Defiance Reviews

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November 16, 2011
November 16, 2011
May 8, 2009
Schreiber and Craig make a well-matched pair of bulls. Schreiber's volatility is a nice foil to the taciturn intelligence that makes Craig such a great Bond.
May 1, 2009
Zwick's limitations as an action director seem linked to a troubled conscience: he seems conscious of a need to entertain, but worried that his audience will take too much pleasure in the spectacle of vengeance.
January 20, 2009
The way Zwick force-feeds his audience emotion becomes laborious.
January 20, 2009
I felt like these characters were prototypes and not people.
January 16, 2009
As a piece of historical redress, a great service has been done in bringing this narrative to the screen.
January 16, 2009
It's understandable and laudable that they desire not to sensationalize the Bielskis, and they've made a worthy film. But their understated approach makes the struggle seem less urgent than it must surely have been.
January 16, 2009
Ultimately, the film celebrates and memorializes the survival of something unthinkable, and a group of people for whom defiance meant, at heart, that they would push against the growing darkness and carry on.
January 16, 2009
It's difficult, perhaps impossible, to make a gripping 137-minute epic about people standing around under the trees.
January 16, 2009
Defiance may lack the sort of emotional punch that sticks, but its story of courage and responsibility is undeniably compelling.
January 16, 2009
It is, all in all, a film as square-shouldered as its leads -- tough-minded, forcibly acted and conventionally spun by Zwick and co-writer Clayton Frohman.
January 16, 2009
What is puzzling is how Edward Zwick has taken an extraordinary real-life story about a handful of people who defied huge odds, and turned it into an utterly conventional war movie.
January 16, 2009
The story is inspirational; the movie isn't.
January 16, 2009
Zwick, intent on correcting the perception of Jews as passive victims, lets the action set pieces overwhelm the more intimate scenes, several of which are already diminished by stilted dialogue.
January 16, 2009
What the Bielski brothers did in the forests of Belorussia deserves to be remembered and celebrated, but this glossy studio production robs them of life. It's not just new Holocaust stories that we need, but new ways of telling them.
January 16, 2009
The script hokes up the tensions between the brothers played by Craig and Schreiber, and while they're both fascinating, simmering-kettle performers, they consistently outshine their material.
January 15, 2009
Craig and Schreiber are terrific as the slightly thuggish Bielskis, and they're joined by an able supporting cast that includes Jamie Bell and the wonderful Mia Wasikowska.
January 15, 2009
Defiance is a wobbly stool, a seat propped up by the uneven legs of ethics debate, Holocaust movie and action thriller. Still, the fascination and novelty of Nazi-killing Jews who don't perish in the death camps packs quite the wallop.
January 15, 2009
For all the film's flaws, this is a war story told with passion about a band of brothers that still has the power to inspire.
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