To End All Wars (2001) Poster

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The powerful, true story of what REALLY happened on the River Kwai during WW2.
mcnulty24 April 2002
THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE KWAI, the story of British POW's forced to build the Japanese jungle railroad, was my favorite book when it came out in 1962. Thus I was a bit apprehensive at what filmmakers would do to it when I heard about TO END ALL WARS, the title itself being changed. The film is different in many ways from the book, but is so powerful that the addition (apparently for dramatic excitement) of fictional characters bent on staging an escape can be forgiven. Agnostic Ernest Gordon's story of his being nursed back from the brink of death by Christian friends, thereby starting him on the road to faith--and incredibly, understanding and then forgiveness of the harsh brutality of his Japanese captors--raises this film far above any other WW2 films that I have seen (except perhaps the under-rated THE THIN RED LINE, like TO END...also filled with philosophical questions and ruminations). Although the brutality of the Japanese bushito system is shown in all its horrific brutality, some of the Japanese, especially the young man who serves as interpreter, are depicted as having touch of humanity. The film's central thesis seems to depict the affects of clinging to anger and vengeance versus seeking to be able to forgive and reconcile. The latter is shown at the end of the film when, similar to the scene in SCHINDLER'S LIST, the real Capt. Ernest Gordon and Japanese interpreter Nagase, now old men, meet and shake hands in Thailand at a memorial to those who died building the railroad. The creativity of the men, forming a Jungle University where Plato and Shakespeare are taught, is celebrated, calling to mind the inspiring film of women POW's, PARADISE ROAD.

When this thought-inspiring film finally is released to theaters or video, don't miss it. It can serve as an antidote to the dozens of mindless, vengeance-based flicks cluttering up the screens of our cinemaplexes.
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10/10
Deeply absorbing tale of the power to forgive
emuir-123 October 2005
It was not until the end of the film that I discovered that this was a real life account of the horrors suffered by the allied POW's building the Burma railroad.

No film can ever show how terrible it was, despite the attempt to film in sequence with the actors dieting in order to lose weight as time went on. The actors would have had to do three years manual labor in the jungle heat for 18 hours a day on 1,000 (or less) calorie meatless slop, while suffering dysentery, beri beri, pellagra, tropical ulcers, regular beatings and other cruelty, all the time unaware of what was happening at home or how the war was going. They lived under the constant fear of being killed once they were no longer useful. By the time they were liberated the survivors were walking skeletons.

It is a credit to the filmmakers that this relatively low budget movie conveys this terrible period so well and the fo. This should be a "must see" in school history classes.
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8/10
powerful story
FilmLabRat6 March 2004
In a Japanese POW camp, a Scottish band of soldiers learns about a very different culture - the hard way. They also learn from the more refined and educated among them the meaning of serving each other and their enemies, to the point of self-sacrifice.

The film begins rather slowly (and overly-sentimental) but becomes an incredible story with great acting and characters, powerful philosophy and imagery. Many gripping moments of self-realization, facing reality and appreciation for life and death. The depth of relationships, self-sacrifice and lessons learned leaves the audience with a lot to process. Overall, very inspiring and well-made.
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9/10
Powerful in the way that Schindler's List was powerful
John K.-214 January 2005
Most of the reviews I've read of this film use the word "powerful" to describe it, and I will too. It's powerful because it's realistic; no stereotyped good guys or bad guys here (it's based on a true story, after all), and yet plenty of cruelty and some kindness, which leads to an exploration of themes such as justice and mercy in a way that (at last) doesn't lead to boredom or cynicism. It's *not* a light relief to watch this -- but nor was Schindler's List, possibly the only other prison-camp movie which matches this one for exploration of human motivation and hope.

Oh, and it stars a crop of very respectable (and largely British) actors. Why, oh why has this never had a cinema release in the UK?
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9/10
A "War" Movie That's About Values, Not War
rsimanski5 July 2005
I am a serious film lover who keeps up with the best new films. I stumbled across To End All Wars when it was shown recently on one of the Starz/Encore channels. At the end, I kept asking myself why I had never heard of it. The film is nowhere to be found in Roger Ebert's reviews or Leonard Maltin's annual guide, and yet I suspect that Ebert, at least, would rate this film very highly.

