Flags of Our Fathers (2006)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic 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.

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Movie Info

Clint Eastwood's adaptation of the non-fiction book Flags of Our Fathers concerns the lives of the men in the famous picture of soldiers raising the American flag over Iwo Jima during that historic WWII battle. Battle scenes are intercut with footage of three of the soldiers - played by Ryan Phillipe, Jesse Bradford, and Adam Beach -- who survived the battle going on a goodwill tour of the United States in order to sell war bonds. Many evening they are forced to reenact their famous pose, something each of them finds more and more difficult to do as they suffer from survivor's guilt. Eastwood frames the story by having one of the men's grown son (Tom McCarthy) interview his father's old comrades in order to find out more about what happened to his father. Eastwood followed this film with Letters from Iwo Jima, a second film about the battle of Iwo Jima, but told from the Japanese perspective. Flags of Our Fathers was produced by Eastwood and Steven Spielberg. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi
Rating:
R (for sequences of graphic war violence and carnage, and for language)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Ryan Phillippe
as John Bradley
Jesse Bradford
as Rene Gagnon
Adam Beach
as Ira Hayes
John Benjamin Hickey
as Keyes Beech
John Slattery
as Bud Gerber
Barry Pepper
as Mike Strank
Jamie Bell
as Ralph Ignatowski
Paul Walker
as Hank Hansen
Robert Patrick
as Col. Chandler Johnson
Judith Ivey
as Belle Block
Neal McDonough
as Capt. Severance
Melanie Lynskey
as Pauline Harnois
Tom McCarthy
as James Bradley
Chris Bauer
as Commandant Vandergrift
Myra Turley
as Madeline Evelley
Joseph Cross
as Franklin Sousley
Benjamin Walker
as Harlon Block
Scott Eastwood
as Lundsford
George Grizzard
as John Bradley
Harve Presnell
as Dave Severance
George Hearn
as Walter Gust
Len Cariou
as Mr. Beech
Bubba Lewis
as Belle's Young Son
Beth Grant
as Mother Gagnon
Connie Ray
as Mrs. Sousley
Ann Dowd
as Mrs. Strank
Mary Beth Peil
as Mrs. Bradley
David Patrick Kelly
as President Harry S.Truman
Jon Polito
as Borough President
Ned Eisenberg
as Joe Rosenthal
Gordon Clapp
as General `Howlin' Mad' Smith
Michael Cumpsty
as Secretary Forrestal
V.J. Foster
as Major on Plane
Kirk B.R. Woller
as Bill Genaust
Tom Verica
as Lieutenant Pennel
Jason Gray-Stanford
as Lieutenant Schrier
Matt Huffman
as Lieutenant Wells
David Hornsby
as Louis Lowery
Brian Kimmet
as Sergeant `Boots' Thomas
David Clennon
as Senator
David Rasche
as Senator
Tom Mason
as John Tennack
Patrick Dollaghan
as Businessman
Lennie Loftin
as Justice of the Peace
James Newman
as Local Politician
Mark Thomason
as Military Censor
Oliver Davis
as Young James Bradley
Dale Waddington Horowitz
as Tourist's Wife
Lisa Dodson
as Iggy's Mother
John Nielsen
as Senator Boyd
Jon Kellam
as Senator Haddigan
Ron Fassler
as Senator Robson
Nevin Millan
as American Indian Congress Member
Denise Bella
as Luncheon Singer
Vlasis-Gascon
as Luncheon Singer
Jenifer Menedis
as Luncheon Singer
Joie Shettler
as Luncheon Singer
Vivien Lesiak
as Luncheon Singer
Donn Emerson
as Navy Lieutenant on Plane
Jayma Mays
as Nurse in Hawaii
Yukari Black
as Tokyo Rose
John Hoogenakker
as Funeral Home Employee
Barry Sigismonde
as Police Sergeant
Beth Tapper
as Bar Car Beauty
Shannon Gayle
as Bar Car Beauty
Jim Cantafio
as Reporter in L.A.
Mark Colson
as Reporter in L.A.
Danny McCarthy
as Reporter in Chicago
Patrick New
as Reporter in Chicago
James Horan
as Reporter in NYC
Michael Canavan
as Reporter at Hansen's
Erica Grant
as Secretary
George Cambio
as Lab Tech
David S. Brooks
as Sergeant A. Company
Johann Johannson
as Sergeant on Beach
Martin Delaney
as Marine at Cave
Daniel Forcey
as Marine on Beach
Bjorgvin Franz Gislason
as Impaled Marine
Darrin Ingolfsson
as Wounded Marine
Hilmar Gudjonsson
as Wounded Marine 4
Jeremy Merrill
as Marine in Shellhole
Jeremiah Bitsui
as Young Indian
Scott Reeves
as Lundsford
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Critic Reviews for Flags of Our Fathers

All Critics (192) | Top Critics (49)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
NPR.org
Top Critic

Eastwood's two-film project is one of the most visionary of all efforts to depict the reality and meaning of battle.

Full Review… | November 30, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 26, 2007
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 5, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

Here, the feelings run very deep, and dark as dried blood, with Clint aware that some things don't need to be said and others shouldn't be shown.

Full Review… | December 29, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Flags of Our Fathers is an accomplished, stirring, but, all in all, rather strange movie.

October 23, 2006
New Yorker
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Flags of Our Fathers

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 Saving Private Ryan 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 For Whom the Bell Tolls 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 Flags of Our Fathers, and I learned something about WWII, but I don't think the film accomplishes all it set out to do.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Jim Careter
Jim Careter

Super Reviewer

½

Flags Of Our Fathers is based on the non fiction by the same name by James Bradley. James Bradley's father was one of the men who raised the flag on Mount Suribachi. Clint Eastwood adaptation is a flawed but good attempt. One of the biggest problems I had with the film was that there wasn't that many scenes on Iwo Jima. The film is about the six men who raised the flag, and we do get to see that in the film of course, but after that we get see them on a war bonds tour to raise funds for the war effort. I preferred the book personally, but Eastwood does do a good adaptations of the book. But with every adaptation, the book will always be better than film. But this is flawed and I think the second half, Letters From Iwo Jima was far superior to this film. As far as the cast is concerned they do a good job at portraying the real life men. Also I was stunned at a few casting choices, Paul Walker and Jesse Bradford for example. I think they're pretty boys who usually can't act, but I was pleasantly surprised with them in the film. Flags Of Our Fathers, takes a look at the propaganda campaign that followed the famous photograph take by Joe Rosenthal on February 23,1945. We see the impact the picture has back in America, and the US Army decide to take the six men on a war bonds tour to raise funds. With Flags Of Our Fathers we get two sides of the story, the battle itself and the raising of the flag and we get the propaganda side. Clint Eastwood has done a fairly good job at adapting this story and showing the cost of manufactured propaganda. This a good film to watch, and I did enjoy it, but the book offers a more in depth at the battle, the flag raising and the war bonds tour. Flags Of Our Fathers is a well told film and brilliant acted and directed. However there lacks something to make this film better than it is. Luckily if people felt let down by this film, the sequel, Letters From Iwo Jima definitely doesn't disappoint. I view this film as Clint Eastwood trying to find the right way in telling the story of the Battle of Iwo Jima and with Letters he manages to accomplish it. With Flags he was halfway there, and he was able to tell an important and unforgettable story. A flawed but very good film.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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