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

Streaming (2 Providers)

Defiance / Reviews

Variety

Variety

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

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Total Film

Total Film

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

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The New York Times

The New York Times

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.

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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

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.

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New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

Interesting tale with good performances but lacks emotional punch.

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Newshub

Newshub

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.

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Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

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.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

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.

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

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

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