I like films that are about something that is important, at least to me, and not just pure entertainment. Not that I don't enjoy a good action-adventure film or light comedy from time to time, but most of the time, I prefer to spend my time watching films that make me think and perhaps even ask questions of myself.

To End All Wars is one such film. The Bridge on the River Kwai, which deals with the same historical events, is not, despite its many strong points. In this respect, To End All Wars is the better film, and the one that I am more likely to watch frequently.

Despite its title, the film is not really about war. What it is about is the efforts of a small group of men, and one man in particular, to maintain their faith, their sense of values, and their very sanity under horrible, murderous conditions that would drive most men to insanity or to become murderers themselves.

The film forces me to ask myself whether I could have done the same under those conditions. To be honest, I'm afraid to ask the question because I may not like the answer.

Although the film depicts many horrible things, it is not a depressing film, at least for me. Rather, it's a positive, hopeful film, in the same way that Schindler's List is a positive, hopeful film. If one man, in the case of Schindler, or a small group of men, in the case of the ones in this film, can maintain their sanity, faith, and values in a world that has gone insane, then there is hope for mankind.

As for the references to their Christian faith, it is not laid on with a trowel, as it might be in a lesser film. It is simply there as an important part of their lives. Whether or not we share that faith is beside the point. What is important is that they shared it, and that faith helped them to survive.

Could the director and the writers have made their points even more effectively? Probably. Would I have liked to have known more about the individual characters? Definitely. Would the film have benefited from a larger budget? Possibly.

All of these questions are moot, however. Every film deserves to be judged on its own terms, on the basis of what it is and not what it might have been. Not every film can be another Citizen Kane or Rules of the Game, nor should it be.

Taken on its own merits, To End All Wars is an excellent film that I expect to watch many times and recommend to my family and friends as well. The fact that the film never got proper distribution, at least in the United States, and therefore never got the recognition that it deserves, shows just how shallow and superficial the Hollywood film industry has become. Thankfully it is available on DVD.
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10/10
Seriously powerful and well done.
the_eef7 July 2004
I have never had a movie have the effect this one had on me. This movie makes other movies look shallow and weak in my opinion. It made me really think about life, and the acting was so good. Not just another war movie, To End All Wars takes the true story of Ernest Gordon and veteran Argyle soldiers to the screen in a way that will turn your heart inside out. I honestly can't explain the effect this movie had on me, me and my friends sat silent as it ended out of astonishment. I recommend this movie to everyone I talk to about movies. It's a breath of fresh air because it makes some strong statements about morality and forgiveness, and is written beautifully.
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9/10
haunting and powerful story
luvvbuzz5420 January 2005
i saw this film as i tend to like films of this type about humanitarian stories, the fact that this one is true actual events made it even more powerful for me. it truly does bring home the facts of what the men from ww11 endured to make our world today as free as it is, and it is films like this one that should be shown as part of history curriculum in high schools. the film was brilliant, brutal, honest, extremely well acted, filmed and managed to touch me to the point of tears. Robert Carlyle was fantastic, as were the rest of the leads, i would give this film 9 out of 10 simply because 10 out of 10 would be perfection and perfection does not exist.
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8/10
Wow! Totally surprised that this slipped by my radar
andrewwolfson22 July 2005
After repeated watchings my rating may go up. I love the movie THE THIN RED LINE and this movie reminded me of it strongly except it did not have the excellent cinematography that film did.

I watched it because I like Robert Carlyle a lot and was not disappointed by his performance or any other of the actors on both sides of the war. The pacing was perfect and the violence was very brutal and sometimes unexpected but effective.

The message it delivered to me made the movie for me. Loving thy enemy. Just realizing that we are all just humans caught up in something we didn't start. I highly recommend this movie if you like a film made with compassion.
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10/10
powerful, intense, and yet hopeful
socalpel13 July 2004
From the clash of the cultures, to the clash between the characters within the each cultures -amazingly well thought through and well written. Sutherland and Carlyle did a tremendous job . . . a powerful cast. True to the grim realities of war without being gratuitous - a refreshing dynamic! It's quite a different viewpoint of the same period as "bridge of the river Kwai" It seems like so many war movies are depressing, or even if they have real resolution, there is no real hope for the future. This movie uniquely brings hope regarding the human condition - even as men are ground within the mortar and pestle of war - they can look beyond themselves . . .to not only respect, but love their enemies.
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Uplifting
Mr Toad9 December 2002
To End All Wars is a remarkably bold--almost brazen--film that deserves a wider distribution. As far as war movies go, it is much better than Thin Red Line, which tries to be thoughtful but only achieves a meaningless ambivalence. To End All Wars conveys its message in a clear yet profound way.

