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Flags of Our Fathers (2006)



Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 191
Fresh: 139 | Rotten: 52

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.


Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 49
Fresh: 39 | Rotten: 10

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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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 266,880

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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,


Drama, Action & Adventure

Feb 6, 2007


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All Critics (200) | Top Critics (52) | Fresh (139) | Rotten (52) | DVD (34)

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

November 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop 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.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comment (1)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Flags of Our Fathers is an accomplished, stirring, but, all in all, rather strange movie.

October 23, 2006
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Flags] fits into Eastwood's late-in-life agenda -- to make violence, even in self-defense, seem soul-killing, and to expose the gulf between reality and myth. After this, how can we ever again make our peace with the iconography of war?

October 23, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It feels disrespectful to say it, but this kind of war movie, like war itself, is starting to feel sickeningly familiar.

October 23, 2006 Full Review Source: Slate | Comments (2)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The full weight of a lifetime's experience has been brought to bear in the unobtrusive staging, the delicate score (by Eastwood himself), and a thoughtful, honest accounting of World War II's bloodiest and most iconic battle.

October 21, 2006 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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.

October 4, 2009 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

A human-sized contemplation of propaganda and fame

August 28, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

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.

February 12, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

The film is confirmation of Paul Haggis's predilection for exploitation and easy sentimentality.

July 16, 2008 Full Review Source: House Next Door
House Next Door

Witness to a great director's vision being slowly strangled by the work of a hired hack.

July 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Stranger Song
Stranger Song

Reminds us of the great damage that can be done to society's most vulnerable by those blustering war mongers who are so very far away from the combat they are inciting.

June 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide | Comment (1)
Apollo Guide

carefully dismantling one heroic archetype only to replace it with another, more nuanced one

June 15, 2007 Full Review Source:

A pretty darn good, but not completely great, war movie that pays overdue homage to the WWII veterans who never made it home.

May 25, 2007 Full Review Source: DVD Clinic
DVD Clinic

A quest to find the humanity behind the imagery of Iwo Jima that never gets beneath the skin to the real men who became heroes with a single camera shot.

March 24, 2007 Full Review Source: UGO

...entertaining yet strangely forgettable...

March 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Comments (3)
Reel Film Reviews

Una fuerte y conmovedora pelŪcula de guerra que es todo un alegato contra la irracionalidad, sobre todo la de los gobernantes que mezclan heroŪsmo con propaganda. Una nueva culminaciůn de Clint Eastwood como director.

February 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

Apesar do tom de import‚ncia que empresta a si mesma, A Conquista da Honra ť uma empreitada apenas razoŠvel.

February 3, 2007 | Comment (1)
Cinema em Cena

No hay tal cosa como los hťroes...

January 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinenganos

Writers William Broyles Jr. and Paul Haggis believe that they are contrasting the men's lives with their heroic image. Sadly, what they present to the viewer is yet another fabricated image, and one that is equally false.

January 13, 2007 Full Review Source:

Who would have thought that Clint Eastwood would emerge as one of the best and most interesting filmmakers of the early 21st Century? Given his track record, I certainly wouldn't have. But with FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS he has made a superb, if uneven, film.

January 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Murphy's Movie Reviews
Murphy's Movie Reviews

The film as a whole is missing something, with much of the problem lying with the cast -- including Barry Pepper, Jamie Bell and Adam Beach -- who are seriously bland.

January 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

Flags of Our Fathers is touched by greatness. It argues that soldiers may go into battle for country and glory but they always end up fighting for the survival of themselves and their comrades.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Guardian

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.
August 16, 2007

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.
June 21, 2012
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

As FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS is one of Clint Eastwood‚(TM)s more recent films, I was a bit worried about what I would think of it. Ever since his 2002 film BLOOD WORK, Eastwood has been collaborating with cinematographer Tom Stern. Stern has a fascination for shooting Eastwood‚(TM)s films in bleak, washed-out hues of grey and blue. The tactic often becomes aggravating when we have to sit through it for two hours plus. I‚(TM)ve consistently tried to ignore it when watching films such as HEREAFTER, MILLION DOLLAR BABY, and J. EDGAR. In this film, however, the cinematography simply cannot be ignored, because it actually works quite well. This isn‚(TM)t a documentary: it can‚(TM)t look perfectly accurate in and of itself, but if there‚(TM)s one thing that can do a fine job to strengthen the bleak tone it possesses, that‚(TM)s Tom Stern‚(TM)s cinematography. The melancholy colors go so far with a war film that they even do a better job with making the soldiers blend in with the rocky Mount Suribachi. You could also look at it another way, though, and say these tactics can tend to fail a bit. Combine this purposefully lifeless coloration with the frequent over-the-shoulder and point-of-view shots, and it feels like you‚(TM)re watching someone play Call of Duty.

FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS was a neat film. Sure, it could have been a bit more transitional (okay, a lot) between the heavy during-Iwo Jima scenes and the bright post-Iwo Jima scenes, and it could have had a better script. War films aren‚(TM)t like most other films. The war genre is comparable to the biopic genre in a sense that they should be judged not only on how well such films perform in general, but also on the historical value and factual intrigue. With that said, the historical value certainly weighs out most of the minute flaws imposed on it as a film, making it both an entertaining and factually intriguing film to watch.
May 29, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Ira Hayes: I can't take them calling me a hero. All I did was try not to get shot.
    – Submitted by Frances H (43 days ago)
    1. Dave Severance: Looking at it you could believe the sacrifice was not a waste.
    – Submitted by Frances H (43 days ago)
    1. Dave Severance: Most guys I knew won't even talk about what happened over there, probably because they're still trying to forget it. They certainly didn't think of themselves as heroes.
    – Submitted by Frances H (43 days ago)
    1. Ira Hayes: We shouldn't be here, Doc.
    – Submitted by Frances H (43 days ago)
    1. President Truman: You fought for a mountain in the Pacific. Now we need you to fight for a mountain of cash.
    – Submitted by Frances H (43 days ago)
View all quotes (5)

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