Angel of the Skies (2013) Poster

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8/10
Surprisingly good for an independent film
timlaste469 December 2013
Not your average war film, but rather an interesting look at the life of commonwealth pilots that served Britain during the war. The visual effects are not as great as many Hollywood productions, but this isn't a Hollywood production. Don't get me wrong, they are rather good on a high definition screen, but I was a little sad to see that the main air battle was short lived. The film is more about a bomber pilot and his crew, and their daring escape from occupied Europe. That being said, after watching the behind the scenes documentary that was also available on the Blu Ray, I have new found respect for the film makers. The director taught himself visual effects and took it unto himself to do all the work alone, for almost three years. One can easily see the passion, blood, sweat and tears thrown into the production. It's reminiscent of the old auteur filmmakers, which we do not see very often. One can not expect all films to have massive budgets and for that I completely forgive the lack of "quality', if you can call it that, in the air battle scenes. Once on the ground, the film takes a different direction and I found the slow pace reminded me of older films I had watched in my younger days. I can see this film will not appeal to a younger audience who are used to the fast paced action scenes that make up the majority of films today. Unfortunately it won't be remembered as one of the great war films, but it was enjoyable none the less. If you're looking for a fast thrill, skip this film, it requires more commitment from its audience.
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4/10
Rather Disappointing
mike-ryan45529 November 2013
I don't want to flame South African cinema. I've enjoyed several releases from there. I also love a good World War II flying movie. This one lost credibility with me.

I can forgive the CGI flight scenes that look like they came out of a game. Original planes from that period are far too rare and valuable to use to make a movie and special effects don't make a movie. The story makes the movie. Unfortunately the story is what let me down.

There is a phenomena called "suspension of disbelief" in a movie. Unfortunately they literally shot suspension of disbelief quite early. The cliché evil SS officer just blew it away. His actions were utterly illogical. His men didn't point out how his actions directly worked against the Third Reich winning the war.

The evil SS officer was the worst but it wasn't the only logical failure. Over and over I kept thinking "Why would they do that" and "What a wasted opportunity." I sincerely wish them better luck next time.
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6/10
South African WW 2 Drama
t-dooley-69-38691615 December 2013
This is a South African made film about some of the former colonies men who volunteered their services to fight for Britain at the hour of her greatest need in the dark days of World War 2. Meet Captain Kirk (yes he is really called that) played by Nicholas Van Der Bijl, in a performance of varying degrees. He leads a motley crew of his fellow countrymen who use such vocabulary as 'cheerio' and 'filly' in reference to ladies. Anyway they are fighting for RAF, Bomber Command and have to go and bomb the bejesus out of Germany etc.

Well whilst over Germany they get shot and have to make an emergency landing and then decide to battle their way back to France and the safety of the British lines, this is set late in the war and Operation Overlord has already taken place so we are well past D Day. What happens next is the story of their journey.

Right, for war film buffs there are a few things wrong with this film, first off the planes are all CGI, which is not a problem as they are all done really well even the Mescherschmitts, with props that look real and proper smoke etc so well done there. Problem is these guys are flying during the day. By this stage of the war the USAAF were doing the daylight runs and the RAF were doing the night runs. And they had fighter escort in the latter stages when this is set and there are none here. They are also flying Liberators which were never deployed to bomb Bremen by the RAF as depicted here. Now you are doing CGI so you could have got a Lancaster or a Wellington even, but still never mind.

The acting is all quite good and the love interest in the shape of Kirky's beloved in good if underplayed Lillie Claire as the neglected and dutiful lover is actually really convincing. This does have its moments and is far from being a bad movie, but factual errors really annoy some people and it is not a real full on 'action fest' especially once the plane goes splat, but I still found a lot to actually like here, hence the rating. If factual errors annoy you then best to avoid, and it was originally released as 'Angel of the skies' in a reference to the plane and not the overblown title we have presented here.
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9/10
A review from a fan that saw the film at Durban International Film Festival
crash_nemesis5 September 2013
This is a review that was posted on the Angel of the Skies fan page on Facebook.

