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The Great Raid Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 33

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Scott Brown

    The main problem? Raid lacks a center. It's an exhausted sprawl with multiple story foci, none of them terribly compelling.

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  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Just about any golden age Hollywood hack could have made a zestier drama about one of the greatest rescue missions in U.S. military history.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal

    For all its noble intentions, its striving for authenticity, its unblinking look at the savagery of war, The Great Raid is far more dutiful than dramatic.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    The film brings a spectacular but little-known chapter of World War II to the big screen with meticulous attention to period detail -- and almost none to compelling narrative.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The Great Raid is perhaps more timely now than it would have been a few years ago, when "smart bombs" and a couple of weeks of warfare were supposed to solve the Iraq situation. Now that we are involved in a lengthy and bloody ground war there, it is good to have a film that is not about entertainment for action fans, but about how wars are won with great difficulty, risk, and cost.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    The action is brilliant, the combat sharp and rattling, and the film follows the historical record more closely than most Hollywood films.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

A by-the-numbers WWII movie; mature teens and up.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie includes violent, dark images of war and prisoner abuses. Characters curse briefly, look ravaged, suffer abuse at the hands of captors and from malaria, and participate in prolonged, rough-looking battles.

  • Families can talk about the possible reasons for this film's historical basis -- a raid in which U.S. military rescued 511 prisoners from a Japanese prison camp -- having remained largely untaught in U.S. classrooms and unheralded in popular culture. This fictionalized version adds a romance (between a soldier and a nurse) and tense relationships among U.S. soldiers, both rescuers and prisoners: what dramatic purposes do these storylines serve? How does the nurse's devotion to the major help connect action in two locations? How does the movie represent the Japanese and Filipino soldiers, in their very different relations to the U.S. troops?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: U.S. heroes are good; Japanese captors are bad.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Prisoner abuse, executions, battlefield violence.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Brief threats against the nurse.

  • language false3

    Language: Soldiers curse in battle.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters smoke and drink.