Hart's War Reviews

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Todd McCarthy
Variety
November 27, 2008
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Derek Adams
Time Out
February 9, 2006
This earnest WWII escape story throws in a courtroom drama, but to nobody's advantage.
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 6, 2002
Reaches for more than it can handle, but it's well-acted and earnest in its intentions.
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
August 9, 2002
Proves a servicable World War II drama that can't totally hide its contrivances, but it at least calls attention to a problem Hollywood too long has ignored.
| Original Score: B
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
March 13, 2002
An exciting, thoughtful and adrenaline-pumping war picture that is provocative and different.
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
February 24, 2002
We're situated in that familiar showbiz intersection of Hollywood and Rhine.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
February 19, 2002
...it's not your typical war movie but I'm giving it thumbs down because I think its attempts to be different were quite frankly kind of ludicrous.
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
February 15, 2002
You'll get the enjoyable basic minimum. But not a whit more.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
February 15, 2002
More or less self-destructs in a ridiculous last few minutes when it becomes a noble sacrifice-o-rama.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Mike Clark
USA Today
February 15, 2002
An earnest racial-issues picture that might have gotten respectful critical praise in a different era -- say, the '60s.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 15, 2002
As an actor's showcase, Hart's War has much to recommend it, even if the top-billed Willis is not the most impressive player. As a story of dramatic enlightenment, the screenplay by Billy Ray and Terry George leaves something to be desired.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
February 15, 2002
[S]turdy if uninspired...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
February 15, 2002
Hart's War contains a fatal structural flaw. A racially charged court-martial that takes up half the picture turns out to be a just a cover.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
February 15, 2002
...a sluggish courtroom potboiler about racism, murder and due process.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 15, 2002
The cinematic equivalent of three-dimensional chess.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
February 15, 2002
Watching this film, what we feel isn't mainly suspense or excitement. The dominant feeling is something like nostalgia.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Jonathan Foreman
New York Post
February 15, 2002
Initially gripping, eventually cloying POW drama.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
February 15, 2002
Unlike A Soldier's Story, which tackled the same theme within the confines of an engrossing, unpredictable story, too much of Hart's War feels like finger-wagging.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
February 15, 2002
Teetering toward preaching, the film says much about courage, honor, duty and sacrifice, traits common enough in many World War II stories.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
February 15, 2002
Hart's War, in trying to please everyone, delivers a doubly exasperating blend of liberal and conservative pandering, both a self-congratulatory acknowledgment of historical racism and an affirmation that American patriotism excuses all sins.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Susan Stark
Detroit News
February 15, 2002
Gripping on impact, it provides plenty of material for long thoughts.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
February 15, 2002
The movie worked for me right up to the final scene, and then it caved in.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
February 14, 2002
[S]olid, old-fashioned entertainment in which everything is much larger than life and the plot elements slide into place with clockwork precision.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Charles Taylor
Salon.com
February 14, 2002
Put Bruce Willis and this bewildering World War II movie in front of the firing line.
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Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
February 14, 2002
War is a film that tries to excel on several levels and falls flat on all of them.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 14, 2002
[T]he film throws so many twists and surprises at us that it becomes unconvincing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
February 14, 2002
If suiting up for Hart's War hardly constitutes patriotic duty, it's not a bad place to bivouac.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
February 14, 2002
...a work of small pleasures that barely makes it under the wire intact.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
February 14, 2002
Director Gregory Hoblit (Primal Fear) is merely arranging cliches in new patterns until the surprise ending blows enough pro-military fervor up the audience's ass to make Colin Powell call a halt.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
February 14, 2002
Katzenbach's book collapses into phoniness at the end, and the movie -- which alters that ending -- is even phonier.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
February 14, 2002
Worth a salute just for trying to be more complex than your average film.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Justine Elias
Village Voice
February 12, 2002
The movie gets muted and routine.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 12, 2002
This is one of those war movies that focuses on human interaction rather than battle and action sequences ... and it's all the stronger because of it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
February 7, 2002
A grimly competent and stolid and earnest military courtroom drama.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
February 7, 2002
A well-made, solidly acted drama that essentially eschews louder actions in favor of fighting words.