Flags of Our Fathers

Critics Consensus

Flags of Our Fathers is both a fascinating look at heroism, both earned and manufactured, and a well-filmed salute to the men who fought at the battle of Iwo Jima.

73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 196

69%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 267,975

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Movie Info

In February and March of 1945, U.S. troops fight and win one of the most crucial and costly battles of the war on the island of Iwo Jima. A photo of U.S. servicemen raising the flag on Mount Suribachi becomes an iconic symbol of victory to a war-weary nation. The individuals themselves become heroes, though not all survive the war and realize it.

Cast & Crew

Ryan Phillippe
John Bradley
Adam Beach
Ira Hayes
Barry Pepper
Sgt. Mike Strank
Jamie Bell
Ralph Ignatowski
Paul Walker
Hank Hansen
David Patrick Kelly
Harry S. Truman
Robert Patrick
Col. Chandler Johnson
Robert Lorenz
Executive Producer
Clint Eastwood
Original Music
Tom Stern
Cinematographer
Joel Cox
Film Editor
Henry Bumstead
Production Design
Adrian Gorton
Art Direction
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News & Interviews for Flags of Our Fathers

Critic Reviews for Flags of Our Fathers

All Critics (196) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (143) | Rotten (53)

Audience Reviews for Flags of Our Fathers

  • Nov 20, 2016
    Less focused on battle and more on the psychological trauma that war has on the average person. This is a war movie that makes you question what a hero really is. Filmed incredibly well, Clint Eastwood's portrayal of Iwo Jima is saturated and depressing, much like the mindset's of the people who partook in the battle. The stand-out character is Ira Hayes, one of the men hailed as a hero simply for raising an American flag on the top of the island's mountain. It's a tragic story, but it's done so well. Clint Eastwood never disappoints.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 21, 2012
    The men who raised the flag over Mount Suribachi become part of the War Department's propaganda machine and are labeled heroes, much to their chagrin. I have mixed feelings about this film. On the one hand, the concentration on using these soldiers' fame for the war effort is a unique and insightful way of telling this story. And Clint Eastwood's direction is superb, able to film battle sequences with a realism similar to <i>Saving Private Ryan</i> and to linger on disturbing images just long enough. On the other hand, the film attempts to problematize the concept of heroism in war. The film's thesis is that the American public thought these men were symbols of American excellence - a reason to be proud of their country - but the men were too tortured by what they saw and did to find the label fitting. They claim that the true heroes were those who didn't survive and that they were just doing their jobs, fighting not for the country but for the man next to them. What bothers me is that this definition of heroism isn't new, and where the film seeks to problematize heroism, it inevitably retraces ground already covered by other films. Even <i>For Whom the Bell Tolls</i> offers a similar thesis. What is even more to the point is that Eastwood includes several scenes of intense battle sequences that display these men in the roles of traditional heroes. Thus, I think, the film ends up reproducing the stereotypes it attempts to complicate. Overall, I think there are many good elements to <i>Flags of Our Fathers</I>, and I learned something about WWII, but I don't think the film accomplishes all it set out to do.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2011
    A true masterpiece this was. Flags of Our Fathers was nothing more than terrific. There were moments when we smiled, teared up, and were in shock. The war scenes were detailed and realistic. And the story was a true work of genius, I loved it. True, the movie was confusing at times but in the need it pulls through. A truly genius film.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2011
    5 years ago, Clint Eastwood was 76 years old and he was still making awesome movies. Of course, this isn't all action. This is a genuinely touching, beautiful work of art, but but its flaws remain quite notable. The film suffers from some lack of development, some abrupt scene changes and inconsistent narrative usage. I also had a problem with how the performances faulted on occasion. The performances are otherwise excellent, - as we'll discuss later - but there are offputting moments in the acting. Of course, that's not the only faulty element in the film. Most of the visual effects are rock solid. However, there are major points - particularly during the battle sequences - where the visual effects are offputting and actually take you out of the film. Perhaps the visual effects were unconvincing because they didn't fit into the cinematography, which is so vivid and distinctive. Still, that's just one flaw in the cinematography. Outside of that, this is a truly stunningly handsome film, but lord knows that that's not the film's only strength. The film is supported by good dialogue, excellent production designs, mostly good effects, good action sequences, mostly solid acting and a fine ending. Still, it all falls back to the absolutely stunning cinematography. The most outstanding thing in this has to be the cinematography, which is boderline groundbreaking. I say "borderline" because it's not that much different from the cinematography in "Saving Private Ryan". However, the lighting in here is moderately, but still notably brighter. This allows the film to still retain the dark, grittiness of war, but still keep the film more hopeful. This sharply simulates the mood of the battlefield in a very impacting, but still respectful way. Still, whether you're focusing on the story the cinematography tells or not, there's no denying that that this a truly beautiful film. Man, what a forced deep review, but at least it's not redundnat. But that's beside the point. Overall, "Flags of Our Fathers" certainly has its flaws, but through it all, it is ultimately a fascinating, handsome and generally touching portrait on what it means to be a hero.
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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