As a Christian film, it shines as the boldest offering I have ever seen. Whereas popular depictions of religion (Seventh Heaven, anyone?) might mention an unspecified god every now and then, this film uses unmistakable metaphors and symbolism that blur the line between analogy and reality. It is one thing to put a cross in a shot. It is another thing completely to depict someone making sacrifices for his friends.

Ultimately, To End All Wars makes no compromises, neither to those who think its rating does not match its message nor not to those who think it is too preachy. Some things need to be preached.
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wow!
nathan-125 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I was expecting just another 'Rambo' or 'Platoon' but instead got a 'Schindler's List' or 'The Pianist'. At the start of the film, I was all for Robert Carlyle to go on a rampage and kill the POW guards (or 'nips' as they are referred to in this film, and were during WW2). But as the story progresses, it turns into a story of self-sacrifice with Christian ethics. I must say, during the crucifixion scene, I shed a tear (which is VERY rare for me, and even more so since this is a low-budget film). This film is very moving, at times it can be hard viewing, but if this film does not move you then you have no soul - it's worth watching!!! Some of you might feel revenge, or (like me) forgiveness after watching it. The end message of the film is to test the viewer and ask them a question: Can you forgive your enemey and love and help them like a friend, no matter how much hurt and pain they cause you and your loved ones and to forgive them? I would highly recommend anyone with a human soul to watch this film, but if you like all the CGI, blood-for-fun, violence and drama of 'Saving Private Ryan' then you're not welcome here...
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10/10
Excellent Film
JohnHandyman7 April 2007
I rented this film not having read or researched any information regarding the true events behind it. I was surprised, and incensed to look further into the story.

From the perspective of a movie, the actors, directing, etc were all very well put together and played. Kieffer Sutherland brought his character to pulling you into his part, Mark Strong and Ciaran McMenamin played their parts as kindred spirits excellently.

The best acting was Sakae Kimura playing Sgt. Ito. He never spoke a line of English through the film, but his facial expressions spoke massive volumes! I was completely taken aback with how well he communicated without even speaking my native tongue. My hat is off to him for such an excellent performance.

If you enjoy films about humanity, perseverance against all odds, and learning the atrocities of war this will be well worth your time!
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10/10
One of the most powerful films of the new millennium
chris_jo_200430 January 2007
I am an aspiring filmmaker and enjoy, possibly obsess, on watching a lot of movies. I am known as the "movie guy" and people ask me for my two cents about films all the time. When I heard of "To End All Wars" it sounded promising and decided to give it a try. It never came to a theater near me, but I did get to rent it when it came out on DVD. I have to say that touched me beyond any movie I have never seen and you can't even imagine how many movies I have seen. The directing was beyond glorious, that I'm sure Steven Spielberg would be moved. I very much liked how he portrayed the POW's and the Japanese soldiers. The POW's are very shaky, hand-held look while on the opposite side the Japanese are very still and clear cut. The story was powerful and something everyone can learn from. The Christian subtext is light and only adds to the characters. The acting was fantastic! Robert Carlyle and Kiefer Sutherland gave amazing performances, but I do think that they were upstaged by Ciaran McMenamin and Mark Strong. They convicted me and touched my soul as they brought out, only what I can call true life. If you want to watch something that will make a true impact on you and leave you breathless, then this is the movie to go with. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
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10/10
Wonderful Cinematic Experience
blue1961-115 August 2005
This isn't a war film, it features in a time of was with POW's and their jailers, but it is at its heart about the magnificence of the human spirit. A marvellous example of hope. The worst and the best of the human condition is on display, it doesn't succumb to tricks or props, it doesn't need to, because what it has is emotion. Get out your hankies. Be prepared for marvellous performances by all of the cast, nobody stands out because that was the way it needed to be played.

This film is one of those you must see. I bought it for under £5.00 at my Choices video store, and what a bargain that was. Go out and buy this film now and add it to your collection.
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10/10
Powerful, riveting, emotional, refreshing!
yhwhisholy28 July 2004
Refreshing? How can you call a movie with such graphic brutality and violence refreshing? Because it is a true story account of forgiveness. How can someone endure such pain, such torture, such inhumane treatment and in the end offer their brutalizers forgiveness. In our day and age of "dog eat dog" living, we need stories such as these to remind us that there is a better way, no matter what you have to endure.

