Flags of Our Fathers (2006)



Critic Consensus: Flags of Our Fathers is both a fascinating look at heroism, both earned and manufactured, and a well-filmed salute to the men who fought at the battle of Iwo Jima.

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Movie Info

Clint Eastwood's adaptation of the non-fiction book Flags of Our Fathers concerns the lives of the men in the famous picture of soldiers raising the American flag over Iwo Jima during that historic WWII battle. Battle scenes are intercut with footage of three of the soldiers - played by Ryan Phillipe, Jesse Bradford, and Adam Beach -- who survived the battle going on a goodwill tour of the United States in order to sell war bonds. Many evening they are forced to reenact their famous pose, … More

Rating: R (for sequences of graphic war violence and carnage, and for language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: William Broyles Jr., Paul Haggis, William Broyles
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 6, 2007
Box Office: $33.6M
Paramount - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Flags of Our Fathers

All Critics (200) | Top Critics (52)

Eastwood's two-film project is one of the most visionary of all efforts to depict the reality and meaning of battle.

Full Review… | November 30, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Here, the feelings run very deep, and dark as dried blood, with Clint aware that some things don't need to be said and others shouldn't be shown.

Full Review… | December 30, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Possibly the richest testament Hollywood has yet made about the paroxysm of World War II ... an astounding movie on every level, not the least of which is its common humanity.

Full Review… | July 5, 2011
Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Sequences fade into the pack and make it difficult to differentiate one player from the others, much less remember them after the lights go up.

Full Review… | October 4, 2009
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

A human-sized contemplation of propaganda and fame

Full Review… | August 28, 2009

The film strives mightily to make some sort of affecting emotional epic about a bit of history that it itself acknowledges is actually footnote-worthy.

Full Review… | February 12, 2009

Audience Reviews for Flags of Our Fathers


Mission Accomplished.

I thought it was pretty damn good. Sometimes Eastwood is most un-subtle, making his points two and three times over - but I was definitely caught up in the narrative of the reluctant "heroes". Neither the most original, nor the most coherent war movie: it feels like what it is - a Spielberg/Eastwood collaboration and there is a complete wtf? point-of-view change at the 3/4 mark.

Note: Like an idiot, I saw this film AFTER seeing Letters From Iwo Jima. I would recommend seeing Flags first, as it carries much of the exposition of the battle which I felt was missing in Letters.

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

The men who raised the flag over Mount Suribachi become part of the War Department's propaganda machine and are labeled heroes, much to their chagrin.
I have mixed feelings about this film. On the one hand, the concentration on using these soldiers' fame for the war effort is a unique and insightful way of telling this story. And Clint Eastwood's direction is superb, able to film battle sequences with a realism similar to Saving Private Ryan and to linger on disturbing images just long enough.
On the other hand, the film attempts to problematize the concept of heroism in war. The film's thesis is that the American public thought these men were symbols of American excellence - a reason to be proud of their country - but the men were too tortured by what they saw and did to find the label fitting. They claim that the true heroes were those who didn't survive and that they were just doing their jobs, fighting not for the country but for the man next to them. What bothers me is that this definition of heroism isn't new, and where the film seeks to problematize heroism, it inevitably retraces ground already covered by other films. Even For Whom the Bell Tolls offers a similar thesis. What is even more to the point is that Eastwood includes several scenes of intense battle sequences that display these men in the roles of traditional heroes. Thus, I think, the film ends up reproducing the stereotypes it attempts to complicate.
Overall, I think there are many good elements to Flags of Our Fathers, and I learned something about WWII, but I don't think the film accomplishes all it set out to do.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


A true masterpiece this was. Flags of Our Fathers was nothing more than terrific. There were moments when we smiled, teared up, and were in shock. The war scenes were detailed and realistic. And the story was a true work of genius, I loved it. True, the movie was confusing at times but in the need it pulls through. A truly genius film.

Jim Careter

Super Reviewer

Flags of Our Fathers Quotes

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