The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
From the Critics
From RT Users Like You!
The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The film ties itself in knots trying to be both historical account and ripping adventure - 'Schindler's List' by way of 'The Dirty Dozen'. In the end neither aspect satisfies, resulting in a drab if diverting Sunday afternoon spectacle.
Despite all the resources brought to bear -- strong cast, ambitious scale, impressive logistics, dense detail, fine cinematography -- the production seldom makes the leap from elaborate play-acting to authentic drama.
Defiance plods where it should soar, but it's still the best of this month's four (!) Holocaust movies -- if for no other reason than it confronts the common belief that European Jews didn't actively resist the Nazi onslaught.