"I rather liked the slowish pace in the beginning. I really was able to get to know each character and hence care about them as their various fortunes unfolded. If anything I could have had more character building, only because I occasionally got a tad confused between two of the airmen who looked alike. Overall, a superb and surprising film that manages to capture the allure of those old classic war movies that many of us oldies grew up on. Guns of Navarone, Battle of Britain, the Dirty Dozen. Yet the film has also succeeded in being contemporary. There were moments when it resonated and drew triggers from and with Inglorious Basterds, A delight to watch a 'home spun' film made with such technical expertise with a dead straight storyline with the magical and universal appeal of a boys own adventure novel. My only slight criticism was with the texture of the dialogue which sometimes had a audio quality that seemed not to match the environment it was enacted within. Thanks!" - Andre J Smith
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6/10
More good than bad
max-vernon24 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
First the good. It is good that digitalisation, CGI & straight to DVD is making low budget film making more possible. This inevitably means more films, some of poor quality. The writing & general production values of this film are not at all bad. There has been a plethora of poor WW2 films on the market lately. This is not one of them. This is more war drama than war action film & any prospective viewer should bear this in mind.

The film is informative about the strains, stresses & foibles of the young men sent to bomb Germany. Others have commented on the unlikelihood of a joint RAF/US daylight bombing raid. Night war action seldom excites on film. So perhaps we can afford the film maker some poetic licence. The main air action sequence is pretty good.

It is also good that young white South Africans should cast about for what to be proud of in their recent history, just like Germany's postwar generation has had to do. Both generations live under the shadow of twin evils - Nazism & Apartheid. Innumerable German films have dealt with the German opposition to Nazism. Now we have young white South Africans recounting the tale of young white South Africans fighting Nazism in WW2. The decision to use the SS rather than regular Wehrmacht underlines how evil Nazism was.

One could be cynical and say the anti-Nazi heroics of a few can hardly make up for the decades of injustice under Apartheid which followed victory in 1945. But that is not the point. We are talking about post-Nazi & post-Apartheid generations who bear no responsibility for the previous evils of their countries. It is good that a story like the one portrayed in this film can be seized upon by young South Africans, white & black, to show they have a common story of opposing racism & oppression - but in different times & different places.

Now the bad. The South African actors used in the film struggle with the British accent. The portrayal of the SS is too clichéd but does add a dramatic tension which is otherwise rather lacking. The British soldiers appear rather too spic & span for troops who have been fighting their way across France since D-Day.
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1/10
"Roger that,lootenant"....somebody should have.................
ianlouisiana22 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Navigating through heavy flack despite the fact that they appear to be flying across a mountain range,the crew of an RAF Liberator,a multi - national mix of English,American and South African aircrew with dodgy accents,conduct a terse conversation in 21st century media - speak. It sounds as if it had been texted from the writer's smartphone. Having miraculously evaded the attentions of numerous toy 109s they then rather carelessly crash "Somewhere in Germany" having lost their rear gunner who fell out of a hole in the fuselage someone made earlier. This poor chap was then shot by a passing SS officer instead of being captured and interrogated for useful information which would have rather spoiled the point about Germans being nasty buggers all round and likely to be dangerous to the health of any RAF types stooging around Hunland looking for a trip back to Blighty. Sheltering in a passing barn - as it were - our heroes,under the command of Captain Kirk(I couldn't believe it either)encounter a comely farmer's daughter who tells them "The Germans are down the road",which,as she is German herself,seems a little bizarre,textually,but never mind. Our heroes run off and lo and behold the SS Officer from a bit earlier has the girl shot before chasing after them. Eventually only the brave South African survives to return to Blighty and save the Empire with scarcely a twitch of his moustache. 50 years later Apartheid came to an end. Possibly those two events were connected. But then again,possibly not. "Angel of the skies" was made in 2013.Presumably by two 12 - year - olds on their dad's old Apple. It is the worst war film I have ever seen and that includes "Escape to Athena".Think about that.
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2/10
Horrible, just horrible
sunetteramos29 November 2013
I watch a lot of war movies (especially with my dad). So don't think i'm against war films as i write this...

This was a horrible horrible movie. I don't even know where to start, the title sequence felt like it went on forever, with the same grainy film in a loop overlapping at what felt like a whole newspaper I had to read.

The visual effects were appalling. Felt like it was rushed by a 9th grader using 3D studio max for the first time.

The characters was one dimensional and the acting was just soooo soooo baaaaad.

The story was boring, after the first 15 min I lost interest.

And the sound..ARRRG the sound....The background sounds were out of place and repetitive. The voices in some scenes sounded as if it were re-dubbed.

The ONLY reason i'm giving it a rating of 2 out of 10, is that at least the costumes looked authentic.

Rather save your money and re-watch something brilliant like Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, The Pacific or We were soldiers.
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6/10
Solid WWII film.
petarmatic26 January 2014
This a solid air force WWII film. It goes well with the computer games my kids used to play when they were little.

I enjoyed this film, special effects were not up to the par. Was it like this in the real war? Acting is sometimes good, sometimes bad, I am not sure which way it is swaying.

The scenes of crash landing should of been done better, you can see it was some sort of special effect which did not turn out the best.

Plot is similar to any other WWII films of this type.

Camera work, is sometimes excellent, like the scene when they are running in the forest. Sometimes not so good, like in the plane sometimes.

If you like good WWII action film this one is for you.
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3/10
Failed attempt
iViewed5 November 2014
Just watched this on the TV. Interesting storyline let down by poor research and immature psychological insight, silly stereotyping and stilted dialogue script.

Initially I thought the acting a bit wooden. Slowly each of the main characters idiosyncrasies grew on me until they became almost believable characters and worthy of the "Actor" job-description. The exceptions were the girlfriend of the main protagonist and a truly SSified SS officer. She; really quite irrelevant to the story. He; relevant but preposterous. Why, in the 21st Century, did the director decide to have a German SS officer who came from the same mould Hollywood production lines fabricated in the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's...? The man who played "SS offizer" wasn't even any good at acting a simple 2D stereotype.

Bomber flight formations were good even if the CGI was a bit naff, though one can't be too picky as the producers certainly wouldn't have had a Spielberg or Cameron budget (and they can create disastrously bad films costing tens to hundreds of millions., ie., , Titanic, Avatar, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, Jurassic Park series).

The plot would have been better served with less time in the air and more time on enemy occupied ground as terrorfliegers cautiously avoiding the wrath of a heavily bombed people and SS Panzer division.

The girlfriend (story) could easily have been ditched with no loss, and the cardboard cutout SS officer spun into a more credible human being. Which, frankly, is what I'd hoped the film would be like when I read the TV schedule description.
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7/10
Heroes, Not Hollywood
ChananMattison19 January 2014
I've met real life heroes of the Battle of Britain, DFC winners, like the chap who went up after losing his legs. There may be some technical problems such as accurate equipment, but for an independent film, its actually 'bloody' good. There are some remarkable realism of character portrayed here, and because of this the film succeeds in being deeply moving. And all the more because it is not Hollywood slick. Its a humble film, non-pretentious and because of this you really end up caring about the characters involved. It breaks some Director rules: it needed to pick up the pace in its dialogue, but the characterization level is excellent. If anyone is experienced with many of German blood, the SS officer here is very good: its the way it was and therefore when you know that it is very chilling. Lots of the actors get the military mannerisms remarkably accurate here, right down to the correct angle of their hats. I suspect that equipment inaccuracies can occur when the budget is limited and the Director had to make do. These are heroes not in the Hollywood mould but as they were in real life, flawed at times and yet sometimes even though making mistakes, sometimes costly, they were ready to do great things for one another. So much is owed by our young generation to those who gave up their lives in this great conflict of good and evil, so that our democracies might survive. I suspect that those who are so dissatisfied with this film are equally dissatisfied with life, because the realistic effort of Angel of the Skies is very high. 7 out of 10!
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1/10
Boring and full of erroneous information.
johncs-smith22 August 2014
I just LOVE WW2 flying movies. This has to be the worse I've ever seen. Never mind the wrong salutes and wrong uniforms. The rank of Lieutenant has NEVER existed in the RAF (or RCAF - same structure). Pilot Officer, Flying Officer, Flight Lieutenant and so on. If memory serves, this structure was established in 1919! Prior to 1919 the RAF was the RFC.

