2000s Flags of Our Fathers (2006)

Published on March 19th, 2007 | by Chris

7

Flags of Our Fathers (2006)

War Movie by:
Clint Eastwood

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On March 19, 2007
Last modified:October 4, 2012

Summary:

Is this a good movie? Yes, and no. I'm not going to put it on par with the likes of Saving Private Ryan, or anything like that. Even though I think that's what they were shooting for. I think the intentions were good, to create a Private Ryan-like memorial film for the men who fought and died in the Pacific. And I'll give points for effort, but the whole thing just doesn't fit together for me.

Flags of Our Fathers (2006)Flags of Our Fathers is the story of three men who were honored (I guess you could call it that) for their part in raising (one of) the flags over Iwo Jima in 1945.

However it portrays this "honor" as that of being used as marketing pawns in the name of selling more war bonds. Additionally it portrays two of the three in a somewhat questionable light. I don't know if director Clint Eastwood did this on purpose or if it was just a reflection of the facts that were known to him and his staff, and having not read the book this was based off of, I can't say for sure.

What I can say is I watched this movie and felt sort of, well, ticked off during most of it. Mostly because of the way these men were being portrayed. You have Rene, the guy who seems to be eating up all the fame and glory, at least thats how it seemed. Then there's Ira Hayes, the native american who spends most of the "tour" drunk. Reflections of the facts? Again, I don't know, but it was just unsettling and maddening.

Yes, I understand why. They did not see themselves as the heroes they were made out to be, they felt others deserved more credit than themselves. I guess that in itself makes up for it somewhat. The whole message (which is an excellent one we all should take to heart) seems to get lost in the negative portrayals.

The battle scenes are filmed spectacularly, and the continuity from one shot to the next, from airplane cockpit, to beach, to battleship is truly amazing. Although I still say they went way overboard with the color desaturation. These scenes nearly look black and white they've been toned out so much. The grit and fear comes through painfully spectacular.

On top of that the way the battle scenes are cut in between the scenes of the "war bond tour" can get confusing. There are a few times you wonder exactly what the timeline you're looking at is. Which came first, where are we now, what the hell is going on... you get my drift.

Is this a good movie? Yes, and no. I'm not going to put it on par with the likes of Saving Private Ryan, or anything like that. Even though I think that's what they were shooting for. I think the intentions were good, to create a Private Ryan-like memorial film for the men who fought and died in the Pacific. And I'll give points for effort, but the whole thing just doesn't fit together for me.

I also wonder if there isn't some other message Mr. Eastwood was going for, that of the commercialism and exploitation of those we would call "heroes."

There's a lot to think about here, and there are a lot of moving moments that make this a worthwhile couple of hours, but keep in mind the message and try not to get as ticked off as I did! Focus on the honor they pay to "Doc" and you'll come away a lot more un-angry.

Like I said I have not read the book by the same name, maybe I should. It may shed a different light on things. I'd be interested in any comments any readers may have on this, what your thoughts are.

Flags of Our Fathers (Widescreen Edition) Flags of Our Fathers (Widescreen Edition)
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Description

Thematically ambitious and emotionally complex, Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers is an intimate epic with much to say about war and the nature of heroism in America. Based on the non-fiction bestseller by James Bradley (with Ron Powers), and adapted by Million Dollar Baby screenwriter Paul Haggis (Jarhead screenwriter William Broyles Jr...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio:
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Brand: Paramount Home Video
Manufacturer: Dreamworks Video
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Ryan Phillippe
  • Barry Pepper
  • Joseph Cross
  • Jesse Bradford
  • Christopher Curry

