Customer Reviews


164 Reviews
5 star:
 (93)
4 star:
 (26)
3 star:
 (8)
2 star:
 (20)
1 star:
 (17)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


74 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cinematographer's dream - a visual poem!
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...
Published on 19 May 2011 by Nigel Mc

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars confusing but bloody.
Good fight scenes but very confusing story line with no real aim or main plot. Would describe as an average film but wouldn't watch again.
Published 11 months ago by Charlie Dawson


‹ Previous | 1 2 317 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4.0 out of 5 stars good look at the soul of soldiers in combat, but insufficient historical reference to the Guadalcanal battle, 7 Feb. 2013
This review is from: The Thin Red Line [Blu-ray] [1998] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
An excellent movie to understand the psychology of young men thrown into combat. Acting is very good and often superb. Location is well chosen (could not be done in Guadalcanal itself though) and special effects are well done.

The most interesting aspect is the various dialogues about the cynicism and unfairness of war in this world, "there only world there is". This is true of most wars of course, nothing specific about Guadalcanal. There is a scene at the beginning of the movie that suggests otherwise: a couple of soldiers are stranded on an idyllic island with happy indigenous villagers.

In fact it's too bad there is precious little in the movie that tells you much about the Guadalcanal battle itself. Only scant reference is made to the historical context and the significance of this island in the early months of WW II. I would have liked additional historical facts to be relayed through the dialogues and battle scenes.

Extras: deleted scenes add value, especially one with GIs moving Japanese prisoners.

PS: don't hold your brerath to see much of George Clooney, he only gets a couple of minutes at the very end.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "In paradisum' from Faure's Requiem.., 5 Jun. 2011
This review is from: The Thin Red Line [Blu-ray] [1998] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
This Terreence Malick epic looks stunning on blue-ray. It is worth the extra cash for the purchase. I own the VHS, the dvd, both soundtracks and now this blue-Ray.

Malick is the last true Poet of maverick American Cinema. His movies follow no conventions or rules; his career follows no rules or conventions. Thin Red Line (nominated for seven Oscars) opens with a question:
"Why does nature contend with itself?"
It shows a crocodile- a killing machine. Moments later, we see men (soldiers) who prove more deadly than crocodiles; we see a dying bird- its wing shattered by gunfire, pulling itself along the ground. In a way the film is not about war at all, but simply about the way in which all living beings are founded on the necessity of killing one another.

After 20 years away from film-making, elusive director Terence Malick returned with this freeform WW2 movie based on the James Jones books ('Thin Red Line' and extracts from the classic 'From here to Eternity'), which floats around the WW2 battle for Guadalcanal, pondering the place of conflict and pondering our place on this planet and the eternal scheme of things. The films essence lies not with the famous actors, but in Malick's fusion of abstract voice-overs and stunning images over beautiful music (Hans Zimmer and Melanesian chanting). It's a richly textured, slowly paced, visually stunning epic of the effects of war that hypnotises the viewer with its tapestry of sights, sounds and colours.

"This great evil. Where does it come from? How'd it steal into the world? What seed, what root did it grow from? Who's doin' this? Who's killin' us? Robbing us of life and light. Mockin' us with the sight of what we might've known. Does our ruin benefit the earth? Does it help the grass to grow, the sun to shine? Is this darkness in you, too? Have you passed to this night?"

This amazing movie is a tone poem that may throw some mentally Challenged viewers through its use of interior monologues and lack of action.

"Where is it that we were together? Who were you that I lived with? The brother. The friend. Darkness, light. Strife and love. Are they the workings of one mind? The features of the same face? Oh, my soul. Let me be in you now. Look out through my eyes. Look out at the things you made. All things shining."

Malick was 57 years old when he directed this epic. It would be great if we could use stem cell research to knock 30 years off his age. Perhaps then we could give him a billion pounds to make a dozenn or two dozen films to last through the ages......no?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Thin Red Line [1999] [DVD], 16 Aug. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
quality film. often being overlooked due to its release alongside saving private ryan, malik's masterpiece draws on ensemble cast to tell the realistic tales of various soldiers during the pacific conflicts in WW2. this film should not be watched if you're a fan of a particular actor, as each spend very little time on screen. instead, sit back and enjoy the wonderfully filmed epic for its whole worth.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars confusing but bloody., 2 Jun. 2014
Good fight scenes but very confusing story line with no real aim or main plot. Would describe as an average film but wouldn't watch again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WWII in the Pacific, 21 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Shows the American Army in combat against the Japanese, normally most films show the USMC involved taking islands one after another.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "What's this war in the heart of nature? Why does nature vie with itself?", 3 Aug. 2008
By 
Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
"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".

