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4.0 out of 5 stars143
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 20 April 2008
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I don't say that lightly! I found this a deeply moving film and a deeply thought provoking one. Dan Millman is a prolific writer of self-help books (none of which I've read - yet). This film is based on his life as an ego-driven young gymnast (played in the film by Scott Melchowitz) who is striving for a gold medal. He meets a mysterious and enigmatic man he calls Socrates (Nick Nolte) who seems to have knowledge of super-powers, that Dan figures could help him win his gold medal. Dan then suffers a serious accident to his leg, and begins his journey as he discovers that true greatness is about strength of spirit.
When I sat down to watch it, I was waiting to see the same old same old 'boy overcomes adversity' tale, but I was instantly drawn into this beautiful film, and I didn't take my eyes off it until it ended. I laughed out loud, and I cried, and I was left with a strong message that has stayed with me and really has made me think differently.
The joy of the film is the unfolding of young Dan's story, and the viewer learning alongside him. The acting is superb, the film quality is high, and although it's a film dealing with matters of the spirit, it's not at all lightweight or sickly, as this kind of film can be. Oh, and no moral finger-pointing either!
I both enjoyed this film and learned a lot from it, and I would unhesitatingly recommend it very strongly to anyone who wants to learn something about themselves and how we can be blinded by our need to prove ourselves.
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VINE VOICEon 30 April 2008
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Danny is an ambitious gymnast who is selfishly driven towards Olympic gold. Little really matters to him apart from what he wants for himself out of life. Then one night when he has trouble sleeping, he goes for a walk and encounters a stranger working at a service station. He continues to have hallucinations about this man, whom he calls Socrates, and is drawn back to him like a magnet.
Here he learns that the path to success is within oneself, and that the "garbage"in his head should be cleared out allowing a more spiritual path to be taken. After a motor-bike accident, Danny is told that his career is over and his hopes are dashed, but with the aid of Socrates and a young woman, Joy, he works his way back to fitness and from desperation to success.
It is a dark film, which was rather lost on me, but nevertheless was interesting viewing. I daresay it might appeal more to an American audience, but is inspirational. Certainly worth watching in quiet moments, and no doubt repeated viewings would plant seeds in even a stoney mind like mine. Perhaps in younger days, I should have benefited from the philosophy contained herein.
An unusual role for Nick Nolte, contrasting with his usual tough guy image, and I thought he carried it off beatifully. I did not recognise anyone else in the cast.
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on 30 August 2010
This is the film I am currently passing onto everyone I know, friends, colleagues and clients. Nick Nolte is superb as Socrates and almost every line that comes out of his mouth is a philosophical sound bite. A fabulous and inspiring film to get you thinking about being fully present in your life. "Take out the trash" of your mind and realise your full potential. And if you don't well up with tears at the closing scene you are an alien life force incapable of emotion.
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on 5 February 2009
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I didn't know anything about this film when I watched it, and was unaware that it was based on a popular self-help book. I'm glad I didn't, as I think that might have put me off.

As it was I found it both absorbing in it's tempo and 'message' - I'm a bit of a sucker for the old Zen line. But it was also well acted and beautifully shot - the slow motion scenes of Dan's gymnastics, for instance, were just superb.
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on 15 September 2009
A very good film. Very insightful and to truely get you to slow down to see things in life we miss all the time.
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VINE VOICEon 15 May 2008
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The film is an adaptation of a book by the same name that tells the story of an athlete who becomes a decent human being with the help of those around him as he tries to recover from an accident. Nolte plays a mysterious life-coach type character that points the young man away from arrogance and self-pity to what can be considered enlightenment.

