Action / Biography / Drama / History / Sport / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 51%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 71%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 124716


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May 01, 2015 at 06:08 AM



Jack O'Connell as Louis Zamperini
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929.02 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 17 min
P/S 11 / 117
2.05 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 17 min
P/S 8 / 96

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Greg B 1 / 10


The timeless contract between director and cinema-goer is to make us care about the movie, to change our thinking in some way, to transport us, to make our lives better. Unbroken does none of these. In some ways, it is similar to Scorsese's Silence, which is two hours of unremitting medieval torture, or Iñárritu's Revenant, which was diCaprio grunting through snow for 2+ hours.

Jolie's Unbroken is a litany of Japanese cruelty and brutality. Up to a certain point, it shows how realistic WWII POW camps were, but this is not a documentary but a movie. It is meant, according to the unspoken contract mentioned above, to take the viewer on a journey, make him care about a character, see a character grow (even despite tremendous adversity), and give the viewer some kind of emotional cathartic satisfaction at the end.

In Unbroken, though, Jolie minimalises any character growth in a rather spartan "show the viewers and let them figure out what is going on" methodology. As a result, Zamperini, our lead character, simply exists from one scene to the next. He does not show any emotional growth arc whatsoever. He simply takes all the multifarious beatings his captors give him as though that were enough. Ms Jolie, it is NOT. We need to see a character move as an active participant in the story, as a maker of events, not a passive recipient.

To put it bluntly, here is the storyline (spoiler alert.)

Zamperini gets captured. He gets beaten often and mistreated. The End.

Sure there is a brief storyboard at the conclusion of the movie which fleshed out the character a little, but it is NOT ENOUGH. I suspect that Ms Jolie believed that the various scenes that she so treasured would trigger the same emotional responses in her audience as her, a sadly mistaken belief. Towards the end of the movie, I was badly needing Zamperini to DO something instead of just accept further beatings. We saw NOTHING of his internal journey, NOTHING of any form of resistance, NOTHING but an endless series of beatings and Watanabe, his tormentor, saying the same things over and over and beating him without any point at all.

The end, when it came, was a glorious relief, and I say that in a negative sense. Count this a failure, Ms Jolie. Do better next time, if there is a next time.

Reviewed by Gavin Purtell 8 / 10

Astonishing true story told in enjoyable fashion

'Unbroken' is a great film, helped immensely by the fact it's based on an almost-unbelievable true story. Laura Hillenbrand's novel was one of the best I've read in the last three years and while the movie isn't quite as great (they never are!), the story of Louis Zamperini (O'Connell)'s extremely eventful life from 1936-1945 truly needs to be seen to be believed. Quick synopsis: he learns to run, goes to the Olympics, joins the U.S. Air Force during WWII, is shot down, stranded at sea (for seven weeks!), eventually captured by the Japanese and spends over two years in a POW camp. Sounds impossible, but what's more astonishing is that he then went on to live for another 70 years!

Jolie's directing debut is solid, with some nice transitions from the current to his past and the narrative moving along at a good pace for the first 90min. my one issue with the film is that the final 45min or so drag a little, as although there's plenty going on during his time in the POW camps (i.e. mostly inhumane torture), the film seems to lose a bit of it's spark. Brisbane/Moreton Bay does a good job of standing in for the South Pacific too!

This is not so much a film about war, as about survival, courage and hope. There's so many times when he could have just given in and let all the terrible things happening to him defeat him, but he doesn't. It's truly amazing to know it actually happened! The ending is handled well and the actors - particularly Ishihara as the psychopathic 'Bird' - are solid.

Reviewed by acollins-88916 10 / 10

UNBROKEN FILM REVIEW ("Unbroken Cannot be Broken")

Angelina Jolie directed the historical nonfiction movie "Unbroken" which portrays the true-life events of Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell), an Italian immigrant, during the 1940's. In the beginning of the film, Louis is shown as an exceptional high school athlete, and later an Olympic athlete. He is later drafted into the military during World War II. After a plane crash, he and two other men are stranded on a life raft in the middle of the ocean for 47 days. The three soldiers are later captured by the Japanese navy and sent to prisoner camps. Throughout the film, Louis lived by his brother's words "if you can take it, you can make it" which allowed him to persevered through the toughest time of his life.

The reviewer liked the narrative elements used because they further developed the mood and tone of the story. The plot is very compelling and is filled with many twists and turns as Louis Zamperini goes from an Olympic track star in Berlin to a prisoner of war in Japan. Louis is briefly shown being bullied and taunted by other boys for being an Italian immigrant. He is called derogatory names such as "dago." He persevered through his troubles. The film is historical accurate and pays homage to the brave soldiers of World War II. The plot is very compelling and keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat.

The director uses many effective techniques to bring life to the character and to make the situations more realistic. During the Olympics, the Zamperini family is anticipating the results of the race. They hear his name and laugh excitedly. They cut to a parallel view of Louis and the other men while the crowd is cheering. While the three men are on the raft, the special effects and sound effects make the viewer feel as if they are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with them. The sounds of the waves, and the storm are well executed and effective in setting the mood of uncertainness. After the Japanese capture Louis they blindfold him while they bring him to the prisoner camp. This was a production camera shot because it shows the viewer a glimpse of the point of view camera view. While the prisoners are in the camp the viewer can occasionally hear the native Japanese language and are forced to make inferences based on tone and situations. The soundtrack of the film is inspiration and up lifting and changes rapidly throughout the course of the movie. During the night, dark lighting while they are stranded at sea, set a tone of insecurity and forced the viewer focus on the dialogue instead.

Although many people may believe the movie is too long, the viewer is kept at the edge of their seat with changing setting and situations throughout the film. Overall the reviewer would rate this film 5 out of 5.

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