The VW Kubelwagen the SS men were driving had a RIGHT hand drive. In Germany, right hand drive vehicles have NEVER been in use. Not even in WW2.

The list of errors goes on and on and on...

Too much crap, not enough believable action!!! Compared to such greats as Reach For The Skies, or The Battle Of Britain, this REALLY sucks!!!
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2/10
generally just bad
mail-401727 January 2014
The cinematography at times verged on acceptable but the acting never even approached this level, not even close. I found it hard to empathise with any of the characters because I couldn't suspend the belief in the acting. It's hard to know if the writer, director or actors are to blame as one of the constant annoyances was a guaranteed WWII cliché of dialogue every minute or so that simply grated.

The accents were simply laughable and removed any sense of authenticity. As some of the other reviews have noted, the background sound design is obviously looped and this gets boring quickly.

The CGI was also basic, which in some cases can be charming, in this case however it just looked cheap.

I didn't finish watching this movie, I wouldn't recommend you start.
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1/10
Where do you start?
collioure_bee10 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
If you are going to make a film paying tribute to the South Africans that volunteered and fought in WWII then at least make an attempt to do it well.

The film opened well enough, with a CGI dogfight over the Channel but it plummeted downhill from there. The CGI used wasn't a problem for me, it saves money and there aren't many WWII planes left to play with. The film was so full of holes it took away any sense of respectability.

The first problem was the acting, particularly the pub scene. Lots of wood speaking with very strange accents and it didn't endear me to the cast as it was supposed to. Then we had an RAF bombing raid flying during the day. This was the job of the Americans, the RAF went at night. They went with no fighter escort and the side gunner hanging out of the side opening was ridiculous.

After the plane went down, the crew broke all the rules of getting home, they traveled by day and slept at night, no one keeping watch, all sleeping. They also used a barn on a farm in Germany in an area they knew they were being hunted. It just got more laughable. Two go out to rescue a captured mate, taking a short cut given to them by the farmer's wife, and manage to run through and catch up to a motor vehicle and overpower it. They manage to shoot a German with a revolver while a German soldier with a machine gun missed them from the same distance. OK. This is now showing the Allies were great and the Germans useless. There was also an SS Captain who was every comic book cliché an SS man could be. There was a lot more to criticize but let's just say I was willing the SS to catch them quickly and put an end to the film. I really didn't care about the most unlikeable aircrew I've seen in a film.

All in all. Bad story, badly done and I've seen better acting at AmDram. Forget it.
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1/10
Totally unrealistic
Mark Harrison4 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I just started laughing at this film about half way through and after that I just couldn't take it seriously. The flight of bombers without fighter escort gets jumped by about twenty Me 109s and they can't shoot down a single bomber, in fact a couple of 109s get shot down instead. Total BS, in any engagement if this kind the bombers would be lucky not to lose half their squadron. Then when they crash and take refuge in the barn the German woman they find goes over to their side. Hint Director, they are in Germany not France. You have just been bombing her country and she is suddenly pro British. I can't go on further because at this point I switched off. Complete waste of time. If you are going to make a war fim at least get the audience to believe that it possibly could happen. This was the equivalent of someone falling from a tall building and saving himself by grabbing the ledge two floors below. That kind of thing is for five year olds.

