Defiance (15)

Film

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Jan 6 2009

After ‘Glory’ and ‘The Last Samurai’, Zwick stays firmly in his comfort zone with another tale of plucky outsiders forced into military service. This time it’s the Bielski brothers, leaders of a group of Belorussian Jews who hid in the woods during the Nazi occupation.

Clearly relishing the opportunity to do more than smirk and shoot people, Daniel Craig frowns and shoots people as  older brother Tuvia, who attempts to hold the  community together while sibling Zus (Liev Schreiber) heads off to join the partisans. It’s an extraordinary tale, fully deserving of the hefty Hollywood treatment. The Bielskis sheltered anyone and everyone, even going so far as to liberate a nearby ghetto.

Which only makes Zwick’s  predictable treatment of the material more frustrating. His films have always been trad Hollywood, with more old-school style than actual substance. ‘Defiance’ doesn’t even have style, hemmed in by its forest setting and photographed with an unremittingly bland colour palette. The action sequences are perfunctory and confusing, full of smoke and fury, acting to force the story forward rather than set the pulse racing. The film ties itself in knots trying to be both  historical account and ripping adventure – ‘Schindler’s List’ by way of ‘The Dirty Dozen’. In the end neither aspect satisfies, resulting in a drab if  diverting Sunday afternoon spectacle.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jan 9, 2009

Duration:

137 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:18
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|41
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Allan Granovsky

Thank god for this movie.The truth about Germans and their crimes and the people or things that sided with them.The more this is shown that jewish people killed those animals when they found the guns. I do not like germans and hope they are repaid.

Allan Granovsky

Thank god for this movie.The truth about Germans and their crimes and the people or things that sided with them.The more this is shown that jewish people killed those animals when they found the guns. I do not like germans and hope they are repaid.

Nick

Just below "The Pianist" in my opinion but should be ranked up there with that movie in one of the better holocoust movies. People who say they couldnt follow the story either are uninteligent or just didnt pay attention.

Nick

Just below "The Pianist" in my opinion but should be ranked up there with that movie in one of the better holocoust movies. People who say they couldnt follow the story either are uninteligent or just didnt pay attention.

billy

Absolutely excellent film. We were gripped from start to finish. Incredible story of how the human spirit will not be broken even in the most dreadful situations.

billy

Absolutely excellent film. We were gripped from start to finish. Incredible story of how the human spirit will not be broken even in the most dreadful situations.

Tom

Oh what could have been. A superb (and true) story with two great lead actors and some great actions scenes. Shame the film failed to live up to its potential. With a confusing and obtuse plot and strangely awful diaglogue 'Defiance' fails where other Holocaust-movies succeeded. Had the reveal of the mass-graves been better placed or the character been given a clearer background, then maybe this film would have been a ground-breaker. But for a real top film stick to 'Schindler's List' or even the episode of 'Band of Brothers' in which the Holocaust is covered. Disappointing.

Adam

A great film. the best film ive ever seen,even more so that it is based on a true story makes it even better. it shows accuratly the treatment of the nazis to the jews. great film!!

Adam

A great film. the best film ive ever seen,even more so that it is based on a true story makes it even better. it shows accuratly the treatment of the nazis to the jews. great film!!

Emily Colbourne

Abolutely brilliant and I would highly recommend it. It is an historical film telling the true life story of how the Bielski brothers (played by Craig, Bell and Schreiber) saved hundreds of lives of Jews from the Nazis. It is 2 and 1/4 hours but you do not notice the length at all as it is so compelling. It is very moving in parts and I think that it is an important historical piece of history that we should remember so as to avoid such discrimination in the future. It is credit to Craig that he took on the role of Tuvia. I actually thought he was better in this than Bond! I dragged my boyfriend to see this film and he rated it as excellent too, really enjoying all the fight scenes.

