Defiance

Defiance

Defiance

Based on amazing actual events during World War II, Defiance tells the tale of a group of Jewish freedom fighters led by the Bielski brothers - Tuvia (Daniel Craig), Zus (Liev Schreiber) and Asael (Jamie Bell). They band together with Russian soldiers to oppose Nazi forces in 1941 by striking back and creating an alternative community for refugees, hidden in the forest. From the director of Blood Diamond.

2008Rating: M, contains violence & offensive language137 minsUSA
ActionDramaWar
Director:
Edward Zwick ('Blood Diamond', 'The Last Samurai', 'Legends of the Fall')
Writer:
Clayton FrohmanEdward Zwick
Cast:
Daniel CraigLiev SchreiberJamie BellGeorge MacKayTomas AranaAlexa Davalos
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Reviews & comments

2's

Enjoyable but not exceptional movie. They could have done more with the original story which is exceptional. The film rolls like two connected stories - a before and after - and the main storyline does in fact split into two parallel lines at about the same point. The performances of the two leads, Liev Schreiber and Daniel Craig, are the better for their...

4.0
0

great and inspiring

Once you get over the fact that Daniel Craig is not James Bond or and English Drug runner, this is an excellent movie. I thouroughly enjoy movies that inspire, entertain and educate you, and this one does all three. (remember it is Hollywood so dont take it as a literal history lesson)

5.0
0

Bloody brilliant!

It might not be perfect, but it certainly has a lot going for it, informative, historically, captivating and emotional. Go to it.

5.0
0

Fantastic, and different

I loved this movie as it provided a unique insight into the ultimate victims of WW2, how they thought, their hardships, and extreme prejudice. But this film also told a tale of triumph, and expressed how if people think in a positive way (i.e. "we will die trying to live, that is what is human..."), they can make the most out of a horrendous situation and...

5.0
0

My review

Gah, mashed the keyboard by accident and it went through. continued - that the community had built than with the Nazi's. I liked the moral dilemma between Tuvia (Craig), who just wanted to take enough food from the surrounding villages to survive and Zus (Schrieber) who was hungry for blood and revenge over the death of his family and friends. Def...

4.0
0

Excellent WW2 drama

I loved this film, both Craig and Schrieber were great as the two brothers and Daniel Bell impressed me too. I always think to myself that there are too many WWII movies, risking overkill then one comes along like this and blows me away. I had never heard of this story before the movie and it's almost too crazy to believe - 1,200 people surviving in the...

4.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

A potentially exceptional story is told in a flatly unexceptional manner.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

“Jews don’t fight!” mutters a Red Army soldier. “These Jews do!” says another admiringly. Great pitch, largely undone by stilted, solemn direction.

2.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Defiance presents itself as an explicit correction of the cultural record, a counterpoint to all those lachrymose World War II tales of helplessness and victimhood. This is a perfectly honorable intention, but the problem is that, in setting out to overturn historical stereotypes of Jewish passivity, Mr. Zwick (who co-wrote the screenplay with Clayton Frohman) ends up affirming them.

0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

The best performance, because it's more nuanced, is by Liev Schreiber. His Zus Bielski is more concerned with the big picture, more ideological, more driven by tactics.

0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

Interesting tale with good performances but lacks emotional punch.

3.0
0
Newshub

Newshub

press

At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, I say again, a tighter edit with half an hour less in the cinema, and this film would have been a far more memorable one.

3.0
0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

Defiance has some genuine strengths but also some weaker elements, and these opposing traits battle it out kind of the way the contentious Bielskis fought not only the Germans but each other.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

That butting of heads, as performed by actors as strong and soulful as Craig and Schreiber, lends Defiance an emotional charge, even as the film itself struggles dramatically to find its way out of those woods.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

An amazing true tale is somewhat diminished by second-hand storytelling: entirely admirable, largely entertaining, and yet curiously hollow.

3.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

A potentially exceptional story is told in a flatly unexceptional manner.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

“Jews don’t fight!” mutters a Red Army soldier. “These Jews do!” says another admiringly. Great pitch, largely undone by stilted, solemn direction.

2.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Defiance presents itself as an explicit correction of the cultural record, a counterpoint to all those lachrymose World War II tales of helplessness and victimhood. This is a perfectly honorable intention, but the problem is that, in setting out to overturn historical stereotypes of Jewish passivity, Mr. Zwick (who co-wrote the screenplay with Clayton Frohman) ends up affirming them.

0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

The best performance, because it's more nuanced, is by Liev Schreiber. His Zus Bielski is more concerned with the big picture, more ideological, more driven by tactics.

0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

Interesting tale with good performances but lacks emotional punch.

3.0
0
Newshub

Newshub

press

At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, I say again, a tighter edit with half an hour less in the cinema, and this film would have been a far more memorable one.

3.0
0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

Defiance has some genuine strengths but also some weaker elements, and these opposing traits battle it out kind of the way the contentious Bielskis fought not only the Germans but each other.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

That butting of heads, as performed by actors as strong and soulful as Craig and Schreiber, lends Defiance an emotional charge, even as the film itself struggles dramatically to find its way out of those woods.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

An amazing true tale is somewhat diminished by second-hand storytelling: entirely admirable, largely entertaining, and yet curiously hollow.

3.0
0

2's

Enjoyable but not exceptional movie. They could have done more with the original story which is exceptional. The film rolls like two connected stories - a before and after - and the main storyline does in fact split into two parallel lines at about the same point. The performances of the two leads, Liev Schreiber and Daniel Craig, are the better for...

4.0
0

great and inspiring

Once you get over the fact that Daniel Craig is not James Bond or and English Drug runner, this is an excellent movie. I thouroughly enjoy movies that inspire, entertain and educate you, and this one does all three. (remember it is Hollywood so dont take it as a literal history lesson)

5.0
0

Bloody brilliant!

It might not be perfect, but it certainly has a lot going for it, informative, historically, captivating and emotional. Go to it.

5.0
0

Fantastic, and different

I loved this movie as it provided a unique insight into the ultimate victims of WW2, how they thought, their hardships, and extreme prejudice. But this film also told a tale of triumph, and expressed how if people think in a positive way (i.e. "we will die trying to live, that is what is human..."), they can make the most out of a horrendous situation and...

5.0
0

My review

Gah, mashed the keyboard by accident and it went through. continued - that the community had built than with the Nazi's. I liked the moral dilemma between Tuvia (Craig), who just wanted to take enough food from the surrounding villages to survive and Zus (Schrieber) who was hungry for blood and revenge over the death of his family and friends. Def...

4.0
0

Excellent WW2 drama

I loved this film, both Craig and Schrieber were great as the two brothers and Daniel Bell impressed me too. I always think to myself that there are too many WWII movies, risking overkill then one comes along like this and blows me away. I had never heard of this story before the movie and it's almost too crazy to believe - 1,200 people surviving in the...

4.0
0