• R, 2 hr. 17 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Edward Zwick
    In Theaters:
    Jan 16, 2009 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jun 2, 2009
  • Paramount Vantage
  • Defiance
    2 minutes 58 seconds
    Added: May 9, 2008


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Defiance Reviews

Page 1 of 10
Joshua Starnes

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 Source: ComingSoon.net | Original Score: 5.5/10

March 18, 2011
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The story of Defiance has all the makings of a deep emotional experience, but I found myself oddly detached.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

January 15, 2009
Ella Taylor
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

December 30, 2008
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

January 16, 2009
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

January 2, 2009
Donald Munro
Fresno Bee

Earnest yet stubbornly static.

Full Review Source: Fresno Bee | Original Score: C

January 16, 2009
Sonny Bunch
Washington Times

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 Source: Washington Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 30, 2009
Paul Chambers

Good story, but loses its way dramatically long before the finish.

Full Review Source: CNNRadio | Original Score: C+

July 18, 2009
Fernando F. Croce

The tone is desaturated gravity, the action is smudged, the Old Testament parables subtle as anvils

Full Review Source: CinePassion

August 26, 2009
Tim Grierson
Screen International

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.

Full Review Source: Screen International

November 14, 2008
Edward Douglas

Just one long ridiculous string of moviemaking cliches that prevents the film from having any of the desired impact.

Full Review Source: ComingSoon.net | Original Score: 5.5/10

December 29, 2008
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

A documentary would have been the best way to go with this material.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 1.5/4

January 16, 2009
Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I felt like these characters were prototypes and not people.

Full Review Source: At the Movies

January 20, 2009
Ben Lyons
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: At the Movies

January 20, 2009
Michael Smith
Tulsa World

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 Source: Tulsa World | Original Score: 1.5/4

January 20, 2009
Katey Rich

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 Source: CinemaBlend.com | Original Score: 3/5

December 11, 2008
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness

Smacks every clichéd note with maximum gusto.

Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness | Original Score: C

December 29, 2008
Eric D. Snider
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The problem is the screenplay, which has weak, unforceful dialogue and tends to substitute dramatic events for characterization.

Full Review Source: Film.com | Original Score: C

January 1, 2009
Jeff Bayer
The Scorecard Review

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 Source: The Scorecard Review | Original Score: 5/10

January 18, 2009
Victoria Alexander

Not an easy movie to criticize, but here goes.

Full Review

December 4, 2008
Tim Basham
Paste Magazine
September 30, 2010
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic
February 12, 2009
Chris Bumbray
JoBlo's Movie Emporium
February 27, 2009
Mark Kermode
BBC Radio Five Live
April 4, 2011

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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