6.1/10
64,319
461 user 142 critic

Windtalkers (2002)

R | | Action, Drama, War | 14 June 2002 (USA)
Trailer
1:10 | Trailer
Two U.S. Marines in World War II are assigned to protect Navajo Marines, who use their native language as an unbreakable radio cypher.

Director:

John Woo
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas Cage ... Joe Enders
Adam Beach ... Ben Yahzee
Peter Stormare ... Hjelmstad
Noah Emmerich ... Chick
Mark Ruffalo ... Pappas
Brian Van Holt ... Harrigan
Martin Henderson ... Nellie
Roger Willie ... Charlie Whitehorse
Frances O'Connor ... Rita
Christian Slater ... Ox Henderson
Jason Isaacs ... Major Mellitz
William Morts ... Fortino
Cameron Thor ... Mertens
Kevin Cooney ... Ear Doctor
Holmes Osborne ... Colonel Hollings
Learn more

More Like This 

Broken Arrow (1996)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Terrorists steal nuclear warheads from the U.S. military but don't count on a pilot and park ranger spoiling their plans.

Director: John Woo
Stars: John Travolta, Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Special-Ops commander leads his team into the Nigerian jungle in order to rescue a doctor who will only join them if they agree to save 70 refugees too.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Bruce Willis, Cole Hauser, Monica Bellucci
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War, and the soldiers on both sides that fought it, while their wives wait nervously and anxiously at home for the good news or the bad news.

Director: Randall Wallace
Stars: Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe, Greg Kinnear
Face/Off (1997)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In order to foil a terrorist plot, an FBI agent undergoes facial transplant surgery and assumes the identity of a criminal mastermind, who murdered his only son. The plan turns sour when the criminal wakes up prematurely and seeks revenge.

Director: John Woo
Stars: John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen
Snake Eyes (1998)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A shady police detective finds himself in the middle of a murder conspiracy at an important boxing match in an Atlantic City casino.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Gary Sinise, John Heard
Paycheck (2003)
Action | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

What seemed like a breezy idea for an engineer to net him millions of dollars, leaves him on the run for his life and piecing together why he's being chased.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Ben Affleck, Aaron Eckhart, Uma Thurman
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A retired master car thief must come back to the industry and steal fifty cars with his crew in one night to save his brother's life.

Director: Dominic Sena
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi
Next (2007)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A Las Vegas magician who can see into the future is pursued by FBI agents seeking to use his abilities to prevent a nuclear terrorist attack.

Director: Lee Tamahori
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel
Hart's War (2002)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A law student becomes a lieutenant during World War II, is captured and asked to defend a black prisoner of war falsely accused of murder.

Director: Gregory Hoblit
Stars: Bruce Willis, Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A hitman who's in Bangkok to pull off a series of jobs violates his personal code when he falls for a local woman and bonds with his errand boy.

Directors: Danny Pang, Oxide Chun Pang
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Charlie Yeung, Shahkrit Yamnarm
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Two Port Authority police officers become trapped under the rubble of the World Trade Center.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Michael Peña, Maria Bello
Lord of War (2005)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An arms dealer confronts the morality of his work as he is being chased by an INTERPOL Agent.

Director: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto
Edit

Storyline

During World War II when the Americans needed to find a secure method of communicating they devised a code using the Navajo language. So Navajos were recruited to become what they call code talkers. They would be assigned to a unit and would communicate with other units using the code so that even though the enemy could listen they couldn't understand what they were saying. And to insure that the code is protected men are assigned to protect it at all costs. One of these men is Joe Enders, a man who sustained an injury that can make him unfit for duty but he manages to avoid it and is told of his duty and that the man he is suppose to protect is Ben Yahzee. Initially there is tension but the two men learn to get along. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Honor Was Their Code. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive graphic war violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This would be the second to final film that John Woo would direct in the United States and for a major studio. "Paycheck" starring Oscar Winner Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman would be Woo's final film for Paramount Pictures. Woo left stating "All Hollywood offers me is crap or big action pictures. I want to do something good." See more »

Goofs

When Enders is pretending to be taken prisoner by Yahzee, and he goes to move behind Yahzee after being hit, you can see the shadow of a cameraman on the floor, moving with the shot. See more »

Quotes

Joe Enders: You think too much.
Private Chick: First time I've ever been accused of that.
See more »

Alternate Versions

An extended directors cut is available on dvd and features about 22 minutes of new footage. These include several extended battle scenes as well as a few fully deleted scenes including an early scene of Joe recieving a medal for his work at the start of the film. There are also several new scenes near the start as well including a scene of Joe and Rita on the beach. This scene was included in the trailer for the film. Also a scene of all the marines taking pictures before shipping off to war. Also an extended scene of Yazee introducing himself to Joe and joe asks if he has seen any combat to which yazee replies "No, but i'm looking forward to getting into some." There were also several other smaller additions and alternate angles and shots used. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic Real Thoughts: Face/Off (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

IÄ 'OE E KA LÄ
Traditional
Performed by Kunewa Mook and Hula Hälau 'O Kamuela
See more »

User Reviews

 
The Director's Cut is an improvement
26 October 2005 | by ridleyrulesSee all my reviews

I just watched the director's cut on DVD after having seen the theatrical cut some time ago.

Plot summary: In WWII, a code based on the Navajo language was used to securely communicate between US troops in the Asian Pacific, without the Japanese eavesdropping. We follow two Navajo code talkers and their US Marine "bodyguards" as they go into combat on a Japanese island.

A lot has been written about this somewhat flawed John Woo movie. After having seen both versions, my main disappointment is still that the two code talkers seem like background characters. A movie with a lower budget, without big Hollywood stars put in the foreground would probably have been more satisfying. Maybe that movie should have been done by another director too, I don't know.

Enough good "general" war movies have been made. The code talker part of the story should have been made much more pivotal as was done here.

I'm a fan of Woo's Hong Kong and Hollywood work. The director's cut of Windtalkers doesn't turn a mediocre Woo film into a masterpiece, but it is certainly an improvement.

Main advantages of the DC are more fleshed out characters. You get more background on all main characters, including the two Navajo code talkers. I felt more involved. As a result, the code talker part of the story is served better, but still not enough to my taste. The DC also has more uncut battlefield scenes. Woo really shows his talent here, with raw yet beautifully shot war action. You get the sense that you are in the middle of the action.

I was particularly interested if a scene was put back in where a US soldier takes a golden tooth from a Japanese corpse. This scene was described in several documentaries about censorship by the US Army. Not completely surprisingly, this scene was also absent from the DC.

If you are a Woo fan or already appreciated the theatrical cut, it may be worth checking out the director's cut.

My ratings: 6/10 for the original cut. 8/10 for the director's cut.


51 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 461 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Navajo | Japanese

Release Date:

14 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wind Talkers See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$115,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,520,412, 16 June 2002

Gross USA:

$40,914,068

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$77,628,265
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed