The Thin Red Line 1998

Amazon Instant Video

(141) IMDb 7.6/10
Available in HDAvailable on Prime

Director Terrence Malicks adaptation of James Jones autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

Starring:
Sean Penn, Adrien Brody
Runtime:
2 hours 50 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices

The Thin Red Line

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Terrence Malick
Starring Sean Penn, Adrien Brody
Studio Twentieth Century Fox
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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67 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Nigel Mc TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 May 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is by no means a conventional war film but it is, nonetheless, one of the finest portrayals of war that you are ever likely to see. The film was not on my radar and I discovered it more by accident than design. It was first released in 1998 and was somewhat eclipsed by `Saving Private Ryan' which was released slightly earlier. Nominated for 7 Academy Awards this film failed to get a single Oscar. The more that I learn about the way these award systems operate and the complexities of the whole film distribution system, the less confidence I have of their value. In many ways `the Thin Red Line' is superior to Spielberg's war epic.

Directed by the reclusive Terrence Malick, the film is an adaptation of a World War II novel by James Jones (From Here to Eternity) about the battle for Guadalcanal. American soldiers land on the island hoping to secure it from the Japanese. This film does not follow the usual path taken by other war stories and unlike `Ryan' - which begins explosively, this film takes about 40 minutes before a single shot is fired! This long prologue is used to good effect as an introduction to the main characters and some carefully selected flashbacks to their lives pre-war. The tension to the film is slowly uncoiled as the troopships approach Guadalcanal Island. This is done quietly and thoughtfully and gives the viewer a good idea of the stresses and anxieties of the soldiers as they approach this life-changing situation.

The story is told through the eyes of 5 men of C Company and the visual images are simply amazing. This is where Malick excels. He has produced a film that is a cinematographer's dream where almost every shot is carefully composed as if it was to be entered in a photographic exhibition.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Mar 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Terrence Malick’s beautifully filmed and emotionally engaging World War II epic “The Thin Red Line” is available on ‘BLU RAY’ in several regions – and has been for some time now. But which issue do you buy if you live in Blighty?

Unfortunately the sought-after American Criterion release is REGION-A LOCKED - although it doesn't say so on Amazon. So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't). Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

Luckily the UK version is REGION B - so the movie will play on all UK machines.

So check your player’s region coding acceptability if you want the pricier Criterion release…or opt for the local release that weighs in at a far cheaper price…
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Statham on 1 Sep 2005
Format: DVD
This film shatters the standard convetions for a war film and gently replaces them with an intrinsic, poetic and beautifully rendered piece of film making. From start to finish the quality of the photography is fantastic and the director's faultless talent to depict vivid environments is wonderfully illustrated with seamless editing.
A scene depicting two soldiers getting shot while approaching a bunker is superbly complimented by the sun peaking out from the clouds just after they have fallen and disappeared into the tall grass. The absolute tension and thick air of the pre-dawn build-up to the attack with Nick Nolte and John Travolta is one of the greatest scenes of tension I have witnessed.
Personal narratives and agendas throughout the film flood the viewer with emotions and feelings that you wouldn't normally associate with a war film. The soundtrack here is also one of the film's strong points and effortlessly entwines itself into the path of the edits. Engrossing, beautiful and an absolute pleasure to immerse yourself into.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Aug 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"What's this war in the heart of nature? Why does nature vie with itself?"

This epic movie opens with the above narration by Jim Cavaziel's character, a private in the US marines, amid scenes of apparent paradise on an island in the Pacific, whilst an extract from Gabriel Faure's Requiem floats magically above the sounds of sea, surf and native villagers going about their daily lives. A war film? Yes, for it is the comparison between this scene and the gore and bloodied desperation to come that encapsulates the films profound meditations on death and immortality.

Ten minutes into the film and we are transferred to the decks of an American warship, heading for the Japanese-held island of Guadalcanal. Below deck, private Cavaziel, having been picked up after going AWOL, is being questioned by his sergeant Sean Penn. After telling Penn that he (Cavaziel) is twice the man that Penn is, Penn significantly replies that, "In this world, a man himself is nothing", for the world is governed by greater forces, as millions of men vie for control of the planet. It could be said that the rest of the film is concerned with both the truth and the falseness of Penn's statement.

Later in the film Cavaziel will ponder whether, "Maybe all faces are the same man, one big self", that the soldiers are not killing each other, but that they are killing part of themselves. Cavaziel and Penn express their opposite after the heat of battle. Penn still maintains that one man makes no difference and there is "just this world, just this rock". But Cavaziel has the look of someone who knows this is not true, he has the smile of a prophet, the staring eyes that have seen a "beautiful light".
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