so their final scene is more meaningful for that. Kristen acts convincingly as the injured sister. Subtle and thoroughly convincing.

Joe Alwyn as the title character is a good choice. He isn't too good looking so it's realistic. And he doesn't overact either. Just the right amount of emotion.

This movie makes one think about it after it's over. Best Ang Lee movie for a while.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

feel what Billy feels and see what Billy sees

Author: jessiewangwcy from USA
13 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is far from anti-war. This movie is full of emotion and thinking of soldier after-war life. They are not understood and being treated with people's arrogance and coldness. People do not really care about them but what can they dig from them. The director again use his way to express the emotion inside the character which he is most good at. the movie is worth seeing and currently is under rated. Besides the clips of the movie is excellent. It is harding to contiune switching between two time and spacing and not make audience feeling wired and confused. But in this movie you can feel that it is natural and your mind will completely goes with Billy. You will feel what he feels and see what he sees. Again Ang Lee made it.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

not quite

Author: austin0731 from Taipei. Taiwan
22 November 2016

In terms of visuals Billy Lynn's was very impressive, however I would ask, is this the right genre of film to showcase such technical cinematography? Obviously such stunning shots could only be a plus to the film but for a film that is really more about one's internal struggles rather than exterior conflicts I do find it quite an odd decision to make this film in such a way. I did go in expecting an all out war movie since I have heard of all of these things that Ang Lee is doing in this film, in terms of visuals. Which did leave be surprised but also disappointed at how few those scenes are. Essentially this film takes place within a time span of one day and all takes place at this football game? What?

Obviously there were flashback scenes and all but there were quite few and every time we jump back to the present time it just leaves be craving for the next flashback scene. I can understand this message that the film was trying to send about being considered a 'war hero', about all the costs and sacrifices that soldiers are making each day and the way they are treated. How decorated war heroes are just a sort of title, people will show you and tell you how much they appreciate your services and what not but when it comes to actually giving anything we never seem to be so eager to. It is a film that showcases this idea of being crowned a 'hero' and what it really means, and sure that was quite an interesting theme to look at.

But perhaps to make this whole story more impactful instead of having flashbacks tell us the story overseas we get a whole first half of the film showing it to us, before all of the victory tour stuff. It just makes it very hard for audiences to understand the implications and the sacrifices that they have made if this sort of flashback storytelling is used. It is often hard to make a good war movie that isn't based on a true story, this is likely because when audiences know that it is fictitious the stakes wouldn't be so high, and it won't really touch people's hearts so to speak. So both these elements combine to create the war's lack of importance which is a very bad thing to have happen.

In conclusion, I liked what they were trying to say, the underlying idea and theme of the film came indefinitely of a good place. However poor storytelling and lack of story in general really made this film suffer quite a bit.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

stunning portrayal of post-war time

Author: umesh2413 from India
10 November 2016

This is yet another tremendous work by Ang Lee. Movie showcases post- victory celebration of war heroes, opinions and responses of people in the nation, inability of people to perceive their sacrifice of personal life and struggle between life and death. The psychological state of nineteen year old young war hero is sketched very effectively. Innocence, teenage infatuation, parting, and vanity of war are well communicated through dialogues and expressions. Director has nicely showcased high end display technology used in current day's sports and media. Script juggles between war scenes and post war recognition as gone through sensitive minds of young soldier. Movie has acknowledged rule of detachment from Hindu epic philosophy of Bhagavad-Gita. Also I am glad to see Lord Ganesha worshiped by a crew member.

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12 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Technically ambitious and breathtaking, but lacking in substance

Author: bigmystery23 from United States
16 October 2016

The moment the audience saw the first shot of Billy Lynn reaching for his phone, the audience gasped. Ang Lee's ambitious choice of filming at a frame rate of 120fps in a 4K and 3D format is beyond words. We become immersed into Billy Lynn's world, seeing the little details that we normally would not see in a film (imagine what Emmanuel Lubezki did in 'The Revenant' and times it by 5). The person I went with to see the film described it best, it was a very sensual experience not just from the cinematography, but also the interesting soundscape and phenomenal editing. There are small moments when what would be a mundane action becomes a trigger for Billy Lynn and his squad. Lee does not hold back in making the audience feel the PTSD of those soldiers which at times is beautiful done as well as a bit too much for those of us who have never experienced it. Now I could go on about how brilliant the film is technically and it's sure to get some Oscar recognition in that aspect, but all films revolve around a story.

What could have been an amazing film merely becomes an OK film because of the story's weakness. I read an article where the critic trashed Ang Lee, but to be honest it's not Lee who's to blame but whoever wrote the script. The script is so dull and because of that the audience never got the full immersion we were hoping to get. The only person we connect to by the end of the film is Kristen Stewart's character, yet that isn't even delved into. The relationships between the characters aren't developed very much except for one relationship that is developed WAY too fast and in the most unrealistic way possible. You can get a sense of a strong bond between Lynn and his squad, but just barely.

As for the acting, Kristen Stewart was definitely the standout. Joe Alwyn did a great job, too, but not the memorable debut performance I was hoping to see. Vin Diesel and Steve Martin are truly miscast (this may just be me being picky, but every time they came on screen I felt very uncomfortable).

To sum this up, I'm giving this movie a 7 out of 10 because of the technical brilliance and the experience of watching a film in this frame rate, though be warned that the story is very weak. Some people are going to find the 120fps very strange, but for the cinephiles who have an open mind, you'll be blown away.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I feel the soul rising

Author: philipyaya from United States
19 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The early low reviews did not hesitate me for Ang's new launch. Compare to my experience for "Doctor Strange", getting tickets were relatively easy even it is the 4k screen at AMC Lincoln Square.

