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'Saving Private Ryan' Matches:

Saving Private Ryan

  • Takes itself Seriously ▶ Yes please
  • Moralistic ▶ Yes please
  • Production Level ▶ Polished
  • Sympathetic ▶ I want to know or care about the characters
  • Boldness ▶ Bold, aggressive, unrepressed, cathartic or expressive actions
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Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

In 2016, Mel Gibson had his best acting role in decades, Blood Father, and now he turns in his best job of directing. That's not to say Hacksaw Ridge is any kind of masterpiece; it's extremely simplistic, but it's also rousingly effective, and destined to evoke tears from even the most hardened, masculine viewers. Andrew Garfield stars, in a very earnest performance, as Desmond Doss, a Seventh-Day Adventist who wished to serve his country in WWII, but refused to pick up a weapon. He became a conscientious objector, which, of course, earns the scorn and ridicule of his fellow men. That is, until Okinawa, wherein, without carrying a weapon, and as a medic, he managed to save some 75 wounded men, dragging them off the battlefield to safety. Gibson is as obsessed with violence — and more importantly, the endurance of violence — as ever, and he makes sure that viewers are intimately familiar with the bloody horrors of this particular battle. But Garfield balances that out, making a squeaky-clean hero to be proud of. Vince Vaughn is very funny as the drill sergeant, but the otherwise amazing Teresa Palmer has a dull part as the pretty girl in his life. Hugo Weaving and Rachel Griffiths are fine as Mr. and Mrs. Doss. The movie, not unexpectedly, ends with footage of the real-life Medal of Honor winner Doss, who passed away in 2006. read more...
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    • Boldness ▶ Bold, aggressive, unrepressed, cathartic or expressive actions
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Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

100.0% Match

  • With: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, Vince Vaughn
  • Written by: Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight
  • Directed by: Mel Gibson
  • MPAA Rating: R for intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence including grisly bloody images
  • Running Time: 139 minutes
  • Release Date: 11/03/2016
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Ben-Hur (1959)

In William Wyler's Ben-Hur, Charlton Heston plays Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur. His former childhood friend Messala (Stephen Boyd) now works for the evil Roman emperor. When Judah refuses to help Messala with some underhanded deeds, Messala betrays him and has him thrown in prison. He escapes and spends the rest of the film looking for his mother and sister and plotting his revenge against Messala. Occasionally he crosses paths with Jesus Christ (played by an uncredited actor). read more...
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    • Moralistic ▶ Yes please
    • Production Level ▶ Polished
    • Originality ▶ Stories I know and love

Ben-Hur (1959)

100.0% Match

  • With: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith, Martha Scott, Cathy O'Donnell, Sam Jaffe, Finlay Currie, Frank Thring, Terence Longdon, George Relph, André Morell
  • Written by: Karl Tunberg, based on a novel by Lew Wallace
  • Directed by: William Wyler
  • MPAA Rating: G
  • Running Time: 222 minutes
  • Release Date: 11/17/1959
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Red River (1948)

It can be argued that John Wayne's best performance is in John Ford's The Searchers. In it, he plays uncle Ethan, who returns home from the war, only to find his home attacked by Indians and his niece kidnapped. He becomes obsessed with finding her, even though it takes years. We can see obsessions boiling beneath his surface, and can tell that it has a lot more to do with just his niece. But in Red River, his character, Thomas Dunson, is equally obsessed, first with driving cattle to California, then with catching up with and killing his surrogate son, Matt Garth (Montgomery Clift). Here he is hell-bent with fury in his eyes. "Aging" 20 years over the course of the film, it's a more exterior performance, but equal in precision and power. Maybe both performances are great, but Red River is the better film. read more...
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    • Moralistic ▶ Yes please
    • Production Level ▶ Polished
    • Comfort Level ▶ Settled, reassured, comforted or resolved
    • Originality ▶ Stories I know and love
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Red River (1948)

100.0% Match

  • With: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru, Walter Brennan, Coleen Gray, Harry Carey, Harry Carey Jr., John Ireland
  • Written by: Borden Chase, Charles Schnee
  • Directed by: Howard Hawks
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Running Time: 133 minutes
  • Release Date: 08/25/1948
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Air Force (1943)

All of director Howard Hawks' skills are on display in this exciting, crackerjack WWII film. A Flying Fortress bomber leaves San Francisco for Hawaii just before the morning of December 7, 1941. They hop all over the Pacific, searching for a safe place to land, refuel and rest. Of course, they wind up joining the fight. Although John Garfield is probably the film's biggest star -- he plays a disgruntled gunner who once dreamed of becoming a pilot -- Hawks focuses on a true ensemble dynamic, and all the codes and rules that come as a result. The city boys tease the farm boys, etc., but everyone has everyone else's back when the going gets tough. read more...
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    • Moralistic ▶ Yes please
    • Takes itself Seriously ▶ Yes please

Air Force (1943)

100.0% Match

  • With: John Ridgely, Gig Young, Arthur Kennedy, Charles Drake, Harry Carey, George Tobias, Ward Wood, Ray Montgomery, John Garfield, James Brown, Stanley Ridges, Willard Robertson, Moroni Olsen, Edward S. Brody, Richard Lane, Bill Crago, Faye Emerson, Addison Richards, James Flavin
  • Written by: Dudley Nichols
  • Directed by: Howard Hawks
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Running Time: 124 minutes
  • Release Date: 02/02/1943
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War Horse (2011)

Released the same week as his triumphant new The Adventures of Tintin, Steven Spielberg's War Horse is, on the other hand, his most so-so work in some time. Spielberg has spent his career juggling popcorn movies and "serious" movies, or to put it another way, kid movies and adult movies. War Horse is stuck in the middle. It comes from a "young adult" novel, and was adapted into a stage play. It's not quite a kids' movie and not quite an adult movie. read more...
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    • Production Level ▶ Polished
X

War Horse (2011)

100.0% Match

  • With: Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, Niels Arestrup, David Thewlis, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Celine Buckens, Toby Kebbell, Patrick Kennedy, Leonard Carow, David Kross, Matt Milne, Robert Emms, Eddie Marsan, Nicolas Bro, Rainer Bock, Hinnerk Schönemann, Gary Lydon, Geoff Bell, Liam Cunningham, Sebastian Hülk, Gerard McSorley, Tony Pitts, Irfan Hussein, Pip Torrens, Philippe Nahon, Jean-Claude Lecas
  • Written by: Lee Hall, Richard Curtis, based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo
  • Directed by: Steven Spielberg
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of war violence
  • Running Time: 146 minutes
  • Release Date: 12/03/2011
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