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Windtalkers (2002)


Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 167
Fresh: 54
Rotten: 113

Critics Consensus: The action sequences are expertly staged. Windtalkers, however, sinks under too many clichés and only superficially touches upon the story of the code talkers.

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 40
Fresh: 14
Rotten: 26

Critics Consensus: The action sequences are expertly staged. Windtalkers, however, sinks under too many clichés and only superficially touches upon the story of the code talkers.


Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 66,515


Movie Info

Loosely based on a real-life operation during World War II, this action-adventure from director John Woo stars Nicolas Cage as Joe Enders, a Marine traumatized by the loss of his entire platoon in the Solomon Islands during an ambush he believes was deadlier than necessary due to his indecision. Suffering from eardrum damage in Hawaii, Joe manages to be declared fit for duty once again thanks to a sympathetic nurse (Frances O'Connor), but his new assignment isn't what he expects. Joe is ordered … More

R (for pervasive graphic war violence, and for language)
Directed By:
Written By:
Joe Batteer , John Rice
In Theaters:
Oct 15, 2002
Box Office:
MGM/UA - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Windtalkers

All Critics (170) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (113) | DVD (36)

The energy and conviction of the action sequences don't quite compensate for Windtalkers' emotional cliches and historical heedlessness.

Full Review… | September 19, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

A powerful premise turned into a stubbornly flat, derivative war movie.

Full Review… | September 19, 2008
Top Critic

The screenwriters struggle to integrate the coded transmissions with the action, and the flamboyant set piece battles feel like so much empty rhetoric.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The history is fascinating; the action is dazzling. They just don't work in concert.

Full Review… | November 6, 2002
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

It's the best new battle film since Black Hawk Down.

Full Review… | July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

A relentless, bombastic and ultimately empty World War II action flick.

Full Review… | June 19, 2002
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

From the fluttering flags to James Horner's shamelessly manipulative music, this is more like a patriotic "Heritage Moment" than a film about actual people.

Full Review… | June 5, 2014

War film relies too much on relentless violence.

Full Review… | December 29, 2010
Common Sense Media

Replete with Cage's finest angsty acting and John Woo's requisite concerns of friendship and rivalry in the face of violence.

Full Review… | September 19, 2008

With Windtalkers, the glaring refutations of time, space and reality impress upon viewers the simple fact that Woo is at his best when he isn't attempting anything more significant than the most emptily satisfying explosion you're likely to enjoy - a scat

Full Review… | July 2, 2008
IGN Movies

What we get is a surprisingly entertaining film, corny as it is at times, that could have suited John Wayne. [Published 5-13-02]

Full Review… | December 19, 2005
Kansas City Kansan

This is the kind of film where you think you can predict everything that's going to happen upon the first shot and you spend the rest of the film praying that you're wrong. But it's fun getting there.

Full Review… | December 6, 2005
Film Threat

I didn't expect a comedy.

Full Review… | October 7, 2004

Too celebratory of Woo's good guy-versus-bad guy, buddy-buddy ethos of action movies to rise above the limitations of the genre, and too obsessed with its own seriousness to be a truly 'serious' film.

Full Review… | February 1, 2004

A vast repository of hoary, honour-code clichés.

Full Review… | October 19, 2003
Daily Telegraph

You'd probably be better off reading Catch 22 - even if it is for the fifth time . . .

Full Review… | September 24, 2003

A premissa é interessante, mas o terceiro ato do filme, quando Cage e Beach se tornam indestrutíveis, estraga o filme.

July 25, 2003
Cinema em Cena

It's tough to get worked up after watching superior films like Black Hawk Down and We Were Soldiers."

June 13, 2003

Sure, he directs the heck out of gun battles and hand-to-hand combat, paying loving attention to each grunt, spurt and grimace, but there is something unseemly about the agony of war serving as fodder for yet another of Woo's sensational spectacles.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

While some may have used this fascinating subject matter to craft a serious drama with historical significance, Woo and his writers choose instead to stay with the high-octane action format.

Full Review… | February 8, 2003
Film Quips Online

What should be a moving story with spectacular battle scenes by one of the world's greatest action directors is a huge let-down.

Full Review… | February 2, 2003
Empire Magazine

Here, [Woo] has to deal with visual chaos. And he doesn't do a good job of it.

Full Review… | January 7, 2003
Hot Button

...Windtalkers is one of the most exciting (not to mention violent) war movies to emerge in quite some time.

Full Review… | November 8, 2002
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for Windtalkers

An insult to Native Americans. In this film, you may find yourself rooting for the Imperial forces of Japan to kill Nicholas Cage and put an end to our suffering.

Christian C

Super Reviewer


worst WWII movie ever. Plus, the setting of WWII was already broken once Nicolas Cage came onscreen.

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

In Windtalkers, John Woo takes a relatively interesting piece of War history and makes a thoroughly gratuitous, distasteful and disrespectful film out of it. At it's very best, it feels like bad theatre. A truly awful film with quite possibly the worst script ever written.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

Windtalkers is by far one of the most innacurrate war films, I've seen in a long time. Nick Cage is very hit and miss, and Windtalkers is another miss for him. The plot is very bad, the actors, some good are wasted on this sorry excuse of a film. This is a terrible war film to avoid. This is a typical hollywood war film with really no research done, and it shows. A very bad film, with no elements in the story to make this a winner. This is a war film that will be remembered as a dud. Theres nothing interesting or good here. It's however a bad waste of time. Watch Letters From Iwo Jima instead.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Windtalkers Quotes

I'm runnung out of ammo here Joe.
– Submitted by christopher y (23 months ago)

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