The Thin Red Line Reviews
Caviezel's befriending the villagers was very moving.
Tedious and punctuated with distracting cameos, much of the movie is mud covered indistinguishable actors mumbling their lines interspersed with nature footage. It watches like Malick really wanted to be doing National Geographic documentaries instead and decided to take his frustration out on the audience.
The pacing of The Thin Red Line I think could be best described as herky-jerky. It goes long stretches where nothing of relevance is happening other than soliloquies intermingled with images of trees, past love affairs, and more artsy-fartsy film school nonsense. Then, just when I'm about to fall asleep, we are thrust into battle and we get to see the soldiers act like real people, and start fighting a vicious battle trying to overtake a bunker or something like that. The big problem with the structure of Malick's films is that ethereal voices and a handful of random short flashbacks do not create character. So it's not long before I realized that I didn't care about any of the people who are getting gunned down because I don't KNOW any of them. There are loads of familiar faces in the cast, some really spectacular actors, but that's not enough to make me see any of their characters as real people. The closest I came was with Jim Caviezel because his character was set up early and almost had an arc, but even his death didn't quite resonate for me (perhaps the boredom had overwhelmed me at that point.) It's such a shame because there are snippets of time when The Thin Red Line is stunning and could be remarkably powerful, but Malick can't tell a consistent story because he has to attempt to make every moment deep and profound. If you tolerate Malick's particular brand of film-making then this movie is right up your alley, but for most movie fans I'd say avoid at all costs.