Unbroken (2014) - Rotten Tomatoes

Unbroken (2014)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Unbroken is undoubtedly well-intentioned, but it hits a few too many of the expected prestige-pic beats to register as strongly as it should.

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Academy Award (R) winner Angelina Jolie directs and produces Unbroken, an epic drama that follows the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis "Louie" Zamperini (Jack O'Connell) who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII-only to be caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp. Director Jolie began shooting some of the most dramatic and challenging scenes on Wednesday, October 16, on location far out at sea in Moreton Bay, Australia, with Zamperini (O'Connell) and his fellow airmen-Phil (Domhnall Gleeson) and Mac (Finn Wittrock)-having impossibly survived being adrift in the open Pacific for several weeks. Working with cameras on a floating rig in choppy waters and braving the elements, with actors dieting for months to appear as depleted as their characters, Jolie completed a successful first day of a location shoot that promises to be rigorous and uniquely challenging. Adapted from Laura Hillenbrand's ("Seabiscuit: An American Legend") enormously popular book, Unbroken brings to the big screen Zamperini's unbelievable and inspiring true story about the resilient power of the human spirit. Starring alongside O'Connell, Gleeson and Wittrock are Garrett Hedlund and John Magaro as fellow POWs who find an unexpected camaraderie during their internment, Alex Russell as Zamperini's brother, Pete, and in his English-language feature debut, Japanese actor Miyavi as the brutal camp guard known only to the men as "The Bird." The film is produced by Jolie, as well as Matthew Baer (City by the Sea), Erwin Stoff (The Day the Earth Stood Still) and Clayton Townsend (This Is 40). Leading the accomplished behind-the-scenes crew is 10-time Oscar (R)-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins (Skyfall). Academy Award (R) winners Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men) rewrote the screenplay from earlier drafts by William Nicholson (Les Misérables) and Richard LaGravenese (HBO's Behind the Candelabra).
Rating:
PG-13 (for war violence including intense sequences of brutality, and for brief language)
Genre:
Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Box Office:
$70,500,647.00
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Jack O'Connell
as Louis Zamperini
Garrett Hedlund
as Fitzgerald
Miyavi
as Watanabe
Vincenzo Amato
as Anthony
John Magaro
as Tinker
Ross Anderson
as Blackie
CJ Valleroy
as Young Louie
John D'Leo
as Young Pete
Alex Russell
as Older Pete
Spencer Lofranco
as Harry Brooks
Stephen J. Douglas
as Clarence Douglas
Marcus Vanco
as Lambert
Dylan Watson
as Engineer
Ryan Ahern
as Glassman
Ross Langley
as Mitchell
Michael Whalley
as Stan Pillsbury
David Roberts
as Officer Collier
Jack Marshall
as Young Bully
Sean McCarthy
as Young Bully
Chris Ovens
as Young Bully
Oliver Wright
as Young Bully
Kuni Hashimoto
as Kwajalein Officer
Shinji Ikefuji
as Japanese Translator
Shinji Ogata
as Kwajalein Guard
Taka Uematsu
as Kwajalein Guard
Jason R. Goode
as Radio Tokyo Man
Yutaka Izumihara
as Radio Tokyo Man
Erich Chikashi-Linzbichler
as Japanese Radio Host
Masako Fouquet
as Elegant Woman
Jiro Funamoto
as Omori Guard
Kunisha Goto
as Omori Guard
Katsuhito Nojiri
as Omori Guard
Katsuichi Shike
as Omori Guard
Atsuto Kitanobo
as Omori Running Guard
Shingo Usami
as Corporal Kono
Yoji Tatsuta
as Naoetsu Guard
Talia Mano
as Young Sylvia
Ryuzaburo Naruse
as Naoetsu Guard
Savannah Lamble
as Teen Sylvia
Alice Roberts
as Young Virginia
Sophie Dalah
as Teen Virginia
Morgan Griffin
as Beautiful Young Blonde
Gulliver Page
as Waist Gunner
Damien Bryson
as Green Hornet Crew
Jesse Turner
as Green Hornet Radio Man
Kristopher Bos
as POW Officer
Geoffrey Evans
as POW Officer
Nick Smith
as Enlisted POW
Tom Hobbs
as U.S. Naval Officer
Bangalie Keita
as Jesse Owens
Brooklan Frkovic
as Olympic Runner
Brock Hastings Booth
as POW Officer
Steven Stanton
as Olympics Radio Announcer
Anthony Craig
as POW in Stress Position
Simon Noonan
as POW in Stress Position
James McEnery
as POW in Stress Position
Garrick Parkes
as Marine at Airbase
Brett Clancy
as Photographer at Olympics
Nicholas Farris
as Pistol Starter at Olympics
Stephen Stanton
as Olympics Radio Announcer
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Critic Reviews for Unbroken