The acting was also awkward and stilted, on the one side they tried to reproduce the attitudes and culture of the time but then threw in swearing which belonged in a Vietnam era film. On the whole I thought it was total nonsense and a waste of time.It belongs in the 99c bin at K Mart.
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8/10
Very good ww2 film considering its low budget
michael_flatt24 October 2018
The first 20 minutes or so had some shocking acting in and i was close to turning it off, glad I didn't.. turned out to be a very good and entertaining film! CGI not great but not bad, it was expected as its a low budget film. Second half of the film much better than the first. Would recommend.
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6/10
Not bad but some major scene errors!!
mensanot4 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I liked the movie.....but......what is up with the super crappy editing? Right before the Angle of the Skies belly lands, one engine is stopped but not feathered. The Captain calls for more engine changes and feathering ( when a constant speed prop is turned to prevent drag when not spinning). Well, right before ground contact, all of the engines are on and props spinning. This is a major screw up and any pilot knows this was completely overlooked and distracts from otherwise seemingly good footage. Does anyone these days care about the small details???
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One of the worst war movies ever!
lynstevewhite31 March 2018
Cardboard aircraft that do not even look real, poor acting and locations that are obviously not European. Certainly can tell it is a low budget film with no real dialogue, a total waste of viewing time!
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4/10
Generic WWII military movie
Horst_In_Translation13 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Angel of the Skies" or "Wings of Honour" is a 100-minute movie from South Africa and so far the most known work by writer and director Christopher-Lee dos Santos. According to IMDb right now, the main language in here is German, but looking at the cast names and the fact that almost none of the characters in here are German I doubt this is correct. This film plays during World War II in its entirety pretty much and we follow a couple bomber pilots. The focus, however, is really just on one as we also find out about his background in terms of love, family, plans etc. The enemy's ruthlessness is depicted in some scenes as the bad guys kill an innocent woman for the sake of it. But it all felt relatively shallow and not too deep. I found this was a generic, stereotypical war movie that offered nothing that hasn't been done in other films already over the years. Then again, maybe I am a bit biased as I am not a fan of the genre at all. I usually care for the political schemes and figures, but rarely for the military and war action. And is this one here is packed with the latter, I never really developed any interest in it. Besides, I also felt that there were some scenes of severe overacting, especially by the actress who plays our hero's love interest. But the other actors, including the lead, weren't much better, even if they weren't overacting. So yeah, these areas that actually interest me were also not executed particularly well, so that I could say this makes up for the forgettable action scenes. All in all, this is a very mediocre product here and I hope the South African filmmaker I mentioned earlier can step things up in the future. He will have to in order to have a long and successful career in the industry. But I have hope as he is still pretty young. As for his work here, I don't recommend the watch. Thumbs down.
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8/10
DVD review from Technology Tell magazine by Steve Anderson.
crashnemesis2 February 2016
DVD Review from Technology Tell Magazine by Steve Anderson.

There are certain breeds of movie that we don't see often. Science fiction and Westerns commonly top the list, but war movies are also frequently spotted in attendance. Our friends out at Entertainment One, meanwhile, look to fix that with "Angel of the Skies," a movie that takes another look at World War II, this time through the aviators' eyes.

"Angel of the Skies" follows Earl Kirk, a South African man who leaves his pregnant fiancée to go fight in World War II as part of the Royal Air Force. There's no shortage of fighting left to go, and eventually Kirk is shot down along with his crew, forced to parachute into occupied territory. Now, the handful of men who escaped death in the skies must set out on foot, dodging a vicious SS officer who will go to any lengths to finish the job his countrymen started in the sky.

The good thing about "Angel of the Skies" is its wonderfully immersive quality. This feels like a look at the war, in this era, and at this point in time. It's deliriously authentic; it's like being there. It's the next best thing to actually being there. But this immersive nature also means the movie sacrifices a lot in the way of action, particularly in the early going. I don't believe I heard a shot fired in anger for the entirety of the first half hour, and that's a bit of a lag. Considering the movie only packs around 100 minutes to its name, losing roughly a third of those to a gunshot-free existence is a tough road to hoe.

