Rescue Dawn - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Rescue Dawn Reviews

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½ April 21, 2017
Interesting film and gripping in places. It brings home how frightening it must have been when being captured and when alone in the jungle.
April 21, 2017
Never one to take the easy approach, Werner Herzog brings his usual brand of intensity and untamed lunacy to Rescue Dawn, a tale of Vietnam era imprisonment. I'm a big fan of movies based on this conflict, such as The Deer Hunter, Platoon, Apocalypse Now etc., and while Rescue Dawn might not rank among these in terms of quality and lasting appeal, it's still a great watch. The principle cast of Christian Bale, Steve Zahn and Jeremy Davies transform both physically and mentally before our very eyes, worn away by starvation, fatigue and despair. It has long sequences of the actors speaking in frustratingly muted tones, which makes little sense since they often do so around guards who clearly don't speak English, and most of the time aren't anywhere near them anyway. The first half of the film is by far the best, with our heroes fighting against what seems like their inevitable fate. The second half doesn't come close in terms of emotional impact, as it turns into more of a routine Hollywood escape film, with scenes and scenarios that, even if they did really occur, seem a little to contrived to be true. It thankfully doesn't sink the movie however, which is powerful, frank and visually stunning. Watch it if you ever get the chance.
April 4, 2017
A typical Werner Herzog effort about man vs nature. I'm perplexed by the fact that this movie was completely overlooked by the Academy. Christian Bales' performance is mesmerizing, cinematography is awesome and the theme is inspiring.
January 5, 2017
The reviews say that Steve Zahn is amazing in this movie. Couple that with Bale and Herzog...
October 9, 2016
Undoubtedly one of the best movies on the Vietnam war topic so far, Rescue Dawn is a powerful and insightful war drama, illuminated by great performances and by a clever directing from Werner Herzog.
½ September 21, 2016
Whether it's an enjoyable one or not, Rescue Dawn is, at the very least, an admirable film. Werner Herzog really proves himself as a technically outstanding fiction feature director here: filmed in Thailand, the jungles of Vietnam and the POW camp feel like real locations rather than specially designed sets, which really brings out the wartime atmosphere of the movie. In terms of storytelling, Herzog tells the story of Lt. Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale) in a slow and deliberate manner that brings out the story more realistically than one that rushes with too much excitement. Dengler and his fellow POWs (Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies) pace their planned escape realistically: they think things out, slowly acquire tools they need, and put their plan into action only when the time is right. This results in a bit of a slow pace for the 126 minute film, which absolutely brings the movie to a drag at times, but it works contextually.

But there's something off at times. Bale's performance as Dengler is full of relentless courage and strength, as to be expected from an actor who always gives it his all, but some of his line delivery feels oddly stilted. There's scenes in which Dengler is screaming when faced with the barrel of a rifle, and the dialogue just doesn't flow well enough. It's hard to pinpoint whether it's just not great delivery from Bale, or if Herzog's dialogue is just awkwardly written, but it's occasionally distracting nonetheless. A lot of the things that bring Rescue Dawn down are just little things like this: Klaus Badelt's score is beautiful but overbearing, the visual effects for the plane crash are awkward (although this is Herzog's first major use of digital effects), and the ending is oddly conventional for a filmmaker like Herzog. We know how it's going to end, sure, but it lacks that punch that the story should have.
July 22, 2016
It's well made and has a good performance by Christian Bale at its center, but for the most part I found Rescue Dawn to be poorly paced and boring at times.
½ July 19, 2016
Bale's character may be overly patriotic but Rescue Dawn remains a compelling piece of art.
½ May 29, 2016
Worst movie I have ever seen. Horrible way to spend two hours. This was so depressing, there wasn't one up or highlight of the movie until the last 2 minutes. It's just awful. Whoever gave this movie higher than a 1 needs to stop rating movies forever.
May 13, 2016
Rescue Dawn is a remarkably immersive true story of one man's struggle to survive in the Vietnam War. Herzog directs well, juxtaposing the dread beauty of nature with the brutality of human beings in the true story. Genuine and powerful suspense leads to several emotionally charged and tense moments (this is helped by incredible acting on the part of Bale and the rest of the cast) and even if the last couple of minutes strike a weird and unnaturally upbeat note, Rescue Dawn remains a fine telling of a story of both human cruelty and resilience.
May 11, 2016
This was a good film with appropriate amounts of realism and a great amount of tension and suspense in the plot.
½ April 2, 2016
A note just for myself:: Please do not watch it again.
½ March 27, 2016
Very good. Engaging, thrilling, and emotional.
½ March 2, 2016
The whole film is just a bit underwhelming and didn't go with the overly victorious ending that it sends off with. Im sure the real heart breaking story is compelling, but surprisingly, Herzog didnt make the movie with the power it needed.
½ January 27, 2016
Filme tenso e muito intenso. Mais um trabalho primoroso de Christian Bale e um show de direção seca de Herzog.
½ January 2, 2016
I am unsure what Herzog accomplished here or what critics thought that he accomplished. Rescue Dawn is an uneven, B-role war film that has Bale cast completely out of character and surrounded by an even more unlikely supporting cast. The setting is all wrong and the realism is doubtful. The fact that a movie less than 10 years old of this rating has been completely forgotten is a testament to how wrong everyone was about this film.
December 27, 2015
Well made epic Vietnam survival tale that's a bit of a slog to get through.
½ December 24, 2015
Rescue Dawn is uncompromising and unashamed. Christian Bale's performance leads the man vs. nature battle in a compelling and overall satisfying direction. But its not a movie I'd watch twice.
December 19, 2015
Great war thriller-drama. Bale and Zahn put on incredible performances, with this being Steve Zahn's best performance we've ever seen!
½ December 12, 2015
Rescue Dawn immerses you in its hostile, overgrown atmosphere and Christian Bale leads you through his brutal experience with a great performance.
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