Emily Colbourne

Abolutely brilliant and I would highly recommend it. It is an historical film telling the true life story of how the Bielski brothers (played by Craig, Bell and Schreiber) saved hundreds of lives of Jews from the Nazis. It is 2 and 1/4 hours but you do not notice the length at all as it is so compelling. It is very moving in parts and I think that it is an important historical piece of history that we should remember so as to avoid such discrimination in the future. It is credit to Craig that he took on the role of Tuvia. I actually thought he was better in this than Bond! I dragged my boyfriend to see this film and he rated it as excellent too, really enjoying all the fight scenes.

Lee

A Compelling, true story. The most important factor, shown at the end is how many lives have developed from those who were saved. There were so many willing to a accept the hope that the work camps were only that. The Russian anti-semitism comes through even today as shown in some of the reviews here talking about the Palastinians, where by the way Hamas, like the Nazis, are trying to kill the Jews. those who sympathize with Hamas are no better .

Lee

A Compelling, true story. The most important factor, shown at the end is how many lives have developed from those who were saved. There were so many willing to a accept the hope that the work camps were only that. The Russian anti-semitism comes through even today as shown in some of the reviews here talking about the Palastinians, where by the way Hamas, like the Nazis, are trying to kill the Jews. those who sympathize with Hamas are no better .

Sam

Time Out have missed the point completely. This was an excellent historical account of a true story. Beautiful cinematography contrasts with the extreme hardship that these people obviously endured. At the end I was left with an overwhelming hope that neither I nor my family ever have to exprience living in fear like this. Well acted and thoroughly thought provoking. The desired result I should think.....................

Sam

Time Out have missed the point completely. This was an excellent historical account of a true story. Beautiful cinematography contrasts with the extreme hardship that these people obviously endured. At the end I was left with an overwhelming hope that neither I nor my family ever have to exprience living in fear like this. Well acted and thoroughly thought provoking. The desired result I should think.....................

usman khawaja

a distant dalliance devoid of drama- craig is a superstar but his choices of wanting to be diverse are rather drab ,non dramatic and dubiously produced endeavours in between the bond epics , this is well meaning so called true account of 3 brothers in byelorussia who were clever enough to fight the nazis rather then be slaughtered like asteer in a slaughter house like some other souls , but where is the script and what about characterisation of real life persons , everything is so well defined like a child making a sketch in a nursery on a fill me in draw book . you are either black or white and there are the customary communal problems in a frozen forest with wolves and food rationing , the action is poorly staged and it looks worse the the 50s b movies , which is amazing since danny boys got loads of clout to get cash . no body impresses with their act and liev schreiber sleep walks while craig looks like he was rehearsing here for solace with a morose face , thewomen are a waste of time and space and have nothing to do but cook or court the brave men . if it is a tribute to the bravery of bieleskys then indeed it is well meaning but very limp cinema and anyway it maes you wonder why the other 6 million did not follow their example as indeed they seemed to make this look pragmatic and not that hard a task too . aphorism -god helps those who helps themselves but daniel craig needs a director and a script too-when he is bondless as well . better luck next time but a definite improvising on flashbacks of fool -that was too foolhardy to tolerate ,

An administrator

I am yet to see the film. However, in response to 'A doctor', I don't feel that an incorrect prescription for Typhus will have too much of an impact on how much I do (or don't) enjoy the film...may be just me though.

Rhonda

Extremely moving film. Well told and lots for people to learn from. Not my kind of film but I thoroughly enjoyed it.. Makes you realise what oher families at war have to continue going through, even today. Not much has changed. Very well portrayed.

Rhonda

Extremely moving film. Well told and lots for people to learn from. Not my kind of film but I thoroughly enjoyed it.. Makes you realise what oher families at war have to continue going through, even today. Not much has changed. Very well portrayed.

alby

a good story plenty of action a must for any historians out there, acting was good staging of battles well done we really enjoyed every minute well done

alby

a good story plenty of action a must for any historians out there, acting was good staging of battles well done we really enjoyed every minute well done

Andy Mandleberg

its just, is defiance really a film? or is it just a 1930's chintown library poster, we all need to ask each other these questions. ive never ever been related to a horse, people have called me a homo or a gay jonny, i dont take no notice to them, im a strong inner cell, my idol is ron jeremy and can kiss his pack-age. i will have to agree with belinda because she is very truthful by the sounds of things. giraffes dont kill people rappers do.