The movie is brilliantly written and brilliantly acted. You will want your friends and family to see this film! It is extremely unfortunate that the makers of this film could not get the financial backing for it to appear in theaters, it would have surely been a hit. I look at some of the movies that are out there today and they are so disappointing. Please send a message to Hollywood and endorse this work of art that should have made it into every theater in this great land.
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9/10
Greatest POW movie I've yet to see!
ballooncast6 September 2010
As a history buff I've seen a variety of war and POW movies. WWII movies happen to be a favorite as they seem to show special spirit of the nations in a hard fought fight against the Axis powers.

Out of all of the war movies I've seen this one holds a great place in my heart.

1) The story wasn't solely focused on an American soldier. While I love our soldiers many nations joined together to fight in WWII. It was really nice to see other nationalities hold the banner of freedom out in such a movie.

2) The opening scene captures my heart.

3) The soundtrack is one of the greatest I've heard outside the Thin Red Line.

4) Kiefer Sutherland portrayal in the latter half of the movie is the greatest since the early days of his portrayal as Jack Baurer.

5) This movie beyond anything else shares the greatest picture of redemption I've yet to see.

I was in awe of this story throughout. It captivated my attention and refused to let it go. I've never enjoyed a movie enough to write a review on IMDb, but this broke every mold I know.
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A Profound film
futures-17 May 2007
"To End all Wars": Starring Robert Carlyle ("Go Now"), Keifer Sutherland, and MANY talented men. As the film began, it felt like a cousin to "Bridge on the River Kwai", but the plot slowly morphed to an even MORE complex set of ethical issues, with divisions not seen in that great 1950's film. I see this new one as more related to the movie "Andersonville" - our own true American tragedy of a P.O.W. camp during the Civil War - and what THAT experience demanded of those interned. "To End all Wars" is certainly an anti-war film, and a true story, but looks at many individuals for the complexity of dealing with the horror...and offers bits of consolation...where it can be found. Its elegant ending reminded me of "Schindler's List". "To End all Wars" deserves to be considered a PROFOUND film.
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8/10
eyes glued to the screen
Emerenciano13 November 2006
What if I told you you will watch a war film but won't see so many war scenes? Would you believe me? Would you say "this can't be a war film!"? Well, believe me, TO END ALL WARS is this film! It's a very good WAR film where shots and guns are not seen very much. Maybe this movie should be named a "drama war" or anything like a "military drama". But let alone the genre. The important thing is to enjoy this nice movie with a different development: a Scottish group of soldiers are sent to Thailand to fight the Japanese force but ends up being kept as captive. The soldiers are forced to build a railway for the Japanese but some of them plan to escape from that hell. When they're together at night, they discuss what to do for their future but they don't seem to agree about it. The discussions (and arguments) arise and each of the prisoners defends his point of view. The acting is very good and our attention is 100% towards the story.
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9/10
A hidden gem
Vassag030 October 2006
A powerful film about pow's in Burma/Thailand, who built The railroad of death during the 2nd World War.It shows many things about us humans, but most importantly it portraits hope, forgiveness, the bible and leaves a big question about what justice is. Very good movie indeed, acting and directing are superbly done and why i didn't see this film before now, blows my mind. This film can teach us a thing or two about being human.I highly recommend this beautiful film, but beware it's not for the faint hearted.Actually it touched me deep inside and made me think, what is life and why can't we live in peace without these agonizing wars!
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10/10
How did this not go bigger?
turnip_farmer4 October 2006
How did this not get a MASSIVE distribution deal? How did this not get an amazing cinematic release? This Film would have made History. I guess this is just the way the Film World is for new film makers, and new independent film makers. What they don't realize is that even though the mob in Hollywood may have not liked David to much, or that no one took a massive bite into the distribution/cinematic release is that they just missed out on what could have been an amazing, AMAZING thing for the film world. Not only for their wallets but in every other aspect. I would still like to see this Film re-released in the Cinema, and have a big build up. I still think it could pull it off, even all these years later!
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9/10
To End All Wars
ppaulpadam15 September 2006
For anyone who is interested in learning more about Ernest, please find his book. It was called Miracle On The River Kwaii. It may have been changed to To End All....

