Hell Is for Heroes - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hell Is for Heroes Reviews

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May 10, 2017
Though the cast is good and the action is visceral and realistic in its depiction of WW2 coupled with the psychological effects and genuine heroism it just doesn't have all that interesting of a script and does plod along with long sections so despite being quite short it does feel a lot longer.
June 26, 2016
Okay war film, quite disappointing considering the cast and director.
December 1, 2015
The movie packs an emotional punch by the film's end. It has a good cast and gritty feel by director Don Siegel. Its not a must see war film, but very accessible.
½ October 19, 2015
yet another WWII pic post WWII the only reason 2c this-Steve McQueen
July 3, 2015
not quite there but the talent of the vast/potential for greatness is clear
½ April 5, 2015
This is one of the better of the classic war movies of that time that dosent involve generals and huge battles, like Battle of the Bulge, The Longest Day, and A Bridge too Far which are my favorite classics. Like other similar movies of the time, it involves some of the common clich√ (C)s that are used in movies like The Dirty Dozen, and The Guns of Navarone, neither of which I liked. But Hell is for Heros got it right. It didn't over do the clich√ (C)s, was interesting, and there isn't a lot of combat. There's few people to keep track of, which I like, but it features the typical American hero, which every movie of the time had, so it can't be accused for it. The acting pretty standard, the script is too, but it's in effects that it stands out, both good and bad. The explosions are very good, real and massive, with the occasional camera shaking standing out. The sound effects are kinda all over the place, the battle sounds are quieter than any talking, and the talking sometimes gets really loud of quiet. This is an anoyance, and I know it's not my TV or disc. Good movie, some problems, but good.
February 28, 2015
A war film is a war film is a war film... except that Siegel, brought into the project at the last moment when Steve McQueen refused to work with the scheduled director, toughened the standard war-is-hell screenplay into an extraordinary study of psychopathology. He centres everything squarely on the McQueen character (one of his best performances, a human war machine), and emphasises the tensions within the American platoon rather than the conflict with the offscreen Germans. The ending, which stresses the enormous human cost of a small tactical gain, is remarkably powerful, precisely because it's the first time that Siegel allows his audience any perspective on what they've been seeing.
½ January 30, 2015
If you see my wife...don't tell her it was like this!

A small squadron of GIs are asked to hold a pass from a group of incoming German troops. Morale is low because the troops anticipated going home and matters aren't helped by a rebellious soldier being added to the group. The German infantry are in greater numbers then they anticipate and the soldiers will have to decide to follow leadership or the rebel. The rebel's plan seems like their only hope for survival.

"He had a great system, Sarge; he just never worried about anything."

Don Siegel, director of Dirty Harry, Escape from Alcatraz, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Shootist, No Time for Flowers, and The Verdict, delivers Hell is for Heroes. The storyline for this picture is better than average and fun to watch unfold. The script was okay and the character development was better than average. The cast delivers good performances and includes Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Bob Newhart, Bobby Darin, Fess Parker, and Harry Guardino.

"He wouldn't."
"Wanna bet?"

I came across this on Netflix and had to give this Steve McQueen picture a viewing (I'm a fan of his work). Overall, this was very average and just okay, but the character interactions were solid and the end was very intense and fun to watch unfold. I would recommend giving this a viewing but I did not feel it was a classic.

"That's what makes a good soldier, you're very observant."

