Defiance (2009)



Critic Consensus: Professionally made but artistically uninspired, Ed Zwick's story of Jews surviving WWII in the Belarus forest lacks the emotional punch of the actual history.

Movie Info

Based on an extraordinary true story, "Defiance" is an epic tale of family, honor, vengeance and salvation in World War II. The year is 1941 and the Jews of Eastern Europe are being massacred by the thousands. Managing to escape certain death, three brothers take refuge in the dense surrounding woods they have known since childhood. There they begin their desperate battle against the Nazis. The brothers turn a primitive struggle to survive into something far more consequential--a way to avenge … More

Rating: R (for violence and language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Clayton Frohman, Edward Zwick, Clay Frohman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 18, 2009
Box Office: $28.6M
Paramount Vantage - Official Site


Daniel Craig

as Tuvia Bielski
Liev Schreiber

as Zus Bielski
Jamie Bell

as Asael Bielski
Alan Corduner

as Shimon Haretz
Tomas Arana

as Ben Zion
Jodhi May

as Tamara
Martin Hancock

as Peretz Shorshaty
Ravil Isyanov

as Viktor Panchenko
Jacek Koman

as Konstanty "Koscik" K...
George MacKay

as Aron Bielski
Sam Spruell

as Arkady Lubczanski
Mia Wasikowska

as Chaya Dziencielsky
Mark Margolis

as Jewish Elder
Markus von Lingen

as German SS Scout
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News & Interviews for Defiance

Critic Reviews for Defiance

All Critics (185) | Top Critics (43)

The way Zwick force-feeds his audience emotion becomes laborious.

Full Review… | September 18, 2009
At the Movies
Top Critic

I felt like these characters were prototypes and not people.

Full Review… | September 18, 2009
At the Movies
Top Critic

Zwick wants to tell timeless stories on a grand scale. I know that's not what people want anymore. I know it's not breathtaking. But it's not something many are doing now, and definitely not doing it this well.

Full Review… | September 18, 2009

Zwick does not deal in gratuitous grotesquery or far-fetched metaphor. "Operatic" and "surreal" are not in his vocabulary.

Full Review… | September 18, 2009
East Bay Express

For all its pomp and ruminating, Defiance isn't really interested in drama. It really just wants to entertain us. But it's not any better at that.

Full Review… | September 18, 2009

Defiance is heavy-handed, but emotionally compelling, engaging and inspiring throughout.

Full Review… | September 18, 2009

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