Meanwhile, everywhere on board ship there is palpable tension as the troops prepare their invasion of the island. Nick Nolte as a senior officer expresses inwardly his sense of degradation and his distaste at his own brown-nosing whilst outwardly agreeing with every word of his own superior, played by John Travolta. It is this ability of the director Terrence Malick to convey to the viewer the inner thoughts of the single man that makes this film so successfully human and realistic. War films are full of blood and guts, but this film focuses on the fact that those blood and guts belong to real people.

Take Ben Chaplin's character, for example. His thoughts reveal to us (in a not wholly convincing American accent) that he is so in love with his wife at home ("We flow together like water till I can't tell you from me"), so that after the hell and heroism he endures in the attack on Guadalcanal, we are just as shaken as he is when she writes to him to ask for a divorce. He later meditates on "who put this flame [of love] in us?" Cavaziel asks the corollary, for he asks where hate comes from. In his simple backwoodsman way, he concludes from all that he senses going on around him that "War don't [sic] ennoble men. Turns them into dogs. Poisons the soul."

The realism of the characters in this movie is also conveyed in the great set-pieces, such as when the landing craft sail into the shore. (Did Malick use real ones or are many of them mock-ups? The dearth of extras means we are not told.) For much of the film, the camera adopts a fly-on-the-wall approach, moving with the soldiers, for instance, as they ascend the hill of death. By this method, the camera conveys the psychology of fear, of the intense pressure that the men experience. We see the heroism; we see the cowardice; we see the desperation, the madness, the insubordination, the compassion, the confusion. To this extent this is the most real war film that you might ever see on screen.

Ninety minutes into the film and the ridge of the hill is finally taken in a fine piece of bravado. The random brutality and cruelty of war - and yes, also its humanity - is shown as the Americans rampage through a Japanese encampment in the jungle forest. After a period of R&R, the soldiers are later back in action. Cavaziel is cornered by Japanese and the look in his eyes hints at him experiencing an epiphany as he realises his end may be near. His bewilderment with the complexity and brutality of human nature causes him to wonder: "Who were you that I lived with, walked with?"

Cavaziel's is a truly humbling narration that puts all our minor day-to-day problems and issues about the price of fuel or the bad weather in the shade. This film goes beyond the telling of a story of great heroism: it is a finely-tuned reflection on life's meaning and what it means to be human. I came so close to giving it five stars, but for the lack of a denouement that would relieve the inner tensions that the film provoked in me.

The interesting soundtrack is worth a comment. As well as the Gabriel Faure and the Charles Ives and the sounds of Melanesian songs, Hans Zimmer contributes with threatening and yet re-assuring sounds of sustained rising and falling string chords, supported with insistent native percussion, leading to a stately and majestic crescendo. Alas, apart from the Melanesian songs, the film has no extras.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a war movie. A cinematic poem., 7 Feb. 2014
This review is from: The Thin Red Line [Blu-ray] [1998] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Elegiac. Demanding. Frustrating. Powerful. Profound. Sublime. A soulful and epic search for grace, for truth, for sanity, for meaning in an insane world burning and hurting and never healing from ceaseless and meaningless human suffering. This movie ultimately restores the humanity to those brave soldiers who bled and died for all our better futures.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 18 Oct. 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good moments of wartime action and thoughtful comment on the futility of war, but mostly boring.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising horrific, steadfastly human, 31 May 2005
By 
Peter (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
The film opens with a scene of paradise to the musings of an American Private, visions of a simpler life as he contemplates the existance of the human soul. The war isn't far away though, and it isn't long before- along with the rest of his company- he's preparing for a desperate assult on Japanese held Guadalcanal.
Over the course of the assult we learn something of the hopes, fears and aspirations of the American Officers and men, the terror of conflict and the memories of home.
The film adds a human value to war that I have rarely seen in a movie before, notably displaying the vunerability of the Japanese captured as much as the horror of the American losses.
The Thin Red Line, it has to be said, is not a war movie in the traditional sense- and should not be thought of as such- instead a poetic and beautifully shot exploration of what how war changes humanity, shot in the context of the Pacific conflict.
The excellent cast and skilled direction make this a compelling film, if somewhat slow and philosophical for some tastes. Otherwise, highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Absolutely amazing film! Even though it's daily dated, it's so good. Came quickly too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 317 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Thin Red Line [Blu-ray] [1998] [Region Free]
The Thin Red Line [Blu-ray] [1998] [Region Free] by Terrence Malick (Blu-ray - 2011)
£6.78
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews