|It's not a typical movie, or even a
typical war movie, in that we don't really build up much identification
with the characters and there isn't any plotline other than the real
events. The whole point of the film is to show exactly what it felt like
to be there at that moment in history. Like the historical moment, it is
bloody, chaotic, noisy, confused. The film is punctuated by constant
gunfire. The medical emergency procedures are portrayed graphically.
This isn't really my kind of movie, but it makes a
strong, emotional presentation. It is as good as any movie I've ever
seen at making you feel like you are really right there in the action.
I was especially impressed by the choice of music, which consisted of
various mournful ethnic folk ballads, including some Arabic music
written and performed by Omar Sharif.
is disappointing. The film looks great, but I expected a multiple
Oscar winner (two wins out of four nominations which included the
prestigious one for Best Director) to come out on a DVD loaded with
special features. For example, a documentary about the real events and
the film's accuracy would have been interesting. Unfortunately, there
is only a backstage featurette, not even a commentary track.
General UK consensus: two
and a half stars. Daily Mail 4/10, Daily Telegraph 6/10,
Independent 7/10, The Guardian 4/10, The Times 5/10, Evening
Standard 7/10, The Express 8/10, The Mirror 4/10, BBC 4/5
- IMDB summary.
IMDb voters score it 7.9/10 (top 250 or all time),
Guardian voters 6.8.
- with their dollars: a mid-level hit that
will pay out eventually, but did not do so at the box
office. Made for a lavish $95 million, it grossed $108
million in the USA.
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Based on this description, this
film is a C+. Awesome, nail-biter of a film that really brings
the audience into the action, despite the fact that we know the
real-life outcome in advance. Powerful musical score. No
crossover to mainstream. You either like war films or not. If
you do, this is a great one, if you don't, it is a pure war film
that makes no attempt to woo non-believers with irrelevant love
stories or any other such thing.