This struck me as one of those slow-burner films that can sometimes surprise in the face of blockbusters at the box office. The film avoids being too mawkish whilst still having a bit of a feel good element to it. Readers of the book may chafe at the simplification of the story, but thats Hollywood for you.
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Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There's something rather creepy about the way convicted child molester Victor Salva, now that he's banned from working with children after videotaping himself sexually abusing the child star of his debut feature, tends to alternate between making pictures where youthful-looking teens who tell tales are killed by vengeful demons or where young men nobody understands (preferably with their shirts off) are fetishised. Peaceful Warrior falls somewhat into the latter category, throwing in an older mentor for Scott Mechlowicz's gymnast for added unease. Yet ultimately the film's problem is less any subtext than the fact that it's a less than convincing mixture of sports movie and motivational self-help book (the endorsement from motivational speaker Tony Robbins on the sleeve is the pointer there).

Mechlowicz is the up-and-coming gymnast who has the perfect life and is on course for qualifying for the Olympic trials but still can't sleep nights until a chance encounter with Nick Nolte's philosophical gas station attendant sets him on the path to tapping his true potential by teaching him to strip his mind of `garbage' and live in the moment. Since there's not a great deal to `Socrates' philosophy other than truisms and the odd bit of New Age sloganeering ("Sometimes you have to lose your mind to come to your senses."), this is padded out with some not always convincing fantasy scenes intended to show his inner journey and heightened perception before career-threatening injury strikes and he must fight his way back, montage-style, to be all that he can be to the accompaniment of an `empowering' soundtrack. Salva has a strong visual sense that makes good use of the widescreen format and as a director he's not certainly untalented, but with the film's surface so shallow his past history unfortunately makes it hard not to fill the gaps with suspicions about what really attracted him to the material: it's simply not easy to separate the film from its director's past in this case. When you can, you're left with a watchable but underwhelming TV movie of the week triumph over adversity number that doesn't stand out from the crowd.

No extras but a good 2.35:1 widescreen transfer.
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Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a really good film. I am a fan of most of what Nick Nolte does and he comes up trumps again in this Sport related flick about a young gymnast what wants more than anything else to compete in the Olympics. The soon to be tragic figure Dan Millman is played superbly by a relative unknown actor Scott Mechlowicz.

The cover of the DVD it makes huge claims like "the Rocky for the soul". Self improvement expert Tony Robbins also states on the back that it has the power to impact your everyday life. For me it didn't quite have that effect on me, maybe my expectations were too high. None the less, there are some valuable lessons in this film and although it didn't quite hit the heights that I had hoped, it certainly did leave an impression on me.

Nick Nolte acts as Dan's tutor in getting the best out of him by teaching simple but effective methods of fine tuning and mind preparation. Dan also lives the high life women and parties are all part of his life but a motor bike accident changes all that. Dan wakes up in hospital and with his leg broken in numerous places and with it his chances of competing in the Olympics are down the drain.

Scott Mechlowicz should be commended for his acting as the anguish that Dan is going through is spectacularly brought to life by a determined and emotional performance that really goes down as a fine piece of acting. At times you can't help but feel for the cocky and arrogant gymnast. He also takes much of the lime light away from Nick Nolte who begins to coach Dan back into competing by showing him belief of the mind, and teaching him specific philosophies are all any man would need to accomplish anything in life.

The movie is a very good heart warming film with a really good feel factor running through it, backed up with excellent performances all round that are really tough to fault. The movie isn't going to make instant changes to your life, but it will certainly give you some food for thought.
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Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
'Peaceful Warrior' is a watchable film with a slight 'made for tv' quality about it, which may account for it's low profile in the cinemas. Never the less it is a good film that has the essential elements from the book, but has an adapted storyline to make a more coherent cinematic narrative. Nick Nolte and Amy Smart are pretty good to watch and some of the direction has some very good touches. It has a lot of the messages from the book, sometimes word for word, but as someone who loves the book, I found the film slightly lacking. It focuses too much on the gymnastics aspect and uses this to pass on it's message, where as the book focuses more on Dan's own journey and development. Overall this is a perfectly watchable adaptation and as long as you don't expect an exact copy you should be fine. A solid 3 stars.

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VINE VOICEon 15 May 2008
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm not sure I can add much to the other reviews -- this is a surprisingly entertaining bit of message filmmaking lifted by some excellent performances and direction in places (even if just now and then its not quite sure what it should be doing).
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