Letters from Iwo Jima Reviews

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February 23, 2007
The whole is a more satisfactory entity than Flags of Our Fathers - and the final scene, which has veterans and relatives scouring the tunnels and caves for the buried letters, is a suitably moving coda.
February 23, 2007
Eastwood and his cinematographer Tom Stern have done a superb and possibly unique job in showing both sides of this dreadful battle, and the pair of films together already look monumental.
February 23, 2007
Eastwood has made one of the most quietly devastating war movies of our time.
February 23, 2007
High-minded and generous, but lacking in real passion and flair.
February 23, 2007
The moral is hardly original. The scale certainly is. Only a director of Eastwood's standing could possibly terrify enough producers into financing this decidedly foreign, but impressively chunky, white elephant.
February 23, 2007
Even by [Eastwood's] own high standards, Letters is an extraordinary achievement.
February 22, 2007
An even more sombre affair, as beautifully restrained as the earlier film but also, despite its scenes of battle, death, suicide and suffering, shockingly intimate.
February 18, 2007
Eastwood directs his performers with great skill, and brings a weary, astringent eye to the carnage that unfolds on Iwo Jima's blackened sands.
February 3, 2007
The movie's sense of doom is powerfully conveyed; one graphic scene has weeping soldiers blowing themselves up with grenades.
January 27, 2007
Indirectly but cogently comment on our experiences of other movies. Having Japanese soldiers as heroes allows us to reconsider the didacticism we've been handed in the past.
January 19, 2007
The proper way to appreciate Letters and Flags is to treat them as complimentary halves of the same epic movie, a Godfather war epic. One half is plainly more ambitious than the other, but both have virtues that distinguish them.
January 19, 2007
By placing us on the opposite side of the battlefield, the movie forces us to approach it from a fresh perspective. The technique also lends Letters an uncommon timelessness.
January 19, 2007
Where Flags heaved its characters through war and psychic trauma without first allowing us all to get acquainted, Letters takes such care with its protagonists that they awaken and descend from the screen.
January 19, 2007
Eastwood is now 76, and Letters has the feel of a movie made by a man of experience. Almost stately in its tone, Letters reflects the wisdom of living; it's interested in observing how men behave when they know they can't win.
January 19, 2007
Letters is a work of whetted craft and judgment, tempered by Eastwood's years of life, moviemaking and the potent tango of the two. It is the work of a mature filmmaker willing to entertain the true power of the cinema.
January 12, 2007
Eloquent, bloody, and daringly simple, the movie examines notions of wartime glory as closely as Flags of Our Fathers dissected heroism.
January 12, 2007
In both his films, Eastwood empathizes with the 'expendable' soldier on the ground, the 'poor bastard' who is only a pawn in a war conceived by generals and politicians, some of whom have never come anywhere near a battlefield or a combat zone.
January 12, 2007
If Flags of Our Fathers is about heroism -- why we need it, how we create it -- then Letters From Iwo Jima is about honor, its importance, and its folly.
January 12, 2007
It skillfully avoids the usual war movie clichés while providing multiple points of entry.
January 12, 2007
Watanabe is appropriately noble and regal, if a bit stiff at times; but it is Ninomiya's grunt soldier who gives the film its soul. Alternately philosophical, humorous, terrified and crafty, he is everyman trying to survive hell.
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