Grade: B-
January 12, 2015
Dated but still works because of McQueen's amazingly solid acting and screen presence that lifts it from the mundane. Bob Newhart offers comic relief with a one sided phone conversation. Worth watching on a slow evening.
July 10, 2014
This is a good World War II movie. It's set in 1944 France on the Siegfried Line. They did a good job of recreating the tank traps and pill boxes the Germans had built. In the story an infantry company is sent up to the line to break through after being told they were going home after a short period of Rest and Recreation. Their top Sergeant is played by Fess Parker. This was before the Daniel Boone TV show but after the Davy Crocket Disney shows. He plays a tough sergeant but with a little of Davy Crocket's charm. The star of the movie is Steve McQueen. This was right about the time he was becoming a big star. He plays a combat veteran who is suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome and had been demoted from Sergeant Major to private. It's implied that Fess Parker's character is an old friend who has pulled strings to get him assigned to his unit instead of being sent to prison. When this movie was made Viet Nam was not yet in the news and World War II vets were about the same age as the veterans of the First Iraq War are now. Many of the actors in this movie are too old to be playing World War II soldiers. The one exception is Bob Newhart who plays a comic role as a rear area office worker who gets lost and winds up on the front lines. This was his first movie and he's very young when this movie was made. In the movie when a small squad of soldiers wakes up in the morning they find that the rest of their company has moved to a different section of the front and they have been left behind. Fess Parker shows up and tells them that they were left to defend the gap in the line and reinforcements would arrive the next day. They can't let the Germans know that they are outnumbered. The rest of the movie is the story of the strategies they used to fool the Germans for the next 24 hours. The movie is a good tribute to the World War II Vets without the rah-rah for our side dialog from war movies from the 1940's and early 1950's. I first saw this movie on TV when I was a teenager. At the time I was a big Daniel Boone and Fess Parker fan.
½ June 6, 2014
McQueen is excellent. Quite graphic for the time.
May 17, 2014
Just watching this now and cannot understand how its gotten such high reviews. Its shite. It stupid and I dont even know if I am meant to take it seriously. Its ridiculous.. I was expecting a proper serious war movie but this is a farce and looks like it cost 2 euros to make (last 10mins aside).... oh and Homer is a ridiculous character as is Corby... actually they all are. Visually the fighting scenes at the end look good and the last 10mins are good but the build up is very poor and so is the acting / script... Only gets going towards the very very end.
April 9, 2014
Good WWII movie about soldiers standing there ground. staring Steve McQueen
January 18, 2014
In the fall of 1944 the rebellious G.I. John Reese (Steve McQueen is busted from staff sergeant back to private for drunkenness and is sent back to his former outfit, currently stationed near the Siegfried Line in Montigny. When his unit is assigned to defend an area facing a German pillbox, Reese's skills become evident. He advises squad leader Sgt. Larkin (Harry Guardino) on a ruse that creates the illusion that their unit is much larger than it is, temporarily deflecting an attack. The squad has been ordered to simply hold their ground, but believing it's only a matter of time before the Germans discover that they've been deceived, Reese leads an attack on the pillbox.

also stars Bobby Darin, Fess Parker, Nick Adams, Mike Kellin, James Coburn, Joseph Hoover, Bill Mullikin, L.Q. Jones, Michele Montau, Don Haggerty, Bob Newhart and Stephen Ferry.

directed by Don Siegel.
November 6, 2013
Relentless but absolutely mesmerising war movie (Special props to Steve McQueen for showing how to be charismatic and subtle simultaneously: the perfect film actor:-)
February 18, 2013
The greatest movie of all time
½ February 9, 2013
A decidedly average and fairly routine World War II movie. Hell Is for Heroes meanders along due to it's slow pace until it reaches a more action packed final third and dramatic conclusion. The film has a strong ensemble cast and is directed by Don Siegel. However it's action sequences aren't very well staged and the film often feels disjointed. The climax in particular is awkward as it fails to come to a resolute conclusion. I didn't think this film was any better than your average episode of WWII drama series Combat! starring Vic Morrow, albeit padded out to feature length. There are far better and more precise WWII dramas out there such as Robert Aldrich's Attack and Samuel Fuller's The Big Red One.
½ December 7, 2012
Although featuring fairly good acting, Good action considering the time of the film and an original screenplay as well as Steve McQueen and good cinematography, the general lack of stimulis and ridiculously slow pacing as well as the thin plot refrain from letting Hell Is For Heroes hold itself together as a movie and just becomes a series of black and white shootouts.
July 27, 2012
Great WW2 drama. Solid, gritty plot, and fairly accurate, militarily. Great direction by Don Siegel - characters are developed well, the story builds at a decent pace and flows well. No excess scenes.

Solid performances all round. Steve McQueen, whose movie career was still fairly young at the time, displays the cool character that would become his trademark. Also features James Coburn in one of his earliest movie roles (though he had appeared in many TV series by then) and Bob Newhart in his very first movie role.
Super Reviewer
June 20, 2012
A squad of six US soldiers are ordered to hold a section of The Siegfried Line alone during WWII and so come up with ever more creative ways to disguise their numbers. Hell Is For Heroes was directed by Don Siegel who went on to become one of the best directors of hard-boiled action thrillers around (Dirty Harry being the most famous example) and he shows his skill for economy and gritty violence in this unpretentious and authentic depiction of combat. Steve McQueen shows his star quality as an embittered and possibly shell-shocked ex-sergeant who takes matters into his own hands when they are discovered and his performance is fantastic. In fact the entire cast are great (especially James Coburn who would co-star with McQueen again in The Magnificent Seven), the banter and comedy of the earlier scenes really nicely balanced with some brutal battle scenes later in the film. It concentrates more on the soldier on the ground than trying to sketch out the big picture, showing that there is a thin line between heroism and mental illness and although the climax is a little lacking in closure, it's a powerful and realistic war film ranking amongst the best.
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