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The Bridge on the River Kwai Reviews

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Jerry Tallmer
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Has no one else found it highly peculiar that damn near everybody's choice for the best movie of (let's say) the decade should be dedicated, inferentially but absolutely, to the proposition that Courage is Madness and Cowardice is Best?

Full Review Source: Village Voice

February 3, 2014
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
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For what it is, it ain't bad, though it serves mainly as an illustration of the ancient quandary of revisionist moviemakers: if all you do is systematically invert cliches, you simply end up creating new ones.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

December 13, 2006

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A classic example of a film that fudges the issues it raises.

Full Review Source: Time Out

February 9, 2006
Philip Roth
The New Republic
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Part of the success of The Bridge is that its courageous hero is shown from all angles, in all kinds of mirrors. He is strong, stubborn, fallible, maniacal, silly, and wise; and in the end he is pathetic, noble, and foolish.

Full Review Source: The New Republic

January 23, 2013
Robert Hatch
The Nation

The Bridge on the River Kwai amused and excited me.

Full Review Source: The Nation

February 11, 2013
Christian Blauvelt
Slant Magazine

The Bridge on the River Kwai is David Lean's last film not to succumb to bloat.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 4/4

September 20, 2010
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

| Original Score: 4/5

July 4, 2005
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Most war movies are either for or against their wars. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is one of the few that focuses not on larger rights and wrongs but on individuals.

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

January 1, 2000
James Berardinelli
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In my opinion, it is one of the two best films to emerge from a very strong decade of cinema.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 4/4

July 3, 2003
Michael Szymanski

One of the most rousing and inspiring war films, this is also a psychological battle of wills. The intensity between Hayakawa and Guinness is captivating.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3/4

November 26, 2002
Michael A. Smith
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

Did Lean ever make a bad film?

| Original Score: 5/5

January 8, 2005
James Rocchi

World War II classic receives brilliant presentation and provides fascinating perspective on DVD.

Full Review Source: Netflix | Original Score: 5/5

November 7, 2002
Scott Weinberg

Epic wartime storytelling at its most vibrant and satisfying.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 5/5

November 9, 2005
Matthew Pejkovic
Matt's Movie Reviews

An epic movie which is large in scope and personnel, The Bridge on the River Kwai speaks of the code of honour amongst men during war, the respect shared by enemies of war, and the madness which war evokes.

Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews | Original Score: 4.5/5

July 7, 2010
Mike Kaplan
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A gripping drama, expertly put together and handled with skill in all departments.

Full Review Source: Variety

February 19, 2008
Rebecca Murray

| Original Score: 5/5

March 5, 2003
Cole Smithey

| Original Score: 4/5

September 26, 2005
Charles Cassady
Common Sense Media

Epic of WWII honor and sacrifice gone haywire.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 5/5

December 15, 2010
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

[Lean] somehow managed a very pleasing balance.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid

September 10, 2010
Christopher Null

Alec Guinness won his only non-honorary Oscar for this film (did you know he'd be nominated for writing the following year?), and boy is it deserved.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4.5/5

February 23, 2006
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