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Flags of Our Fathers Reviews

Bob Mondello
NPR.org
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October 18, 2008
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Eastwood's two-film project is one of the most visionary of all efforts to depict the reality and meaning of battle.

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

November 30, 2007

Ebert & Roeper
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January 6, 2007
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
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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 Source: Time Out

December 30, 2006
David Denby
New Yorker
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Flags of Our Fathers is an accomplished, stirring, but, all in all, rather strange movie.

October 23, 2006
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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[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?

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

October 23, 2006
Dana Stevens
Slate
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It feels disrespectful to say it, but this kind of war movie, like war itself, is starting to feel sickeningly familiar.

Full Review Source: Slate

October 23, 2006
Tom Charity
CNN.com
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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.

Full Review Source: CNN.com

October 21, 2006

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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October 21, 2006
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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Clint Eastwood's Flags Of Our Fathers seems like a potent piece of revisionist history, boldly examining what heroism really means and how it can be manufactured for the "greater good."

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B-

October 20, 2006
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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If the larger vision in Flags is somewhat out of focus, there are many small glimpses and grace notes that show Eastwood's well-developed sense of the particular in revealing a larger truth.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

October 20, 2006
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Once this World War II drama finds its footing -- and much of the film goes by before it does - it's extremely moving. At the end, a flag dances quietly in a whispering breeze, celebrating the film's real-life heroes as eloquently as any words.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

October 20, 2006
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Flags of Our Fathers is as painstaking as a documentary but without the satisfaction of a documentary or the impact of a drama.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

October 20, 2006
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Symbols can be moving and powerful summations of feelings. But they should never take the place of the truth.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 5/5

October 20, 2006
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
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The clichés undermine the power of the story.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 20, 2006
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Eastwood storms Mt. Oscar again with Flags of Our Fathers, a stirring ode to American heroism during the battle of Iwo Jima - which also pointedly dissects how that heroism was cynically packaged for public consumption.

| Original Score: 4/4

October 20, 2006
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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In his no-nonsense style, the 76-year-old filmmaker is merely telling the story he was given.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 20, 2006
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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If Flags of Our Fathers lacks human dimension, though, it certainly succeeds as an exploration of the nature of heroism.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 20, 2006
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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Flags of Our Fathers may well be an accurate depiction of war-zone tumult and its psychic wounds, but that does not make for a cogent narrative.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

October 20, 2006
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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The case is strong; it's the casing, the film, that is uneven and redundant.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 20, 2006
Tom Long
Detroit News
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There's some slight, indefinable lack to Flags of Our Fathers, some piece of missing brimstone that keeps it from setting the heart afire, leaving it a wholly admirable piece of filmmaking, but nothing more.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B-

October 20, 2006
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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Clint Eastwood has played his share of heroes in the movies. Yet when he directs, his films tend to look at the American legend-making machinery through a critical, squinting eye.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 4/4

October 20, 2006
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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At 76, Eastwood continues to turn his back on his early image as one of the screen's meanest butt-kickers.

| Original Score: B+

October 20, 2006
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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Some movies and their makers are essential to our understanding of ourselves. Eastwood has become such a director. With Flags, he once again proves he is filmmaker for what ails us but also for what can make us extraordinary.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 20, 2006
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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Flags of Our Fathers is as handsome and gutsy as we want all our soldiers to be. That they can't always live up to our needs has more to do with us than with them.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: A-

October 20, 2006
Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
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An American masterpiece. It is a searing and powerful work from a 76-year-old artist who remains at the top of his game.

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

October 20, 2006
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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It's a monumental subject, and this heartsick but diffuse movie only occasionally glimpses its entirety.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 20, 2006
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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The flaws in Flags of Our Fathers are at least partly attributable to Eastwood's attempts to do too much. Still, even when he overreaches, he somehow hits the mark.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

October 19, 2006
Joanne Kaufman
Wall Street Journal
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His is a deeply affecting account, admittedly a sometimes muddy one, of the band of brothers in THE iconic photograph of World War II.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

October 19, 2006
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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It is one of the year's best films and perhaps the finest modern film about World War II.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 4/4

October 19, 2006
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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It can and will be seen as 'patriotic,' a tribute to the armed forces. But it is also, in its clear-eyed depiction of the chaos and carnage of battle, of the soldiers' quaking fear, and the cruel finality of a bullet or a bomb, very much an antiwar film.

| Original Score: 3/4

October 19, 2006
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Eastwood's skeptical film is respectful of the patriots who gave everything in the service of their country, but it pointedly leaves the flag-waving to others.

| Original Score: 4/4

October 19, 2006
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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his sad true story wrings you out emotionally because it's concerned with both the deaths of young men in battle and what happens when the needs of those who survive clash with what society expects and politics demands.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 5/5

October 19, 2006
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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Clearly Eastwood wants the story of what happened to these men to resonate as much for our own era as for theirs. It's a movie about the toll that heroism extracts in a wartime culture ready-made for heroes.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B+

October 19, 2006
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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You could argue that the story is as much about the aftermath as the battle, but Eastwood still jumps around too much.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3/5

October 19, 2006
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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In his new film about the battle for Iwo Jima, Clint Eastwood says something new and urgent about the uses of war and of the men who fight.

| Original Score: 3.5/5

October 19, 2006
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
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Flags of Our Fathers stands with the best movies of this young century and the old one that preceded it: It's passionate, honest, unflinching, gripping, and it pays respects.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

October 19, 2006
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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There's a tremendous amount of material here, and the script covers too much of it, often confusingly.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 19, 2006
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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This is underimagined and so thesis ridden that it's nearly over before it starts.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

October 19, 2006
Jan Stuart
Newsday
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As a storyteller, Eastwood has rarely seen a period that he couldn't transform into an ellipsis or exclamation mark.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 19, 2006
Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Flags is classic Eastwood, filmed with weighty purpose and, often, skilled precision.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: B

October 19, 2006
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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In Flags of Our Fathers, Eastwood is here to tell us that the reality of World War II was scarier and darker than any inspirational photograph.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B-

October 18, 2006
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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In Flags of Our Fathers, the story behind that Iwo Jima image, Clint Eastwood has crafted a bold and meticulous epic.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

October 18, 2006
David Ansen
Newsweek
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An epic both raw and contemplative.

October 18, 2006
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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[Captures] the spirit of our time with its mixture of cynicism and idealism, irony and conviction, satiric skepticism and red-blooded patriotism.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

October 18, 2006
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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Brilliantly conceived, articulately written, sensitively acted, filled with deeply penetrating emotions and breathtaking action, it is the greatest cinematic canvas of war since Saving Private Ryan.

October 18, 2006
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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Consistently the film is, while not exactly patriotic, at least respectful. And even though it focuses on a battle and a war that took place some 60 years ago, it remains all too resonant and relevant today.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

October 18, 2006
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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At its best, Flags of Our Fathers is eye opening and though provoking.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

October 18, 2006
Scott Foundas
Village Voice
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With Flags, Eastwood has made one of his best films -- a searching, morally complex deconstruction of the Greatest Generation that is nevertheless rich in the sensitivity to human frailty that has become his signature as a filmmaker.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

October 17, 2006
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Flags of Our Fathers is a film of awesome power and blistering provocation.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

October 16, 2006
Todd McCarthy
Variety
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A pointed exploration of heroism -- in its actual and in its trumped-up, officially useful forms -- the picture welds a powerful account of the battle of Iwo Jima... with an ironic and ultimately sad look at its aftermath for three key survivors.

Full Review Source: Variety

October 10, 2006
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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A complex, fascinating take on the concept of heroism in war.

October 10, 2006
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