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REVIEW — “Unbroken”

The most uninspiring “inspirational” movie you’ll see this year!  At least it’s visually appealing.


Angelina Jolie’s third directorial run promises an “Unbelievable True Story” about “survival, resilience, and redemption.”  But in reality, it’s difficult to pick out what makes it any different from the stories of all the other brave men who survived Japanese POW camps during WWII.  The only thing that seems to set the main character, Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell), apart from all the other prisoners is that he was an Olympic runner (who placed 8th).  This is more a tale of stubbornness and waiting for the war to end, which doesn’t rouse any feelings of inspiration.


Another highly advertised aspect of the film is that the screenplay was written by Joel & Ethan Coen, the genius brothers behind such greats as “No Country for Old Men”, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, and “Fargo.”  Unfortunately, this is by far their most mainstream and bland screenplay.  It feels so sanitized of flavor that it doesn’t belong in the same category as any of their existing work.  Perhaps the other two credited screenwriters had something to do with that?


The very best element of this movie is the crisp visuals.  It’s the only thing that keeps the film from sinking into obscurity.  It should be noted that Jolie employed Roger Deakins to work as her Cinematographer.  Deakins is famous for his striking visuals on many great films including “Skyfall”, “The Shawshank Redemption”, “The Big Lebowski”, and a number of others.  His talent and skill shines through the rest of “Unbroken’s” mediocrity.


A shameless Oscar grab, that falls short in nearly every way, there’s really no reason to see “Unbroken” unless you are a fan of Deakins’ work.

3 out of 5 Stars

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