Still, the further good news is that once it gets started, it gets started in earnest. There's more than its share of action, with a good bit of suspense tossed in for extra fun. It's always good when a genre movie can toss in elements of other genres–action blends with suspense or horror, comedy blends with action or a Western, and so on. "Angel of the Skies" does a fine job of mixing, and gives us a wonderful synthesis. War buffs, you'll not be disappointed, and action buffs in general, this is a fine slice of cinematic action.

Special features include a trailer for "Angel of the Skies," a set of audio options and English subtitles.

Though it takes a while to get started, "Angel of the Skies" will do a very nice job overall. A slow start isn't near enough to cut the tension that will be sparked throughout this one, and the whole thing will make an excellent addition to the roster of war movies out there.
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2/10
Good Movie. Bad History.
markus45169-214-92942617 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I have studied history for decades, especially WWII military history and the air war even more so. When it comes to historically prescient speeches, I'm starting to think that Marlon Brando's speech where he warned of Hollywood's portrayal of nothing-but-stereotypes is the film version of Dwight Eisenhower's famous warning about the U.S. military- industrial complex. Well, with globalization, the stereotype industry has clearly reached South Africa.

It's a real pity, too, because as a former radar operator I appreciated the genuine-sounding dialogue of the flight crew. But after the characters land on the ground, the realism becomes garbage. When the stereotypically-evil SS officer ordered a civilian German woman to be summarily shot for no reason, I could not continue watching. German officer saw their role as protecting Germans, as all military men do. Yes, the SS were fanatical Nazis.. that didn't mean they killed German civilians for fun. These film makers seem to know or care little of history, whereas I do, because as I like to say, those who know nothing of history are condemned to repeat it. (Yes, that's my line. :))
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5/10
Rarely Seen View of Bomber Command
cheadle-mark17 November 2014
Angel of the Skies stands alone in its study of Commonwealth air crew. It lacks the bravado of other productions but certainly in the first half of the film, that worked for me. The aerial sequences are credible and who's to say that the rather muted and relatively calm interchanges of the crew are not representative. The second part of the film worked less well and it all looked a little two dimensional and predictable. Characters were not developed enough in this context and the viewer doesn't care enough. A couple of points of accuracy pointed out by others here. I'm pretty sure that they are not Liberators, but Halifax bombers. Not as famous as the Lancaster, but certainly a stalwart of Bomber Command. Also, although it is very true that the RAF left the vast majority of Daylight Raids to the US B17s, Halifax bombers did fly in the day, particularly towards the end of the war on a few precision raids.
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8/10
EOne's Angel of the Skies Is An Underrated WWII Story
phillspicks6 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
World War II was the most devastating military conflict that the world has ever seen. The interesting thing about this war is that it led to the creation of some of the film industry's most iconic movies. Movies like Tora Tora Tora, Patton, and The Longest Day became cornerstones of the biggest titles linked to WWII. Entertainment One's new WWII era movie Angel of the Skies is one of those movies that while it is an indie flick, is still one that is not so bad. Sure, there are some historical inaccuracies depicted in the movie. But the general story behind the movie is what makes it worth at least one watch. The acting on the part of the cast helps to make the movie worth at least one watch, too. And the same can be said of the early flight scenes and backdrops. All of it taken into account, Angel of the Skies is not as bad as some have already made it out to be.

Angel of the Skies has received mixed reviews by some critics. The biggest criticism of the movie has been its historical accuracy. There are some issues with said accuracy. But one must also take into account that no movie ever based on historical events was one hundred percent accurate in itself. That being taken into account, it really is not that bad of a movie within its genre. The story itself is worth a watch first and foremost for the themes tied into the overall story. Writer/director Christopher-Lee dos Santos ties into his story, the themes of brotherhood, determination, and dedication. He does so in a way that none of the themes overpower themselves through the course of the movie. They actually work together to give the story an emotional depth that will keep viewers engaged through the movie's near two-hour run time. The story's theme of dedication works quite well in a dual role here. On one hand, the theme of dedication works as it is linked to the sub-story between Flight Officer Earl Kirk and his girlfriend, Deborah Caldwell (Lillie Claire—Supernatural, Suing The Devil) and to the dedication of the flight crew to one another after their plane is shot down. That theme of dedication among the flight crew directly compliments the script's theme of brotherhood, too. Even in the greatest of odds, the men refuse to leave one another behind if at all possible, and will do whatever it takes to save one of their own from Nazi officers. In turn, that theme of brotherhood is directly linked to the theme of determination. The men were determined to survive and survive together at all costs. Each of these themes work together seamlessly to make a story that is worth at least one watch by any history buff and film buff.