I knew Ernest and he was helpful to me in my life. The movie doesn't go deeply into some of the torture that was really experienced - the book does so be warned.

The character of Dusty is also a bit different in the book. The juxtaposition of his true sense of simplicity, and the other inmates intellectual prowess, anger and rage about their treatment is very interesting. How Ernest could survive - how any of them survived is beyond belief. Perhaps the Japanese sense of "Bushido" and many of the current Islamic beliefs show a parallel here

It is helpful and hopeful. Ernest was a great man. I have made a web page about him and the film here if you have an interest www.pauladams.org/Stories/ErnestGordon.htm
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5/10
Winning game plan, losing execution
bomi-118 March 2005
The material with which Cunningham et al were working with in this film was tremendous; unfortunately, their handling of it was not. Part "Bridge on the River Kwai," part, "The Great Escape," part "The Passion of the Christ" (heavily sanitized), the film probably suffered from trying to live up to the mastery of its predecessors.

To begin with some positives, though: the photography is very good. Although some of the shots do a poor job of creating a sense of visual rhythm, each frame can stand alone as a still photograph. The shots are nicely balanced, and the lighting is rarely amiss. The acting also leaves little to be desired. This is one area in which Cunningham succeeding as a director: he really did a nice job of fostering an actor-friendly atmosphere and brought out the best in the respective players.

However, as successful as Cunningham was in directing the shooting and acting, he was equally unsuccessful with the rest of the film-making process. To begin with, there is a comic litany of unlikely objects magically appearing in this remote Japanese prison camp. From a set of bagpipes, to a collection of clean dress uniforms, to a violin, to a wheelchair that would have made FDR envious, some of the decisions that were apparently made to enhance the dramatic effects of certain scenes stretched the imagination more than a little bit. It was also remarkable how well-shaven the POW's remained during their two-and-a-half year imprisonment.

But those are relatively minor issues, I suppose. More damning is the general lack of perspective that the film provides, both narratively and spatially. For example, there is no feeling as to how long the march from the battlefield to the camp was, although I assume that it was supposed to be a long, arduous ordeal. Cunningham's issues providing narrative perspective were perhaps the most important flaw in the film. As a viewer, I was never able to grasp the difficulties that these men had in this camp. While the narrator (I believe the presence of the narrator to have been a mistake to begin with for this particular film) kept making references to the precariousness of their hold on life and sanity, the film never visually or narratively reinforced the grinding-down provided by the everyday reality of the camp. There are a handful of exceptional instances of oppression shown, but nothing that leaves you feeling the physical and mental exhaustion the prisoners faced every day. Instead, you see a lot of scenes of the prisoners as they perform Shakespeare, or discuss philosophy. On an intellectual, rational level, it is apparent how important these activities could have been to the prisoners, but this importance is never captured aesthetically.

There is also precious little character development. Firstly, too many characters are important for all of them to be sufficiently developed in a feature-length film. There are too many stories to tell, without enough time to tell them all. The characters ultimately remain relatively static, in spite of the wonderful potential supplied by the plot to turn any one of these men into a compelling portrait. This lack of character development also saps the strength of many of the philosophical/religious overtones. Because it is difficult to connect to many of the characters, their sacrifices and transgressions mean much less than they should.

Finally, as I hinted at before, the presence of the narrator eventually undermined any subtlety that the film may have had. While is some places the narrator's comments merely cheapened the "showing" (as opposed to "telling") of important thematic elements in the film, in many places the narrator's comments completely replaced any attempt to "show" the reality on which he was commenting upon, including his comments on the hardships of the imprisonment.

While I have heard/read many people who have responded very emotionally to this film (in a positive way), I have a hard time understanding their sentiment. The film simply relies too heavily on abstraction rather than visual/narrative demonstration of the reality it is trying to depict to inspire any strong emotions in me. While the plot and characters contain a true treasure trove of potential, I feel like most of the potential was wasted on this particular film-making team.
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10/10
A Film of Breathtaking Oscar Worthy Performances and Beautiful Film-making About A True Story of the Will to Survive and the Courage to Forgive
SeanPennModernPowerhouse21 October 2004
Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting, The Beach), Kiefer Sutherland (TV's 24, A Few Good Men, A Time to Kill, The Lost Boys, Phone Booth), Cieran McManamin and Mark Strong shine through in Oscar worthy performances in this powerful true story of (as the tag line says) the will to survive and the courage to forgive.

