Miracle at St. Anna (2008)
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Critic Reviews for Miracle at St. Anna
Lee is a filmmaker who, through talent, accomplishment, and a constant working of the refs in the Hollywood system, has earned autonomy over his films. I'm all for artistic freedom, but here he could have used a bit of oversight.
It's impressive that a filmmaker of Lee's distinction is willing to continue to push boundaries.
Clocking in at 160 minutes, this interminable movie comes across like a rough cut. Perhaps Lee believed its length would give it gravitas. The opposite is true.
Given the importance of that subject, the real mystery of Mr. Lee's movie is why it's so diffuse, dispirited, emotionally distanced and dramatically inert.
Overwrought, overproduced, overbusy and overlong, Miracle at St. Anna finally suffers from the worst filmmaking sin of all: the failure of trust, in the story and the audience.
Audience Reviews for Miracle at St. Anna
Band of Brothaz
whoever wrote the script should be sentenced to 10 courses in remedial scriptwriting 101. What a mess - dialogue right out of a high school play, while beating us over the head with its message, and being completely unable to decide what type of film it wants to be. We take a prommissing start, with some nice cinematic touches, sprinkle in some odd noir (Torturo and the reporter are right out of a Chandler novel), and then do a 180 into a not very intense war piece that is more about snafus and human frailties than anything else (the writer even feels compelled to explain snafu - good grief!). In attempting to explain all the bizarre situations, there are still holes a mile wide in the narrative, and often actors are left either over emoting or trying to get some kind of feel for the lousy dialog they have to speak. The final payoff is contrived and ridiculous, and the little "sermon" given by the savior's servent is laughable and cringe worthy (closeup into the camera - as if we didn't already know that this drivel was the "message"). What a disappointment!
2 hours and 40 minutes is a long time to endure a barrage of one-dimensional characters. Unlike other recent war films that vividly capture the chaos and mayhem of battle, Miracle at St. Anna seems contrived and overly scripted. This isn't combat through the eyes of soldiers, this is a perception of combat through the eyes of a director. As much as I admire Spike Lee, and as much as I really (REALLY) wanted to like this film, I just couldn't. This one is far too cliche to be taken seriously.
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