Rescue Dawn Reviews

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Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
July 25, 2007
Perhaps if [director Herzog] had tossed in a few Chevys that transform into robots, the studio would have given him the cash to make Rescue Dawn definitive, instead of generic, which is the best he manages here.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Prairie Miller
WBAI Web Radio
August 1, 2007
Twisting truths to bestow sympathy and stature on dubious characters and crimes against humanity, Herzog spins historical fiction yet again in the service of imperialism. Tell me Werner, who funded this film, and expose its premeditated fabrications.
Joe Lozito
Big Picture Big Sound
July 13, 2007
Essentially a fictionalization of the documentary he made in 1997, the film seems like fertile ground for this unpredictable director. But his painstakingly plain dramatization of Dengler's experience ultimately rings hollow.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
July 6, 2007
Workmanlike and watchable, Rescue Dawn is nonetheless a disappointment in its depiction of a hero with plenty of scars but little depth or substance beyond an iron will.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Martha Fischer
Cinematical
September 23, 2006
A disappointingly by-the-numbers effort from a filmmaker of rare and true genius.
Lewis Beale
Film Journal International
July 3, 2007
The film operates in a curious moral vacuum that undercuts its strengths, and makes one wonder just what Herzog was thinking when he was taking on this project.
Susan Tavernetti
Palo Alto Weekly
August 4, 2007
Without a semblance of Herzog's signature mysticism or an ounce of insightfulness, the film becomes an unremarkable retelling of a remarkable true-life story.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
August 2, 2007
While Herzog has hardly sold out, he has tamed his inner filmmaking demons long enough to make a respectable movie that won't ruffle any feathers during the summer film season.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
July 3, 2007
[Rescue Dawn] offers its own vision of deprivation but doesn't linger long enough, even mid-jungle, to leave us in the kind of directionless trance that was conjured by Aguirre and Every Man for Himself.
Barbara Goslawski
Boxoffice Magazine
November 29, 2006
The audience receives no new insights into the horrors of war and no answers to its ever-present conundrum.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
July 3, 2007
Problematic is Herzog's wildly romanticized view of his protagonist. No matter what tortures he faces, Dieter never has a moment of vulnerability. He's not a man, he's a superhero.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
July 6, 2007
The whole last act is, to borrow a Martin Amis phrase, a losing war against cliché.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Paula Nechak
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
July 12, 2007
Well-acted but rote and strictly by the book.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Marc Mohan
Oregonian
July 27, 2007
From a director known for his obsession with obsessions, it's an unfortunate smoothing out.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Louis Proyect
rec.arts.movies.reviews
April 9, 2009
Not the typical Chuck Norris movie, but just as rancid in its own "edgy" pretentious manner.
June 9, 2010
Dumps traditional war movie bravado in favor of a subtler touch, and softens the blow of an unspeakable ordeal by shooting it amidst a series of jarringly beautiful and poetic canvases.
Full Review | Original Score: 8.5/10
Mike Barnard
Future Movies UK
July 27, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Adam Tobias
Watertown Daily Times
July 23, 2008
Rescue Dawn wouldn't be half the film it is if it were not for the stellar performances by Bale and Zahn.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jonathan W. Hickman
Entertainment Insiders
June 29, 2007
Herzog delivers an inspiring apolitical look at what it is to be a soldier in time of war.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
July 27, 2007
... a pretty good movie that could be received on the level of pure entertainment. It is no less Hollywoodized than The Great Escape or Stalag 17.
Full Review | Original Score: 86/100
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