Defiance Reviews

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Joshua Starnes
ComingSoon.net
March 18, 2011
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 | Original Score: 5.5/10
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 15, 2009
The story of Defiance has all the makings of a deep emotional experience, but I found myself oddly detached.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
Village Voice
December 30, 2008
if there's one instance of the road to perdition paved with fat budgets and good intentions, it's Defiance, or, as I prefer to call it, Custersky's Last Stand in Belarus.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
January 16, 2009
The script hokes up the tensions between the brothers played by Craig and Schreiber, and while they're both fascinating, simmering-kettle performers, they consistently outshine their material.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
January 2, 2009
Despite all the resources brought to bear -- strong cast, ambitious scale, impressive logistics, dense detail, fine cinematography -- the production seldom makes the leap from elaborate play-acting to authentic drama.
Donald Munro
Fresno Bee
January 16, 2009
Earnest yet stubbornly static.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Sonny Bunch
Washington Times
August 30, 2009
Defiance is overly long and somewhat disjointed, dragging through an interminable second act that seriously impedes the film's flow and hurts the inspired performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Paul Chambers
CNNRadio
July 18, 2009
Good story, but loses its way dramatically long before the finish.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Fernando F. Croce
CinePassion
August 26, 2009
The tone is desaturated gravity, the action is smudged, the Old Testament parables subtle as anvils
Tim Grierson
Screen International
November 14, 2008
In trying to add a new chapter to the long history of films made about the Holocaust, Defiance can barely move a narrative muscle without bumping into another, better movie that covers some of the same ground.
Edward Douglas
ComingSoon.net
December 29, 2008
Just one long ridiculous string of moviemaking cliches that prevents the film from having any of the desired impact.
Full Review | Original Score: 5.5/10
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
January 16, 2009
A documentary would have been the best way to go with this material.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
January 20, 2009
I felt like these characters were prototypes and not people.
Top Critic
Ben Lyons
At the Movies
January 20, 2009
The way Zwick force-feeds his audience emotion becomes laborious.
Michael Smith
Tulsa World
January 20, 2009
An interesting story with handsome production values, but full of romantic contrivances and blockbuster conceits. This is the Holocaust at its action-hero worst.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Katey Rich
CinemaBlend.com
December 11, 2008
Defiance doesn't go beyond the usual tales of valor and virtue, managing to make an amazing true story feel like yet another dry history lesson.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
December 29, 2008
Smacks every clichéd note with maximum gusto.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Eric D. Snider
Film.com
January 1, 2009
The problem is the screenplay, which has weak, unforceful dialogue and tends to substitute dramatic events for characterization.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Jeff Bayer
The Scorecard Review
January 18, 2009
Just like the winter in the movie, the film feels long. The story is amazing, but surprisingly, in the hands of Zwick the film never felt that way.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Victoria Alexander
FilmsInReview.com
December 4, 2008
Not an easy movie to criticize, but here goes.
Tim Basham
Paste Magazine
September 30, 2010
Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
February 12, 2009
Chris Bumbray
JoBlo's Movie Emporium
February 27, 2009

Irish Times
January 9, 2009

Urban Cinefile
April 24, 2009

Deseret News, Salt Lake City
August 19, 2009

Digital Spy
July 14, 2011
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