The Bridge on the River Kwai - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Bridge on the River Kwai Reviews

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December 31, 2017
Excellent movie. A bit on the longer side but incredibly engaging and suspenseful at times. Beautiful scenery, beautiful performances by the leads. As one critic perfectly put it, it is a war movie that focuses on individuals rather than battles. Thought about this one long after it was over.
December 17, 2017
Marvellous film, bravely shooted and with fine acting, nearly 3 hours of pure art. I just loved it.
November 27, 2017
This film successfully applies the five elements of an outstanding picture:
1. Concept/Setting
The film explores two central ethical questions: (a) Do certain scenarios (such as being a prisoner of war) permit one to compromise one's principles (such as those outlined in the Geneva convention)? (b) Where, and in what priority do your loyalties lie when in a scenario such as Colonel Nicholson (do they lie first with your men, your country, your captor, or yourself?)? These questions are explored in the setting of a POW camp, and are physically represented by the bridge itself. This is a good concept.
2. Plot/Progression
The movie answers the above questions in a chronological (and logical) order. Each important character is devoted the necessary time to develop their required background/theme; no time is wasted on unimportant characters. This is a good progression.
3. Writing
The explored questions are explicitly brought to the screen by the characters. However, the viewer does not feel like the character is educating the audience; rather the characters seem to raise these questions BECAUSE it is what the character cares about. Furthermore, important philosophical beliefs of the characters are expressed succinctly in short but content-rich lines. This is good writing.
4. Acting
The actors don't look like actors. Since each character plays a part in the ethical questions raised by the film, the viewer does not need to pay as much attention to the skills of the actor as they must pay to the role of the character. Alec Guinness is perfect for this type of acting. This is good acting.
5. Power
The film ends on a tragic note. Throughout the film, Colonel Nicholson has been unafraid to present his solution to the two ethical questions {(a) and (b)} raised in the film. However, the tragic and perhaps unexpected ending brings Colonel Nicholson's solutions into doubt; the viewer thought or felt that a concrete answer was going to be given, but the opposite occurred. This allows the film to be watched multiple times. This is power.
In conclusion, five elements equals five stars.
November 1, 2017
One of my favorite movies of all time. Alec Guinness is so good in it. David Lean is an epic director. Such restraint
October 20, 2017
One looks like he's forgotten his duty vs one who's really forgotten.
½ October 9, 2017
Not an easy film to watch, but not for the reasons you'd expect (i.e. violence, loss, etc). This film asks some serious and hard questions and the answers are largely up to you. The ending was not easy for me. Very moving. A great film.
October 9, 2017
I'm rather divisive on what rating this film truly deserves, on the higher end, it's a visual masterpiece with stunning performances, revolutionary cinematography that matches the look of modern films, a catchy score and a thought-provoking narrative, however on the lower end, it's rather ambiguous. David Lean stands to this day as one of my all-time favourite directors, with many of his flicks remaining some of my personal favourites. One question though: does 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' stand as one of the finest war films ever made? You bet it does.

Whilst watching this movie, maybe it's my own personal perception, but I was able to spot areas of inspiration that would later influence other movies such as 'The Great Escape' and 'Cool Hand Luke', perhaps solely because this was one of the first and one of the best prisoner of war / "prison" films. The main area that I found amazing, was the stunning cinematography, it is completely revolutionary, like that in his epic 'Lawrence of Arabia' to follow, there were shots I was staring at in awe, compelled by the vast vistas of the Burmese landscapes, unsure as to whether I was watching a movie from the 1950's or modern day, it is completely stunning and ahead of its time.

Alec Guinness and Sessue Hayakawa are the main stars in this film, each one mad and each one resilient. Guinness, the British officer standing up for what he knows is right, Hayakawa, the Japanese colonel standing up for what he "believes" is right. The majority of the film focusses on the feud between the two characters and their eventual understanding, but also as Guinness's Colonel Nicholson slowly comes to realise what's occurred through his "madness" as in horror, he says "What have I done?" before landing the final blow. The ambiguity occurs when James Donald arrives, repeatedly quoting "Madness...", but at the same time it's a powerful punch to conclude the aforementioned scenes, it is completely riveting and complex, in it's character development and plot development. An utter stunner of the war genre, and (as a patriotic Briton) it's nice to see British resilience in the face of adversity at its finest, whether war or peace, we'll walk along whistling, holding our heads up high.
October 4, 2017
This is how you make a film. It comes in swinging & keeps on going. It's a wonderful war film with complex, engrossing characters, It's a real work of art.
August 31, 2017
From the memorable British march tune to Alec Guinness' performance, Bridge On The River Kwai is another of David Lean's masterpieces
August 27, 2017
A bit long and slow, but satisfying overall film
August 11, 2017
This epic war film is certainly a monumental effort. Containing solid performances and a very dramatic and thrilling ending, this movie is entertaining from start to end. Considered to be one of the best movies of all time and my favourite film of 1957. AAW 1001
½ August 3, 2017
'The Bridge on the River Kwai' is, better than an excellent war film, an excellent film which does brilliantly well at a key aspect, characterization, a film showing a sublime and grotesque hero, Colonel Nicholson, who, in a position of weakness, defends his rights, being both right and wrong in front of a Japanese rival, Colonel Saito. Questions of courage and loyalty are raised through different angles in the film, shot in a majestic jungle, featuring a majestic cast and filmed by a majestic Lean who shows is epic aptitude.
July 1, 2017
Another high peak in David Lean's career, this not only delivers the emotionally and ethically complex drama he so naturally has proven himself capable of before, it is never without an empty moment thanks to its epic cinematography, humor, and natural locales.
½ June 11, 2017
A masterful classic of epic proportions that is somewhat at a disadvantage when compared to Lawrence of Arabia, but nevertheless shines as one of the best films of the decade and, despite structural flaws, is among the most beautiful movies to take place in wartime.
May 18, 2017
Without a doubt, this is the best film I have ever seen. The ending never fails to bring me goosebumps and a very strong emotional reaction.
April 16, 2017
Everybody has those kind of movies where for one reason or another they are universally acclaimed, but personally you just don't understand the full appeal. This is one such movie for me. The scope of the production is impressive, but an over three hour run time is always a slog for me, unless I feel the movie truly earned it, this just doesn't earn it. It's one of those 'classics' that you shouldn't feel bad about not seeing.
April 15, 2017
Thought movie great til i read real story in killing the risen sun. How Hollywood could have written and changed the British lt colonel into collaborating instead of the real story of not collaborating plus the horrific treatment of POW held there was quite disappointing. I am Former POW felt betrayed when they viewed movie and portrayal of there commander
April 15, 2017
Since reading killing the risen sun and learning of the horrific atrosities of these men - i watched this movie again. I gave it a 5.
April 5, 2017
The cast's charm and the great tension leads the movie in a perfect way. "The Bridge on the River Kwai" addresses the most complicated themes to approach in a war environment like pacience, discipline and respect for the superiors in charge. Even though it's almost 3 hours long, it deserves to be watched!
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