The interweaving themes that make up the script behind Angel of the Skies are central to the movie's ability to keep viewers engaged. They collectively aren't all to be considered. The acting of the cast helps to move the story along, too. The actors that make up the movie's cast are largely unknowns. Despite that, they put on a believable performance. This is the case both by themselves and together. The men that make up the flight crew do quite the job in their roles. As enjoyable as it is to watch them take on their roles, it's the vile SS officer Stutze that truly stands out in this movie. Stutze (David James ~ District 9) is truly ruthless in his attempts to locate the South African airmen and carry out his duties. Not to reveal too much, but he is so vile that he goes so far as to have his men kill a German milkmaid that had protected the airmen after they were shot down. This after he told her that everything would be okay. He even gunned down a defenseless American soldier early on as part of his character's setup. The ability of an actor or actress to make his or her character that despicable means that said individual is more than doing his or her job in said role. If the combined themes aren't enough to keep audiences engaged through the story, then that juxtaposition of character types and roles will definitely do its part to keep viewers engaged.

The general writing and acting that comprise Angel of the Skies combine to make it a movie that is well worth at least one watch. They don't work by themselves, though. The movie's special effects and backdrops play their own role in making this movie worth at least one watch. Unlike so many other WWII based movies, this movie mixes CG with live action. The flight scenes are largely computer generated. It's obvious where the computer elements were used, too. But at least they weren't as cheesy as those used in the 2006 James Franco WWI flop, Flyboys. One almost couldn't tell the difference as the bombers were flying into German airspace. The only times that one could tell for certain that computer graphics were used were when the bombers came under fire from the Messerschmitts and when the flight crew's bomber crashed. The rest of the movie's story was set against a live action backdrop. What's interesting about the live action backdrop is that it didn't feel as over the top as those used in some other WWII era dramas. It felt more real for lack of better wording. That is an area in which far too many movie makers get things wrong. Too many movie makers look for settings that will enhance their movies. And it only serves to lessen the movies in question to a certain extent. That isn't the case here, though. That realistic feel combines with the movie's writing and the cast's acting to make it a movie that despite being an indie flick is still one worth watching at least once by any history buff and movie buff.
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8/10
Movie Review - For King and Country
ChrisGrangerExaminer6 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
It's September 1944, the war in Europe is carrying on with the Allies making their way to Germany. The Allies are fighting their way through France and are coming under conditions of desperation by the Germans.

Captain Earl Kirk (Nicholas Van Der Bijl) has been fighting several years for the British. He is of course a South African and is looked down upon a new for not being totally British.

A young replacement by the name of Lt. Raymond Hawkins (Andre Frauenstein) has the cheek to question the authority of Captain Kirk. The crew are celebrating the night before a mission and Kirk has just left the new replacement. He is a little rattled by the young Lieutenant. Kirk is wanting to propose to his girlfriend Deborah (Lillie Claire) but she is not having it at this time.

The next morning the crew are ready to go and their mission in Bremen to destroy some fuel dumps. These dumps are crucial for they are refueling the Panzer's in France with little problem. The crew, Flight Officer Ed O'Donnel (Brad Backhouse), Flight Officer Harry 'Abe' Facey (Jason Glanville), Flight Sgt. Robertson (Adam Boys), and Flight Sgt. Don McEvoy (Ryan Dittman) are practicing a good luck charm of pissing on the wheel.

The mission is unusually normal until they head over France and enter German Air Space. The sky is covered in Flack from the German guns below. The plane is hit by a fighter plane and is only able to make it to Bremen. They will have to either bail out or crash land.