All Critics (206) | Top Critics (42)

Unbroken falls short of the epic war drama and sweeping testament-to-the-human-spirit it strives to be.

Full Review… | January 21, 2016
The Atlantic
Top Critic

"Unbroken" is a rousing old-fashioned yarn with numerous exciting set-pieces and an uncomplicated hero you root for all the way through. It's entertaining throughout and made with a high level of technical skill.

Full Review… | January 4, 2015
Salon.com
Top Critic

A straightforward and entirely commendable story about the triumph of the human spirit, etc.

Full Review… | January 2, 2015
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Given its subject, it should have been great, but it turns out to be simply good.

Full Review… | December 29, 2014
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic

In a well-made, but one-note film.

Full Review… | December 26, 2014
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic

"Unbroken" stirs a moviegoer by default; it's an astounding story of human endurance that has been brought a little too safely to the screen.

Full Review… | December 26, 2014
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Unbroken

½

"Unbroken" is a very well made film but it lacks the emotional heft one would expect. Zamperini is presented almost as a hapless, regular Joe to whom bad things randomly happen, and the primary strategy he seems to employ in the prison camps is not drawing attention to himself and not provoking his tormentors (a strategy seemingly at odds with the scenes shown from his childhood as a brash hoodlum and competitor). Very little attention is paid to showing the internal strength that got him through these terrible times. Since that internal strength is really what makes the story interesting, the film comes across as a lukewarm portrait of an everyday hero and is not very inspirational.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

Ambitious, tastefully filmed, and brilliantly held together by breakout star Jack O'Connell, "Unbroken" marks Angelina Jolie's third directorial film, and although there are many positives about this film, there are also numerous negatives. Clocking in at a near 140-minute running time, the film both brushes too quickly over some of the most inspirational events, and takes it's time to get through the slower moments, to showcase the acting. These choices work in some cases, due to the great casting choices, but the film ultimately suffers from a true story that is unclear whether or not should have been "movie-fied." Angelina Jolie does a fine job directing and the Camerawork is some of the best of 2014, but it just drags too much to keep you invested for very long. Did I enjoy this film? Absolutely, but it's focus is a bit too clumsy narratively, and Visuals may take you out of the picture as well. Overall, "Unbroken" is a powerful film that misses more than it should.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

½

A former Olympic runner is shot down during World War II and held as a POW by the Japanese. A film that is paradoxically less than the sum of its parts, Angelina Jolie's directorial effort is full of heavy-handed camera-work and short on character development. Essentially a film about men grunting and grimacing while enduring hardship, the relationship between Louie Zamperini and "the Bird," his sadistic prison warder, is woefully undeveloped. The Bird pushes Louie, and Louie endures, and each subsequent push does little to increase the drama or change the characters' dynamic. This relationship is central the film's plot, and there are too few plot events that change their interaction. Jolie shows off her sense of lighting and scenery too much for her own good, making it obvious that this is a film and archly constructed. Overall, even if Jolie had gotten out of her own way, the characters aren't compelling enough to make this a good film.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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