As Ang's style, the movie is full of details . You (or the screen) are often following Billy's flying thoughts, and they do not usually align with my sense from other movie experience. However Since Iraq and Cowboy's stadium are only two main scenarios, the jumping between two does not distract my continuously growing touching feelings from Billy Lynn. The 4k resolution definitely intense the connections. The climax of my feeling happens at Billy's fight with Iraqi, as he tried to save Sergeant Shroom, stabbed into his enemy and watching his eyes, I had the same feeling as Billy, "I feel his soul rising".

Whether Billy's squad are in Iraq or at the AT&T Stadium, they are out of place. The Iraqi hate them, at home the young generation does not understand their devote to an unjust war, the rich and famous want to mock them and use them for their interest. The majority rest care more about the game. As Billy says "We don't understand them and maybe they don't understand us as well."

As the lone star flag streaming, the soldiers and the movie stand in the "middle" ground, derided by the lefts and not apprehended by the rights. Eventually, when the applause from the audience arose at the end of the movie, I am standing behind Billy Lynn at his mid time show.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Soldiers' lament

Author: Harry T. Yung ( from Hong Kong
14 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This, auteur Ang Lee's latest work, can be seen as many things. It is after some deliberations that I chose the above summary line. But let me get something out of the way first: the technical aspect.

One critic reports feeling sick coming out of the movie, because the visuals are so realistic. After his widely acclaimed success with "Life of Pi" (2012), Lee takes another step in his dauntless effort to scale another height in the 3D challenge. "Billy Lynn's…" is filmed in 3D4K, with a jaw-dropping 120-frames-per-minute technique which few cinemas are equipped to handle. The version that I (and also the said critic) saw is only the "normal" 24-frames version. Still, the 3D4K makes this the most realistic 3D version I have seen on a movie screen, but not comparable to what I saw in EPCOT three-and-a-half decades ago. The said critic is certainly exaggerating.

The story, set in 2004, surrounds the half-time extravaganza at a Dallas Cowboys home game (one of my favourite NFL teams during its hay-days with Roger Stauback quarterbacking, but had dwindled considerably by time of the movie). The "Bravo Company", a group of Iraq War heroes, is featured at half time, together with Beyonce who at that time was just a member of the Destiny's Child trio. Sponsor Big tycoon Norm Oglesby (Steve Martin) well understands that patriotism is first-rate commercial promotion material.

Central to the story is our titular hero, very well cast, played by the freshest face you can find, Joe Alwyn, who has probably the most disarming smile that you have ever encountered. Billy Lynn is the 19-year-old soldier who fires up the imagination and emotion of the nation with a video that captures his courageous (but, alas, unsuccessful) attempt to save the life of his fatherly-loving superior Shroom (Vin Diesel). The timeline of the movie anchors on the half-day starting with the group being escorted to the stadium in an ultra delux limo and ending with their leaving at the end of the game. Throughout the movie are flashbacks to Billy Lynn returning home two week ago, and further back to the actions in Iraq. The central plot line, if there is one, is Lynn's struggle on whether to return to Iraq, given that his "fame" now allows him good opportunities for honourable discharge. The main theme, if there is one, is the brotherhood bonding of soldiers, with which no civilian will be ever able to empathize.

This movie is rich with interesting characters superbly portrayed. The best among these is Kristen Stewart who has proved again and again that there is a real talent beyond Bella Swan, with movies like "Clouds of Sils Maria", "Still Alice" and "Café Society". Here she plays Lynn's older sister who has recently suffered a tragic traffic accident which has reduced her, although outwardly not too noticeable, to a physical and emotional wreck. Vin Diesel, taking a vacation from Dom Toretto, lovingly delivers the fatherly soldier Shroom who says face-to-face to each member of his petrol "I love you" before they plunge into lethal action. Steve Martin brings out his most sly persona as the contemptible (and hugely successful) businessman. Another fresh face, lovely to behold, belongs to Makenzie Leigh who plays the Dallas cheerleader that approaches Lynn with both carnal and Evangelical objectives (not necessarily mutually exclusive), as the relationship develops into something truly sweet and gentle. Not to be left out is Garrett Hedlund who convincingly shows how leadership from the captain of Bravo Company cements the comradeship of the soldiers.

This film is unmistakably Ang Lee, with profusion of details not for the sake of details, but for enrichment and sublimation of emotions.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Soldiers are people too

Author: wynnlee from Malaysia
14 November 2016

First of all, this movie is not about action but emotional feeling towards our heroes, "soldiers". Are they really hero?

This movie show us how different people think of the soldier, like family's view, business man's view, public's view and worker's view. Who's the one that really appreciate what the soldier did for their country.

This movie want us to see, how the soldier feel after they came back from war. All the cut-scenes are like face-to-face conversation, making you, the audience become part of the story. And of course, this movie is giving us a space to think after the movie. Every characters have their own thought, there is no right or wrong, they all have their reason.

Most importantly, soldiers are people too. Everyone of us are competing each other in order to survive and earn for our living. Soldier did the same...they did it for survive and for a reason. So, this movie let us witness the one day trip of Billy Lynn, and you will see how people around him react and think.

I will not suggest this movie to those who seldom think after the movie or just purely want action scenes(BIG MISTAKE IF YOU EXPECT ACTION). This movie is great and let u think from different perspectives.

Thank you for your time.

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