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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defiance - A tale of pure survival
Again we learn the lesson here that the human spirit can never be crushed. Filmed in Lithuania very near to the original locations of events which have remained under wraps for years.

The cast list, apart from the obvious leads, reads like the Lithuanian telephone directory. This film has the smack of authenticity about it which is so often lacking in other...
Published on 19 July 2011 by Peter K

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Hollywood Movie That Takes The Safest Most Commercial Approach
This is exactly what you expect from this type of movie and that is its problem. Nearly every line is a heroic speech, no one has conversations just monologues which can get very exhausting. Everything is always over dramatic when what the film needs is a few more quiet bits. It's very cliche to the point the hero rides on a white horse. A brown or black horse would have...
Published 16 months ago by Mr Blonde


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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defiance - A tale of pure survival, 19 July 2011
This review is from: Defiance [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Again we learn the lesson here that the human spirit can never be crushed. Filmed in Lithuania very near to the original locations of events which have remained under wraps for years.

The cast list, apart from the obvious leads, reads like the Lithuanian telephone directory. This film has the smack of authenticity about it which is so often lacking in other films of this type. Maybe this was achieved by its slight understatement.
In the Bluray version one could see every pine needle, every stubbled face and every speck of dirt in the sharpest detail.

A gritty, earthy and squalid tale of the will to survive of a group of Jews in Byelorus who refused to be expunged from the face of the earth by the Nazis and their collaborators.
Daniel Craig effectively puts across the doubts which racked the leader who had the awesome responsibility of saving large numbers of Jews form extinction by organising their survival in the depths of the forest and the problems associated with managing a large group of people with minds of their own.

Particularly moving, maybe even more so than the actual film, is the documentary attached, featuring the descendants of the Bielski brotherss who led the group. They piece together the amazing modesty
and understatement of their grandparents who after the war settled in the US and made new lives for themselves. The section where these descendants visit the set as the film is being made and relive past events is particularly poignant.

If one should ever begin to find tiresome the way that Jews keep going on about the war then watch this and vow that it should never happen again.
Brilliant performance by Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and the rest of the cast.
Moving, Inspiring, Brilliant. Buy it!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true story of human suffering and perseverance!, 10 Nov 2010
By 
P. WILLIAMS "huggy bear" (spain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Defiance [DVD] (DVD)
This film is the true-story of the Bielski Brothers, Tuvia (Daniel Craig) Zus(Liev Schreiber) and Asael(Jamie Bell) who initiated the movement of at first a few but later over a thousand Jewish people who were going to be immediately killed and robbed by the local Police and Germans or cleared by Nazis of their Jewish populations from their villages and sent to Concentration Camps.
The brothers led by Tuvia decided to fight back, to make a stand and although Tuvia and Zus fell out for some little time they did get back together to fight against the common enemy, the Nazis.They all lived in primitive, extremely harsh conditions and it is a credit to their faith and willpower that so many made it through the 3 or more years they had to stay where they were,starting off in the Lipiczanska Forest in Summer of 1941 then moving onto the Nalibocka Forest Camp for the Winter of '41 with little food or proper Winter clothing to wear.
Allan Coruner and Mark Feurstein play Shimon Haretz and Isaac Malbi respectively who tease and torment each other throughout the film so add light moments, Alexa Davalos plays one of the love interest and Jodhi May plays Tamara Skidelsky who finds herself pregnant which is AGAINST the orders of Tuvia. What will she do? What will HE DO/ SAY?
Edward Zwick is the Director who has somehow been DENIED an Oscar by Hollywood in spite of Directing :- Glory, which I personally think is one of the best Western Movies Ever Made or whatever specialist Genre anyone wants to put it into. Starring D.Washington M.Freeman M.Broderick
Shakespeare in Love, Traffic, Blood Diamond, Legends of the Fall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to have in your collection, 4 Jan 2010
This review is from: Defiance [DVD] (DVD)
I rented this prior to buying it after good words from my local video rental store. I had a couple of weeks of watching solid films and went through Che, Valkyrie and some others.

I didnt buy any of the others after renting them apart from this. Theres something about the story for me that keeps me interested throughout the film. It's not like im that interested in the War but the characters in the film all kept me engaged till the end.

I haven't been though the extras because i never do, im not interested in how they made the film at all so don't bother commenting about that.

Defiance is one of those films that was over shadowed by others but i enjoyed it more and found it very gripping and a lot of other reviews have mentioned "not another happy ending film". I dont think i would watch a film where everyone died at the end and plus this is a true story, which you can't really change.

I don't care if you buy this but i like.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Planet are some folk from?, 29 Oct 2012
This review is from: Defiance [DVD] (DVD)
Watched this at the weekend - knowing nothing about the movie - and I am bewildered by some of the comments from some of the other reviewers. This is a 'slow-burner' of a movie. No histrionics, no massive Hollywood 'set-scenes' and an understated yet thoughtful music score by James Newton Howard (with haunting violin of Joshua Bell). I don't know what DVD others were watching but we were totally enaged by the movie 'Defiance.' Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber were both excellent. It was both an inspiring and moving movie. What planet are some of the other reviewers from?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Hollywood Movie That Takes The Safest Most Commercial Approach, 12 Jun 2013
This review is from: Defiance [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is exactly what you expect from this type of movie and that is its problem. Nearly every line is a heroic speech, no one has conversations just monologues which can get very exhausting. Everything is always over dramatic when what the film needs is a few more quiet bits. It's very cliche to the point the hero rides on a white horse. A brown or black horse would have been fine but the white horse is too much. It has the scene where the bomb goes off near the hero and we have the ringing sound as he sees all the carnage happen in slow motion. There is a wedding, a childbirth, scholars arguing, a bad guy within the group, someone takes a group photo which you instantly know the real life photo will appear at the credits, brothers falling out over different views and worst of all countless shots of people staring into the distance in a heroic pose perfect for posters and adverts. However, it really looks great and the costumes, locations, lenses, framing, lighting ect all look absolutely excellent and really suit the movie. Some parts of the score are really great where others pile on the melodrama a little too much. The problem with this movie is that it is so clearly a mainstream Hollywood MOVIE. It is trying so hard to give the audience exactly what they expect and never challenges them or has any strong opinions of its own. That doesn't mean it's bad but it will never be in any top ten War films because it's too afraid to take a fresh or new approach or do anything that might be considered even slightly controversial.
There is also a weird thing where sometimes a characters will speak English then sometimes speak a different language in English subtitles for no reason. Make your mind up: either they always speak English or they are always subtitled, going backwards and forwards between the two for no reason is both ridiculous and distracting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film - but I have a viewer gripe about the DVD, 8 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Defiance [DVD] (DVD)
I'll keep this review short and sweet (ish) -

