Heartbreak Ridge 1986

Heartbreak Ridge

Critics Consensus

With Heartbreak Ridge, director Clint Eastwood gets one of his best performances out of himself, even if the story struggles to engage.

73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 26

74%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 21,851

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Movie Info

Marine Sgt. Thomas Highway (Clint Eastwood) is a decorated veteran of two wars. On his last posting before retirement, he is surrounded by officers with no combat experience who view him as an odd, even dangerous, holdover. Highway is assigned to train a group of undisciplined recruits including Cpl. Stitch Jones (Mario Van Peebles), a slick hustler who has previously encountered Highway. As the old soldier prepares his men for a war they don't believe will come, the U.S. invades Grenada.

Cast & Crew

Clint Eastwood
Sergeant Thomas Highway
Everett McGill
Major Malcolm A. Powers
Moses Gunn
Staff Sergeant Webster
Eileen Heckart
Little Marry Jackson
Bo Svenson
Roy Jennings
Boyd Gaines
Lieutenant M.R. Ring
Mario Van Peebles
Corporal "Stitch" Jones
Arlen Dean Snyder
Sergeant Major Choozoo
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Critic Reviews for Heartbreak Ridge

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (7)

  • The whole film seems ideologically forced and out of place, an attempt to resurrect the retentive virtues of Ford and Hawks without the cultural context that gave them expressive strength.

    August 6, 2020 | Full Review…
  • ''Heartbreak Ridge'' is a film of genuine substance and courage.

    August 6, 2020 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • A film so uninvolving that you barely wake up for the big battle finale.

    August 6, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Heartbreak Ridge offers another vintage Clint Eastwood performance.

    July 7, 2010 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The film belongs to Eastwood. Now looking increasingly like an Easter Island statue, he has a voice pickled in bourbon, a tongue like razor wire, and a body so full of shrapnel that he can't walk through airport metal detectors.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
  • As the gritty, raspy-voiced sergeant, Mr. Eastwood's performance is one of the richest he's ever given.

    May 20, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Heartbreak Ridge

  • Oct 19, 2012
    Maybe because it's dated now, but I didn't think it was Eastwood's best performance.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 18, 2011
    Being a lifelong Eastwood fan, I re-visited Heartbreak Ridge after reading that it was produced after Louis Gossett Jr. won an Oscar for An Officer and a Gentleman. In my opinion, Eastwood was at least equal to Gossett's performance, but Heartbreak Ridge garnered no Oscar attention. I wish Eastwood had made more movies like this one, something like John Wayne in Sands of Iwo Jima as a role model. Like "Iwo Jima," this is a sort-of basic training to battlefield story but with more of a back story to its protagonist. Its not a political film nor a comedy, although there many comedic moments. Mario Van Peebles adds several of them, and his pairing with Eastwood, while odd at first, works well in an opposites though strangely alike sort of way. The love story subplot is awkward, more humorous than poignant. This is Clint Eastwood, at his gravel-voiced toughest, getting relationship advice from women's magazines. I enjoyed Marsha Mason as Aggie, Gunny Highway's ex-wife and new flame. (Figure that out) Eastwood also displays his soft hearted side with compassion toward one of his troops with family issues. So, Gunny Highway , trying to re-claim his lost youth and saddled with military politics and ego cashes, succeeds in making "life takers and heart breakers" out of a bunch of cast-off misfits and reclaims American military superiority. Is Heartbreak Ridge clichéd? Absolutely, yes. Does that matter? No, it works great as an action/war movie and maybe even better as a hilarious commentary on the generation gap. Still looking for a reason to watch: I just like hearing the word "clusterfuck" as well.
    Clintus M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 04, 2011
    Almost like the counterpart to A Few Good Men for some reason. This showcases the hard as nails Clint Eastwood as a drill sergeant who will do anything to whip his platoon into shape. He goes out of his way to trick and create schemes in order to hurt/help his men, making for a really classic bit of Clint. I think it's interesting to have a movie that's not really in the war genre, but not solely about training. It's more of a multi-layered drama that doesn't get enough credit. People either get bored with the lack of killing or lack of stereotypical Clint Eastwood catch phrases, but given the chance, it's a really cool movie.
    Conner R Super Reviewer
  • May 05, 2011
    I don't give a damn about predictability when I'm having this much fun with the always badass and gravely voiced Clint kicking asses and throwing in all possible profanities.
    Pierluigi P Super Reviewer

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