Director David L. Cunningham's film, based on World War II veteran Ernest Gordon's book, is a thing of beauty. Never mind all those so-called 'American Classics' like American Beauty and The Cider House Rules. Don't get me wrong, those are excellent movies, but I just see To End All Wars as better film-making triumph. The film shows the true horrors that British and American soldier faced in a Japanese prison camp during WWII.

With McManamin and Strong being little-known actors, I thought that Carlyle and Sutherland would over-shadow them. But that is not the case as they act as supporting material to McManamin's breathtaking leading performance and Strong is equally as 'strong'.

But To End All Wars doesn't just have wonderful performances. Every last detail is done to perfection, especially Cunningham's direction. But, there is one thing that does puzzle me and that is if Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and The Rock are both in IMDb's Top 250, then why isn't this?
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1/10
a fatal helicopter crash (FHC) of a movie/shoulda been a documentary
doughill-111 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This thing commits 2 unpardonable movie-making sins, from whence spring all its awfulness.

1) There is no time or dialogue given to build up ANY sympathy for (or even a bare knowledge of) the characters. So the movie is constantly trying to pull on my emotions without earning it. That's sentimentalism. When the swelling Celtic or Triumph of the Human Spirit music came (and it came often) it was a farce! A joke! KILL 'EM ALL, CAUSE I DON'T CARE!

2) It lacks any subtlety whatever. First, the omnipresent use of the Narrator is a dead giveaway. Narrators in moving pictures are ALWAYS questionable and usually show laziness or ineptitude or that they're dumbing things down. Using the Narrator throughout, as this turkey does, it becomes a short story acted out on the screen. It's sermonic. It defeats the purpose of MOVING PICTURES. Aren't movies moving pictures & music & dialogue being ACTED OUT to make us feel and think? TELLING us how to feel and think through narration or obvious dialogue betrays the intent of a movie. Secondly, the dialogue was unsubtle. A man saves his rations to give to a dying man. He tells the dying man that he has connections to get extra. Then the nice man is dying and the other wonders about it. An onlooker says, "He never got extra rations." STOP, OH PLEASE STOP. No, he goes and spells it out--"He was giving you his." Here's another--Narrator: "We didn't pay the captain back in kind; it began to eat at him." Show it subtly, don't just blurt it out loud! Here was a priceless one: Hardboiled, hard-talking Scotsman: "Whatever Dusty said to Ito, I knew that I had witnessed the power of forgiveness." I knew that I had witnessed the power of forgiveness?! Whoop! Thirdly, the symbolism was o so unsubtle and way overdone. The one-man-punished-for-all-the-unworthy-ones came up 3 or 4 times. One guy gets nailed Jesus-style to a literal cross! To me this cheapens Jesus's cross. If you're going to use that symbol show it in the distance, something! And the ending scene ends up mocking the much better Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List.

The movie had other serious problems. It didn't know what it wanted to be. By turns it's an escape movie, a life is meaningless movie, a knowledge makes life worth living movie--it tries to be too much. There's also too many emotional arcs. They're happy, they're sad, they're up, they're down, they're winning, no they're losing... And, the theology is bad. "Love your enemy" and "turn the other cheek" apply to personal injury not to wartime, unless you're one of those who believes all war is wrong. Finally, there was NO humor in the movie. In the worst of times, maybe especially in the worst of times, there is humor.

My tag lines: "Christian movie-making at its best!" "Torture yourself by watching 'To End All Wars.'
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8/10
ouch, hits pretty close to home
gary-42112 July 2004
It is hard to watch but has a lot of emotive issues which many can identify with. The university of the Jungle was inspired and empowered the POW's with a sense of purpose and hope. "Dusty" was almost over the top in his offer to be a substitute. Kiefer also had that same quality after he came to his senses. The credits at the end of the film showing both Japanese translator and the teacher being reunited at the cemetery was as moving as the film itself. It was pretty gruesome to watch the brutality being inflicted on the prisoners. What they accomplished in the building of the railroad through such horrendous and challenging conditions was extraordinary. The suffering of that challenge and the response of the prisoners to their captors certainly speaks for forgiveness. It is similar to the hearings in South Africa just a few years ago.
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