Defiance - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Defiance Reviews

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½ June 16, 2016
Completely agree with the RT review. A well-made film with a superb cast but it was missing that lingering haunting factor which meant there was no real meaningful emotional heft to experience. Another horrific yet interesting tale to come out of WWII, that only leaves audiences with a sense of detached lacklustre - no matter how true the events were on screen. It may tell an accurate inspiring tale but doesn't pull at our heart strings - well not mine anyway.
June 7, 2016
One of few films that holds up under repeated viewing.
April 9, 2016
A very long film which gives it the four instead of five stars. If you don't have enough time or energy, making it to the credits can be tough. As a film, a solid piece of work about a fascinating story. Craig and co are all at their best. Make time for this one.
March 5, 2016
I'm telling you, 2008 was the year of the World War II movies. Not to mention I saw the Pianist during that year too -.-'
February 28, 2016
When Joseph Stalin famously opined "Jews make poor warriors," He had obviously never met the Bielski's.

Though the standard clichéd belief of the holocaust is that European Jews were exterminated without offering resistance, historians have uncovered overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Defiance: The Bielski Partisans is the emotive and engaging true story written by historian Nechama Tec. Edward Zwick, an enthusiastic epic-style war movie director has successfully adapted this inspirational story of resistance against genocide without graphic and shock verbosity surrounding this topic.

Opening with actual archive footage of Hitler and the SS Guard carrying out their holocaust hand-wringing, Zwick's inherently powerful film conveys the courage, endurance, kindness and resolve of a family of four brothers during a tragic era of unimaginable atrocities.

In 1941, the order by Belorussia's occupying Nazi's 'Final Solution' to capture, slaughter and exterminate all Jews is instigated.

After the initial massacre, Aron Bielski (George MacKay) escapes into the familiar and safely dense Nalibocka Forest. Protected and sheltered by his two older brothers Zus (Liev Schreiber) and Asael (Jamie Bell).

Shortly joined by the eldest sib Tuvian (Daniel Craig), the brothers come to terms with the loss of their parents and must find a way to survive undetected by the encroaching threat.

Tuvian and Zus devise a plan to safely remain hidden in the woods living off the generosity of neighboring sympathizers. However, each return for assistance brings more refugees to their camp looking for asylum.

The newcomers bring stories of Tuvain's and Zus's families, each brother are now a widow. Whilst Zus believes their dependants are a hindrance and that it is paramount to live a undetected nomadic resistance, the ideological Tuvian insists that they have saved a life they are responsible for it, and must provided shelter and sanctuary.

A whisper of their daring defiance spreads throughout the ghettos. Their makeshift company grows rapidly and meeting the needs of their wards becomes impossible. Tuvian quickly adapts to leadership and vows to live nobly, proclaiming to all within his care that certain rules will be adhered too.

All who live with them in freedom must contribute working or fighting to build a self-sufficient and functional community.
Eventually, Zus's smouldering class resentments against those who now seek his protection and his revenge-fuelled ruthless hotheadedness does not sit well with Tuvian's stoic and naturally peaceful manor of leadership. A fierce rivalry and rift is formed between the eldest brothers and Zus abandons the encampment to join with a nearby alliance of red army Soviet comrades.

Tuvian believing he is defying the Germans by simply surviving, "our revenge is to live" continues to perceiver in the forest through the looming dead of winter. Rampant with disease and dying of starvation, the fighters of the team become petulant and Tuvian must conceit and ask the Soviet comrades for assistance.

Blatantly rejected, Zus relents on his staunch shunning and assists Tuvian in his mission for medicine, Upon Zus's return to the comrades, anti-Semitic remarks become plentiful and he must decide whose cause he truly believes in fighting for.

Liev's strong, passionate, stirring and comfortable characterisation propels him into a new realm as an actor. Although he has worked solidly in Hollywood since 1994, his more recent dynamic offerings are well deserving of an A-list status.

Daniel Craig's stiff and over calculated performance is clumpy. A wonderful affect having the actors speak in native tongue, but the following broken intermittently peppered shadow accent by Craig is disjointed and distracting.

The overabundant repetitiveness of story is frustrating. The marriage of not one brother but all three older sibs to "forest brides" appears unnecessary even if true; and the need to have at least one bare-chested scene with Craig is simply tacky.

Director Zwick does successfully manage to convey the dauntingly harsh reality and gravity of subject without the usual desensitized graphic fighting and heavy war conflicts. Similar to that of The Reader this movie sits on the grit and gravity of its somber topic making it easily digestible without probing for sympathy.

James Newton Howard's textured music and Eduardo Serra's stunning cinematography in the Lithuanian woods is a definite highlight.

The Verdict: This historically accurate war account has been adapted into a slightly over emotionally manipulated American style screenplay. Defiance yearns for authenticity, simply stating "a true story." It may be a true story, but it is not truthfully told.

Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 08/05/2009
February 15, 2016
25 minutes into it it was too terrible to continue watching.
½ February 9, 2016
Rotten Tomatoes is totally wrong. This was a great movie.
February 9, 2016
Good movie about brave Jewish people struggling to survive in NAZI occupied Europe.
½ February 7, 2016
Good story based on the real events, but sugar coated for emotional appeal. Even so, it could pack a bigger punch even there.
½ January 29, 2016
Didnt expect too much from this film but I found the story to be really good.
I did expect more action scenes which I think would of been better with a few more, But still it's acted well and told well.
December 13, 2015
Defiance is a beautifully filmed movie, but with a story that has so emotion and amazing history, it didn't hit anywhere near as hard as it could've.
December 3, 2015
A brilliant, dynamic film. Craig is amazing in this, as are all members of the cast. It's a layered, nuanced story with many messages.
½ September 19, 2015
This is a wonderful, exciting movie...Tomatometer WRONG.
July 21, 2015
The acting is Grade-A in this movie.
½ June 25, 2015
Daniel Craig (even though his accent comes and goes) and Liev Schreiber carry this war film through emotional, compelling and engages your mind through the tough and rigorous battle Jews went through with Nazis.
June 2, 2015
8.0/10
This movie gets rated a lot lower than it should be. It was an awesome story translated through the big screen with great performances by Craig and Schreiber.
May 30, 2015
Daniel Craig's Best Performance Yet.
May 15, 2015
seems interesting :\
½ April 2, 2015
Some great performances and a great backstory, but I can't help but feel something is lacking in the execution.
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