Letters From Iwo Jima Reviews

  • It takes a filmmaker of uncommon control and mature grace to say so much with so little superfluous movement, and Eastwood triumphs in the challenge.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum — Entertainment Weekly

  • Another masterwork from Clint Eastwood's astonishing late period, and one of the best war movies ever.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • High-minded and generous, but lacking in real passion and flair.

    Peter Bradshaw — Guardian [UK]

  • It takes a filmmaker possessed of a rare, almost alchemic, blend of maturity, wisdom and artistic finesse to create such an intimate, moving and spare war film as Clint Eastwood has done.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • In the last half-hour, the story, like the Japanese, loses its way; lacking any clear-cut goals except survival, the film becomes repetitive. Letters From Iwo Jima is a necessary movie; too bad it's not a great movie.

    Stephen Hunter — Washington Post

  • Eloquent, bloody, and daringly simple, the movie examines notions of wartime glory as closely as Flags of Our Fathers dissected heroism.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • Eastwood seems less concerned with provocation than with contemplation, of a popular military campaign and its supposed days of glory. The second film completes and deepens the first.

    Scott Foundas — Village Voice

  • Letters isn't about numbers or the battle or even the morality of war. It's about the sanctity of life and how we value our own.

    Jack Mathews — New York Daily News

  • It is the second, and artistically superior, half of a single epic film that springs from a single, stunning act of compassionate imagination.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • Where Flags heaved its characters through war and psychic trauma without first allowing us all to get acquainted, Letters takes such care with its protagonists that they awaken and descend from the screen.

    Amy Biancolli — Houston Chronicle

  • If Flags of Our Fathers is about heroism -- why we need it, how we create it -- then Letters From Iwo Jima is about honor, its importance, and its folly.

    Chris Vognar — Dallas Morning News

  • Letters is a work of whetted craft and judgment, tempered by Eastwood's years of life, moviemaking and the potent tango of the two. It is the work of a mature filmmaker willing to entertain the true power of the cinema.

    Lisa Kennedy — Denver Post

  • Too old for another Dirty Harry movie, Eastwood embraced the role of brooding, fatalistic American Master -- and, I'm bound to say, is finally beginning to wear it more convincingly.

    David Edelstein — New York Magazine

  • The project lacks the variety of sensuous pleasures that a great movie has to provide.

    David Denby — New Yorker

  • The subject, the technique and the maturity blend as one.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • Indirectly but cogently comment on our experiences of other movies. Having Japanese soldiers as heroes allows us to reconsider the didacticism we've been handed in the past.

    Jonathan Rosenbaum — Chicago Reader

  • Side by side, though, Eastwood's movies are a sobering marvel: the massive military effort, suffering and sacrifice, the extremes of human behavior that war produces.

    Gary Thompson — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Humanizing our old adversaries doesn't erase their war crimes, and Eastwood doesn't whitewash the brutality of Japanese militarism. His point is that the Emperor's infantrymen were as much the victims of the Japanese war machine as the GIs they fought.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • Watanabe is appropriately noble and regal, if a bit stiff at times; but it is Ninomiya's grunt soldier who gives the film its soul. Alternately philosophical, humorous, terrified and crafty, he is everyman trying to survive hell.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • [This] absorbing and thoughtful take on the plight of the trapped, desperate and suicidal Japanese troops, outstrips its companion piece. That's not a statement on patriotism; it addresses the nature of Eastwood's approach and basic human nature.

    Bill Muller — Arizona Republic

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