Now Kirk has had to deal with the plane, the new replacement, and now he has to land behind enemy lines. Will they make it back to the Allies? You will have to watch the movie to see the ending.

The film is excellent and is one of the better WWII movies I have seen as of late. Director Christopher-Lee dos Santos has put together a wonderful movie and I look forward to the next movie he puts together.

The DVD itself is excellent. The sound was beautiful and the scenes were beautifully done. This is a must see film and I hope you will take the time to pick it up. Enjoy.

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8/10
There is hope for indie filmmakers
AlexJbob6 February 2014
As a student of film, I am always interested to see what other filmmakers from around the world are making, especially the ones who don't have the resources that "A" movies have. We're talking about films with less than a million dollars to make. There are very few that can boast having a budget of less than half a million dollars and deliver quality such as Angel of the Skies.

The visual effects are not Hollywood quality, what do you expect from a film where the director himself, sat alone for 2 years doing the visual effects (www.chrisdossantos.com). The VFX may not be as great as what Hollywood has made people become accustomed to, yet they are good enough to tell the story, which is what counts in my opinion. I personally thought the fighter scenes in this particular film were more realistic that those of Lucasfilm's latest attempt, Red Tails. Red Tails had an astronomical budget, and their visual effects were done by none other that the legendary ILM, and yes, they are amazing, but they distract from the story and are unnecessarily over the top, very unrealistic.

The pace of this film is slow, which I believe works. This isn't an action movie, even though it may have been marketed as one, I believe the distributors thought they could make a quick cash in by convincing a certain audience this film is for them. As stated, it's not an action film, in fact, there is very little action for the most part. The characters are well thought out. They have depth, a reason for us to like them and to care whether they live or die.

I strongly suggest watching the Making of, which comes with the DVD. After seeing what limited resources were given to the filmmakers, I watched the film again asking how did they achieve any of this with the budget they had. After watching Angel of the Skies and reading up more about the film's long battle to get made, I am filled with hope that indie films have a chance to make successful films and earn a living in an ever saturated market.

I take my hat off to the filmmakers for achieving what they set out to achieve.
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3/10
Angel of the skies
tressurendlovu5 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I was interested to learn that we have a South African World War 2 movie making its world premiere at the 2013 Durban International Film Festival in South Africa.

Now, the thing with most war movies, and in particular those depicting the Second World War, is that they show the brutality of that dark period in human history, and through that brutality weave in an element of optimism and hope.

This is exactly what I expected when I sat down to view Christopher-Lee Dos Santos' Angel of the Skies.

Dos Santos' movie contained all the elements that make war movies good and enjoyable, including a clearly defined hero and the beautiful woman he leaves at home in order to fight for the honour and glory of his country, along with, above all, the ruthless Germans who kill with little, if any, pity.

The opening credits for Angel in the Skies are nostalgic, all very 1940s. The screen is illuminated in glorious black and white, with newspaper articles from the period.

The wonderful credits, though, were instantly shot down by the poorly executed opening sequence showing a couple of aircraft engaged in a dogfight. It was poorly animated compared with scenes that followed.

Dos Santos made many more questionable decisions in making his film, including bad accents (and actors) topped with horrible special effects, all ultimately done in by a weak script.

On several occasions, the pace of the film dragged. Numerous scenes just did not do anything to progress the narrative or help develop the characters – even more so when it's a gratuitous sex scene.

The plot of the movie is that during the height of the conflict, when Britain declares war on Germany, a South African pilot, flight Lieutenant Officer Earl Kirk volunteers to serve in the Royal Air Force, leaving behind his pregnant fiancée to protect and serve the British Empire.

However, while flying over Europe, the Germans shoot down the plane he and his crew are flying. They land on German soil.

Action dominates the film's romantic narrative. At one point I had completely forgotten that a fiancée back home had been introduced.

Apart from its opening credits, the film's only vaguely redeeming feature was the score.
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