Following “War Horse” and “Lincoln,” “Bridge of Spies” rounds out Steven Spielberg’s trilogy of histories in the 2010s, each film earning a Best Picture nomination for being a superb piece of craft — and having Spielberg’s name attached.
Category: "War Drama"
Stories of American soldiers — their bravery in the field, their struggles to return to civilian life — have been well documented by Hollywood. The first thing to think about, therefore, is what makes each a necessary or unique story to tell. “American Sniper” tells of the life and years of service of Chris Kyle, […]
The latest modern film to play swords-and-sandals dress-up is “The Eagle,” starring Channing “Pretty Boy” Tatum, a name I bestowed upon him having played “Pretty Boy” Floyd in Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies” back in 2008, albeit a part of no significance. I suppose when they coined the term “hunk,” no one expected it to apply […]
As far as war films go, “The Great Escape” doesn’t rank in the most dramatic or the most eye-opening. It doesn’t even make the list of World War II epics with the most compelling characters. It’s a movie with that intangible “it” factor that only comes from an impressive story. Films such as this one […]
The Holocaust has been revisited in film so many times that I imagine the first thing German-born film actors ask themselves upon meeting is “which film(s) were you a Nazi in?” The crimes of the Nazi Party and the German soldiers carrying out its mission to revive Germany through the mass killing of Jews and […]
“The Thin Red Line” is a war story told with images. There is a difference between that and a movie. It is a bold piece of film-making, especially for a war film, yet it makes all the same statements only without the stereotypes. If the creators of those dumb spoofs made “War Movie,” it would […]
When you watch “Braveheart” you can’t help but feel like you’ve seen it before. That’s because “Braveheart” did it first. James Horner’s thematic bagpipe music that could make a grown man cry is nearly replicated in his score for “Titanic” (although “Titanic” won him the Oscar). The highly skilled love and revenge-fueled hero is all […]
The Vietnam War is not something filmmakers have shied away from, so the challenge for Michael Cimino right away was to make “The Deer Hunter” something different. He succeeds. “Deer Hunter” is a portrait of life for American soldiers before and after war. It’s goal is not to expose the horrors of the war or […]
R.I.P movie star Jean Simmons, who starred opposite Kirk Douglas in this film. She passed away last week just 9 days before her 81st birthday. “Spartacus” (1960) and “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962) were the two great epic war films of the 1960s. That said, the latter is superior, but not for the former’s lack of […]
“Patton” might not be the greatest war movie ever made, but it’s without question cinema’s finest character study. It’s a portrait of a man painted so vividly that I bet — at least since 1970 — that there are far more historians whose research emphasis is on Gen. George S. Patton than any other war […]
It’s hard to argue that “Apocalypse Now” is anything but one of the top three war films if not the best ever made. There’s just nothing wrong with it. Sure, there might be parts that don’t resonate as well and the film certainly doesn’t broadcast its messages in the most direct of ways, but confusion […]
“Inglourious Basterds” is many things, but one thing it is not is a World War II drama. The setting is an alternate version of history, where Nazi-occupied France becomes the wild west for another of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s Sergio Leone-inspired pulp action movies where various Jews can carry out their revenge fantasies on assorted members […]
It was only a matter of time before WWII/Holocaust drama and Edward Zwick found each other. “Defiance” is the perfect little-known underdog war story that perfectly fits Zwick’s (“Glory,” “The Last Samurai,” “Blood Diamond”) tastes. Historical war drama with a heavy action slant as per usual, “Defiance” has all the elements that anyone who’s enjoyed […]