I found the film excellent, and the story on which it is based (a true story) is genuinely moving. Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber in particular, give strong portrayals of the elder Bielski brothers, revealing a combination of courage, moral purpose and vulnerability, which seems fitting to their situation in the forest, being perennially hunted. he supporting cast are good, and the writing is fit for purpose.

I'm knocking one star off becasue this DVD is one of those that not only forces you to watch several trailers first (without being able to leap straight to the options Menu for the film itself), but it also forces you to watch an ad. If I want that, I'll happily go to the cinema, but please, don't force trailers on us in the comfort of our homes!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars defiance, 27 Dec 2011
This review is from: Defiance [DVD] (DVD)
This was a little gem of a film, great story line and kept the viewer interested from start to finish, its a true story about the Jews, Germans and Russians, dont want to say to much about it , and give anything away, but, if your into true stories you will really enjoy this one, well worth the money and a good nights viewing, I enjoyed it very much.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an amazing true story, 14 April 2010
This review is from: Defiance [DVD] (DVD)
Definately not what I expected.................which was a action packed shoot em up war film. An amazing true story, great acting, very believable and well made. Best WW2 film Ive seen for ages.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Defiance, Blu-Ray, 21 Dec 2009
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Defiance [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
`Defiance' is a film set in the second world war and follows Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell as three Jewish brothers who hide in the woods and shelter an ever growing group of Jewish compatriots from German persecution. This film has plenty of fight scenes for those who enjoy a typical war film, as well as more emotional scenes of romance, loss and betrayal to round off the film more fully. This has a good storyline and it has even more impact when you realise that it is based upon real events. I felt the film occasionally dragged in the middle part but not excessively so and any slow sections were quickly forgotten when the action got going again. This film really shows the struggle this group went through and you are left in awe at their tenacity and will to survive. From starvation, typhoid and the constant threat of discovery they had so many adversities it really makes you think about the hardships these people must have endured. This is directed by Edward Zwick who is renowned for his gritty and realistic style and this film is no exception. Overall this has excellent performances from all involved and manages to keep your attention for the duration. It has human interest, excitement and real emotion and is worth checking out at some point.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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42 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MOVING AND SAD BUT ALSO TRIUMPHANT - EXCELLENT FILM, 17 Jan 2009
This review is from: Defiance [DVD] (DVD)
Daniel Craig forgets his Aston Martin and dinner suit to play a Jewish brother that forms a partisan force in the forests of Belarus in this WWII drama. It's difficult not to be type cast when you play 007 but Craig shows how versatile he is and does a mighty fine job of this role.

The story folows the original book about about Jewish resistance - retaliation, in the Second World War. Craig, Schreiber and Bell star as the Bielski brothers, Jews who escaped from Nazi-occupied Poland and formed a famous partisan army in the forest of Belarus.

Their aim is both to fight tooth and nail, and steal in to rescue who they can from the ghettos. The movie focuses on the plight of the jews and for once showing them as heroes as they survive in the freezing cold forest villages they have built with rebel Russian (true red army)soldiers, who fight and kill Germans who find their enclave and threaten to destroy it, which on one occasion they do.

But rebelling and seeking revenge for murder and rape is a key motivator, and perfectly demonstrated by Craig where he guns down the Nazi officer responsible for killing the Bielski parents, a scene Craig plays with the cold white hatred of Bond at his bloodiest.

The film is shot well, moves along at a good pace with no long spells of dialogue, but stirs the emotion of the sheer desperation of these people trying to both survive against incredible hunger, - 20 degree temperatures and alwasy looking out for Nazi bullets and bombs.

The fighting scenes are interspersed throughout the movie, and on the whole don't show too graphic violence or singling out of women and children being raped or murdered. This may though be part of the reason why the movie doesn't quite generate the sheer anger and hatred that makes you shed tears and stirs the adrenaline inside that puts you in the heart of the action baying for blood and revenge. For once though you can watch a world war two movie about Nazi's and Jews that doesn't get you reaching for the box of Kleenex.

The movie for me was a really pleasure to watch and it works well enough, but the film has one major stumbling block: the international cast are all required to speak English in Eastern European Yiddish accents and fail to achieve any sort of consistent pronunciation.

It's a distraction, but the burly Craig and Schreiber, as well as the slighter Bell, are all impressively expressive actors, and their sheer physical presence enables them to overcome the linguistic messiness.

So, to sum up if you like true WW2 movies, with a good cast, that is directed well with a beautiful soundtrack, then this is an interesting and heroic film that is well worth watching.
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Defiance [Blu-ray]
Defiance [Blu-ray] by Edward Zwick (Blu-ray - 2009)
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