The Thin Red Line - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Thin Red Line Reviews

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June 9, 2018
The only war movie I have ever seen that truly goes into the heart and soul of the fighting soldier.
June 6, 2018
Beautifully and movingly told reality on what these soldiers went though physically and emotionally.. Reminds us how brave and ?? these men are to give us the freedom we are allowed today. And also shows a side of the enemies that we supposed to hate; but their the same in many ways.. just doing what their told and trying to survive. Many to young to have ever really loved our lived before.
May 5, 2018
"The thin red line" is well written, amazingly directed and with a great ensemble cast. Whit this ingredients you usually get a masterpiece... but not in this case. I don't know why, it's like the sum of all the good parts end up to be short of the totality of the work. Still, a very good movie.
½ April 19, 2018
fantastic first half but it tones down in the second. hans zimmer's music is disappointing which is responsible for a death in the ending being not as emotional as it could have been. it could have been a great war movie. better than 'black hawk down' but it could have been miles superior.
½ March 6, 2018
½ February 24, 2018
Not entertaining, just depressing. I may have to see it again just to be able to compare it to the tree of life. 1001 movies to see before you die.
January 25, 2018
A movie like this should be exciting but it's boring and it drags.
½ January 5, 2018
The stupidest war movie ever conceived by man. Endless shots of grass swaying in the wind and stream-water rippling over rocks permeates this pretentious exercise in wartime introspection. Almost saved by Nick Nolte's charging performance as a battlefield commander. Fast forward the film 'til you get to the next Nolte scene; and John Travolta is the most miscast military general in cinematic history.
November 26, 2017
This is a fascinating, highly reflective and philosophical World War Two film. Features powerful directing, writing, music score and an impressive large ensemble cast. Excellent original film making!
November 12, 2017
Beautiful - if one may say so.
November 6, 2017
A masterpiece in every sense of the word.
September 30, 2017
The comparison between this and Dunkirk is the same as the comparison between pizza baked fresh in New York and the frozen sort you'd find at your local Asda.
½ September 14, 2017
Less an action-packed war film, and more an introspective look at the effects of war on the men who endure it. It's a bit more "artsy" than many might expect from a war movie. Much of the dialogue consists of narrated internal-monologues by the characters. The plot tends to wander a bit and make it run perhaps longer than necessary, but the gorgeous cinematography and great ensemble cast make the film extremely memorable and worth-watching.
September 9, 2017
despite the good cast, I didn't really enjoy this one as it didn't seem to have much of a storyline other than to tell us of the horrors of war.
August 21, 2017
Interesting war film with a soulful existential edge and fantastic cast of skilled actors.
August 10, 2017
The general public's view of Malick is polarizing; some praise his work and consider him as a auteur, while others accuse him of being indulgent, pretentious and high minded. I don't really have a general opinion of him as only this film and The Tree of Life are the only films I have seen from him. My first viewing of this film was not pleasant, I felt that it was just too introspective and did not have a driving plot, or at least an interesting or dramatic one, that gripped me. A few months later I decided to give this another try and see if it's able to change mind. In a way it did but at the same time, it's previous flaws are still prevalent but at least much more tolerable and clearer with the second viewing.

The film was based on the book by James Jones, who also wrote From Here To Eternity, and the screenplay was written by Terrence Malick. I have not read the novel so I cannot say whether or not this film is accurate or that it approaches the same way that the film does. Malick's screenplay on the other hand is a hit or miss for me. There are moments that are brilliant and definitely makes it stand out against the other WWII films, but there are also aspects of the screenplay that didn't just work with me. The main issue that I have with this film is that it is too introspective, which I don't mind as long as there is an interesting plot to drive when the voice overs are not present. A little over half of the film is driven by a main plot but then the last hour and 20 minutes is more of self-reflection and each main character's perspective of the situation. The screenplay contains themes of faith, life, death, war, peace, love, sacrifice and family. It may seem too much but each theme is very much interrelated and one dialogue from a character could sometimes be ambiguous that it could mean this or that. I wish that the last half of the film can hold up the intensity and depth that the first half did.