Andy Mandleberg

its just, is defiance really a film? or is it just a 1930's chintown library poster, we all need to ask each other these questions. ive never ever been related to a horse, people have called me a homo or a gay jonny, i dont take no notice to them, im a strong inner cell, my idol is ron jeremy and can kiss his pack-age. i will have to agree with belinda because she is very truthful by the sounds of things. giraffes dont kill people rappers do.

Kenneth Podmore

I went to see the film yesterday with big Gav and i personally agree with belinder this film is about as good as thumbin a softy. however, when we had our little disscussion about the film over a brandy, Big Gav seemed to oppose my view. i argued with Gav late into the night before a took a kitchen utensil and stabbed him in the heart.

Kenneth Podmore

I went to see the film yesterday with big Gav and i personally agree with belinder this film is about as good as thumbin a softy. however, when we had our little disscussion about the film over a brandy, Big Gav seemed to oppose my view. i argued with Gav late into the night before a took a kitchen utensil and stabbed him in the heart.

belinda marcus

This film sucked, it was about as good clamidia, and the village swings are better than this wispering eye film. I havent seen the film yet but im making a very strong assumption

belinda marcus

This film sucked, it was about as good clamidia, and the village swings are better than this wispering eye film. I havent seen the film yet but im making a very strong assumption

Jeb

I thought it was about as good as cloverfield, but even though craig acted superbly he didnt change from being the incredible hunk , my best friend the lurch, works at a pub

Dominic

I cannot understand why this film is getting slated so much. I thought it was outstanding, extremely moving and powerful. The performances from Craig, Schrieber and bell were all superb. Craig escaping from bond displayed what a great actor he is showing the struggles tuvia had to deal with and the heartbreaking decisions he had to make . Schrieber who i hadnt seen much of previously was equally as impressive. The film and its performances are all deserving of oscar nominations.

Dominic

I cannot understand why this film is getting slated so much. I thought it was outstanding, extremely moving and powerful. The performances from Craig, Schrieber and bell were all superb. Craig escaping from bond displayed what a great actor he is showing the struggles tuvia had to deal with and the heartbreaking decisions he had to make . Schrieber who i hadnt seen much of previously was equally as impressive. The film and its performances are all deserving of oscar nominations.

Jonno

I love movie stories of WW2 and I found this one to have a lot of great action but Daniel Craig being German, didnt fool me!!!

Jonno

I love movie stories of WW2 and I found this one to have a lot of great action but Daniel Craig being German, didnt fool me!!!

roman

Can not quite agree with the critique by Tom Huddleston. The style of the film set in forest with a bland colour palete...well guess that illustrates that hanging out in forest in Belarus is not a weekend in Tuscany. The "action scenes" are indeed perfunctory since they are not really there to entertain or excite but just to give an impression of the conflict, the danger and moral issues that this group of people faced. Would recommend this movie as a thought provoking and moving rendition of a historical event. I left the cinema moved by the acts of the persons described in the movie who without ever intending to ended up, not giving in and inspiring many others to resist and survive.

roman

Can not quite agree with the critique by Tom Huddleston. The style of the film set in forest with a bland colour palete...well guess that illustrates that hanging out in forest in Belarus is not a weekend in Tuscany. The "action scenes" are indeed perfunctory since they are not really there to entertain or excite but just to give an impression of the conflict, the danger and moral issues that this group of people faced. Would recommend this movie as a thought provoking and moving rendition of a historical event. I left the cinema moved by the acts of the persons described in the movie who without ever intending to ended up, not giving in and inspiring many others to resist and survive.

Mikka

It's a worthwhile mixed bag of a movie - looks wonderful, some striking scenes - especially one with a wolf - and all that superior male acting. Subtlety, irony, perspective -not. Entertainment with as much thought as you can bring to it yourself, yes. Worth the bucks.