Features

  • Factory sealed DVD

Reviews

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars ... a movie that should have gotten a Oscar for best movie, director, August 19, 2016
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This review is from: Flags of Our Fathers (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
clint eastwood turned a book into a movie that should have gotten a Oscar for best movie,director,screenplay and soundtrack.being from the generation that went through ww2 he must have had a copy of the iconic pic,following the war.affected by and the particpation effort that won this war.using what happened to him during the war in the movie and realize that it takes a whole nation to win.when these men was used for the fundraising efforts that these men suffered ptsd.ira hayes died of alcoholism,rene gargon could not take advantage of the fame and doc Bradley went onto raise a family and career.not wanting let anyone know or talk about this.with the book and movie it brought out the human suffering of war.always remember those who have served.great movie clint.
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5.0 out of 5 stars WE OWE THEM OUR WILLINGNESS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DO NOT LOSE THIS NATION, July 17, 2014
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This movie is a wonderfully effective documentary disguised as a touching story of the price paid by too many of those who got this nation through the Second World War. It is a poignant saga of the six young men who, for better or worse were captured in a photo that became the most enduring icon of that era and the timeless struggle against those who would attempt to step in front of the values, that for a little while longer, we call the United States of America. It is not pretty. Flags of Our Fathers demands that those of us who have the luxury to watch it apply a very small portion of the discipline, commitment and courage required of those who came before us who had that trial and others like it as their task. Watching and paying attention provides a satisfying although melancholy story that confronts us with our laziness and the specter that too many believe Flags of Our Fathers to be just one more war story. And, they will have died in vain if that is what we do as a nation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars War vs Hollywood, July 30, 2013
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This review is from: Flags of Our Fathers (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
In two and a half hours Clint Eastwood paints a thought provoking piece on heroism and war-propaganda. The film tells three stories: first it is the WW II battle of Iwo Jima where thousands of soldiers (Japanese and American) died 'conquering' that island. In the style of Saving Private Ryan (Spielberg is a producer of Flags) the viewer gets a astounding look at war with a lot of blood, guts and CGI. Second is the story of a son of one of the flag raisers on that island, who interviews other survivors of that battle to understand his dad a little better. This is very moving stuff, but stands a little pale in comparison to the final storyline. This is where veteran-director Eastwood really shines. Like his meditation on violence Unforgiven, Flags takes a closer look at heroism where soldiers by chance get into the spotlight of the war-propaganda-machine. Some may say that Eastwood made an anti-war film or even an anti-America film, but they're wrong. Flags is very critical on the way... Read more
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Flags of Our Fathers (2006) Chris

Summary: Is this a good movie? Yes, and no. I'm not going to put it on par with the likes of Saving Private Ryan, or anything like that. Even though I think that's what they were shooting for. I think the intentions were good, to create a Private Ryan-like memorial film for the men who fought and died in the Pacific. And I'll give points for effort, but the whole thing just doesn't fit together for me.

3.0


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)


About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



7 Responses to Flags of Our Fathers (2006)

  1. A whole squad of new war movie DVDs make their debut, just in time for some Memorial Day movie marathons!Letters from Iwo Jima (2007)There’ll be a review of this sometime in the next couple of weeks, if NetFlix comes through!  (So far I’m impressed..

  2. Hm.  Its taken me a while to write this.  I’ve really had to think about what I was going to put here after seeing Clint Eastwood’s “sequel” to Flags of Our Fathers (WMB review here…)  The story of “Letters From Iwo Jima” is the Japanese

  3. Marek says:

    This movie was not as great as i had expected, quite frankly i was disapointed. It had alot of nice scenes, such as when the three soldiers climb the ridge in the begining, and are suddenly in a stadium with a cheering audience. I overall found most confusing the constantly changing timeline, and found it hard to know when it was after the battle, and when during. Also, I did not know what to make of the scene where a soldier falls overboad the ship and they say no one will stop for him. What did any of you make of that?

  4. SgtWMB says:

    I agree 100%, a lot of the time you’re kind of left sitting there going “eh what happened? where are we?” and then you realize it. Really distracting overall.

    I forgot about the “man overboard” scene. Not having read the book I can’t say for sure but it wouldn’t surprise me if it happened. Probably more than once.

    Thanks for reading! Glad to know somebody is 😉

  5. Edward White says:

    I was very disappointed with this movie. The movie attempted to belittle the most enduring symbol of the U.S. military. The ending narration states that there are no true heroes. Bullsh*t there aren’t true heroes!! I feel that all the soldier who fought during WW2 are heroes.
    The way the government was portrayed as exploiting the flag raisers gave the impression that the country wasn’t worth fighting for. The Japanese in “Letters” were portrayed in a more sympathetic light, they were fighting for duty and honor.
    It is no mystery about the anti-American slant when you find out that the screenwriter was Paul Haggis, who also made the current film ” In the valley of Elah” I will not see that film because from what I have read it portrays U.S. soldiers as a bunch of losers. “Flags of our Fathers” is just another Hollywood Vietnam war movie (set during WW2) that says ” why are we here fighting for a lie.”

  6. Mike De Luca says:

    It seems to me there are those(Edward) who believe that the act of showing American soldiers in less than pristine(you know, like real human beings) is guilty of some kind of Anti-American slam. Clint is clearly saying heroism, as most see it, is rubbish, and true courage comes from the nobility that comes from getting the back of the guy next to you. Clint seems to be saying, “Before you send young men off to be the heroes of the next war”, maybe you should think about what such men went through and would, perhaps, choose to forget. This level of thinking is rather evolved compared to, say, that of Nixon’s Silent Majority. Between the scope and vision of “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters From Iwo Jima”, I would say Clint Eastwood has more than proven himself to be one of America’s greatest living directors. Mr. White, to paint a complex film like “Flags of Our Fathers” in such simple terms, is only indicative of a simple mind. And as far Vietnam being a lie, three words: “Gulf of Tonkin”. Read a book. The Pentagon Papers, perhaps?

  7. Pingback: Memorial Day 2012 Movies on TV | War Movie Reviews and News | War Movie Blog

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