The Thin Red Line 1998

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(152) IMDb 7.6/10
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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

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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

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Nigel Mc 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By amazon customer on 30 Dec. 2014
Format: DVD
The perfect gift for all movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

What's it like to be lying in the middle of an unfamiliar jungle with birds singing around you, the sun making it's way through the trees to lightly shine on the guy next to you, dying of a bullet wound to the gut, knowing you will be next if you get up and run towards the gunfire as you were just told to do? In that moment, what are you thinking of? Your wife who is probably making dinner right now? Dying alone in this godforsaken place with nothing but terrible pain and blue skies, and no one to hear your last words? Do you check that you have morphine? Isn't it absurd that this blade of grass in front of you will still be there next week but you will not? Are you so angry at them that you want to just run in their direction and kill every single one of them? How did you get here? What's this all about, this destruction?

The Thin Red Line is every war picture ever made.

It is the universal story of the soldier.
It is the story of the frightened soldier, the courageous one, the one who questions and the one who doesn't.
It is the story of the private who obeys, the captain who leads and the Lt Colonel who commands.
It is the story of the soldier who protects the POW, the one who reaches out to him, the one who ridicules him and the one who kills him.
It is the story of the soldier who re-enlists, the one who defects, the one who goes home and the one who has no home to go to.

It is the universal story of war.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By PeterB on 23 Mar. 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a truly fantastic film.

More of a search into the human soul than your typical war film- instead master director Terrence Malick uses the setting of war, man's most destructive device, to explore the nature of mankind.

Hugely memorable and moving film, and one of my favourites. The acting is tremendous, the cinematography breathtaking and the score is Hans Zimmer's best to date.

If you want a film to make you reflect, I urge you to give this a chance to wow you.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Statham on 1 Sept. 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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