Terrence Malick's direction in this film feel so incoherent and erratic. At one moment intensity occurs but then it just slows down all of a sudden. It isn't as bad as it was in my first viewing but it did still bother me a little during my revisit. This disjointed feeling does throw me off at times but at the same time it makes the film different and unique from the other war films that this film is generally compared to. True, sometimes I do wish that it does have that excitement and physical intensity of a film like Saving Private Ryan but at the same time I wish other war films had this deep and self-critical view of the war and it's soldiers. His work here may not be perfect and far from his magnum opus, The Tree of Life, but it has grown and improved on me that I am now confident in coming back to this film knowing that it has this great quality that other films don't.

The film's photography was handled by John Toll, worked on films like Braveheart, Tropic Thunder, The Last Samurai and The Adjustment Bureau. Malick is a director who loves natural photography exposing the beauty in nature and the use of natural light to fill the scene. I am one of those who come into a Malick film expecting beautiful photography but this film just doesn't get up there, this is due to the fact that I have seen Malick's work with Emmanuel Lubezki and the films they do together are breathtakingly gorgeous. Toll's work here may not rank up with Lubezki's but it does get the job done. There is still beauty in his photography, the scenes in the hill in particular, and it does still get the job done when it comes to putting Malick's script in picture. Toll's photography is much deeper in my opinion than Lubezki's, and it makes sense given that this film is more about experience and feelings rather than plot and visceral focused. I do wish that it was more surrealistic but I guess that it's just asking too much as the film's setting and plot is quite grounded to reality.

The film's score was composed by Hans Zimmer. Before when I just started to really care about films, I used to think Hans Zimmer is the greatest film composer of all time but as time went on I have been exposed to the works of other composers who can rival his work. Not to say that Zimmer is now crap to me but I just started to see the areas in his work that I consider as faults. Zimmer's score for The Thin Red Line is great, it does what it does and it is able to get an emotional response from the audience. However there are moments that I felt needed a little more emotional kick from his score as the situation felt grand and important. Also I picked up that his works on multiple films have a similar sound, or at least a trademark of sorts. This kind of disappointed me as he could have given his later films a much more original style rather than coming back to what he has already used. His later works still are effective though for those films. Do I think The Thing Red Line is his best work? I think not but it is definitely nowhere near his worst.

The film's cast is extensive and bloated, in a good way. I don't mind that characters just all of a sudden come in and play a small role but there are multiple moments in the film that felt like the scene needed a little more time and a much more subtle way in introducing it's characters. Maybe it's due to the fact that Malick cut around 2 and a half of it's original running time. I did wish that the film did have a central character that we would follow for the most part and have little side moments with the others but what he has done with the final cut is good enough. The entire cast in this film were great, they took their roles to heart and gave it their all. This made the film much more believable and also made the introspection aspect of it much more interesting than what it already is. Stand out performances include Caviezel, Nolte, Harrelson, Koteas, Chaplin and Otto.

This maybe the favorite of the general audience when it comes to Malick's work but for me it just didn't hit that mark. This may grow on me further on subsequent viewings but for now I can only say that this is good war film that deserves to be watched at least once as it has a large cast, great photography, a moving score and interesting direction from Malick.
July 30, 2017
In 1998, appreciated the HONESTY of this movie over the Patriotic Cheese of SPR
June 18, 2017
One of the best war movie ive ever seen. I became a huge Terence Malick fan after the Tree of Life, but this movie is his best so far. The cast, plot and the soundtrack by Hans Zimmer were astonishing. Definitely a must see!
June 2, 2017
good cinemaphotography but a disappointing film
½ May 28, 2017
The cinematography and shots are beautiful of course. If it was a little bit shorter, I feel like it would have been a lot better. Sometimes the movie would get lost in it's own philosophical deep meanings. But who am I to judge? The movie was great.

A fantastic tense and thrilling ride. But also with moments of beauty and peace, showing how beautiful nature is in all of it's raw form and how beautiful human nature can be when we all just get along and don't have to fight with one another. This movie touches a lot on the subject of human nature, doing good in the world, and how death could be for some of us.
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