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4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
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San Francisco architect Max Klein can see clearly now. He's been transformed ever since he stared death in the face - and discovered he was unafraid. Peter Weir (Witness) directs Fearless, the vivid story of how a near-death experience impacts the lives of three people. Jeff Bridges plays Max, more wildly alive and taking more risks than ever since surviving a plane crash. Isabella Rossellini is Laura, struggling to find in Max the man she married. And Rosie Perez, 1993 Academy Award nominee and Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago Film Critics Award winner as Best Supporting Actress, is fellow crash survivor Carla: alive, yet devastated by a grievous loss. It seems that no one can heal her pain. But then she meets the one person who fearlessly knows how.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
There are directors making movies of modern cinema, and then there's Peter Weir. Here's a guy who has never gotten the commercial success of Spielberg, the artistic raves of Kubrick, but equals or surpasses them on so many levels. Case in point: Fearless, another great film in a slew of great Weir films that takes a genre and doesn't necessarily break from it but explores it in unexpected ways. The subject of choice is an airplane crash, of which Max Klein (Jeff Bridges, lacking a deserved Oscar nom for this one) is one of a few dozen survivors. While many would be racked with grief (he lost his best friend and business partner), Klein experienced an epiphany of peace and bravery that carries through his experiences post-crash as well. We've seen things of this vein so many times that I thought I knew where Fearless was going, but at each end I was surprised. I expected romantic subplots and the like, but Weir holds the film with a knowing, masterful grace that he fully concentrates into the character Bridges plays.
Fearless is less an exploration of grief than it is simply an intense look at the entire world of someone whose life is nearly taken. Rosie Perez receieved an Oscar nomination for her great work as a fellow survivor whom Max befriends, but the movie veers away from melodrama and woe-is-me theatrics even with them, instead showing what comfort we find among those who share our trauma. And Fearless never always seems like it's like the movie it appears to be, proof again of Weir's incredible talent of looking at a theme from another angle (what made Master and Commander an intimate character drama and not a mindless actioner). So much territory is covered in the film, yet it never seems dense, and the catharsis at the end is a payoff like none other.
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4.0 out of 5 stars BRIDGES FALLING DOWN July 2 2004
Masterful director Peter Weir helms this story of a man who survives a plane crash, and hangs on to his newfound fearlessness to help others, while basically destroying himself. Jeff Bridges gives a riveting performance, one of his best, in the role of Max Klein. Before the crash, Max lived in a world like others, afraid of flying, and a victim of strawberry allergies. He becomes a hero as he seemingly saves the lives of several other survivors; one little boy is so taken with Bridges that he continues to visit him after the traumatic experience. Rosie Perez won an oscar nomination and deservedly so for her role as Carla, a young mother who blames herself for her little baby's death in the crash. Isabella Rosselini, as beautiful as ever, plays Bridges wife who tries to bring him back into the real world he so seemingly willingly left behind. Tom Hulce plays their lawyer, a good performance, one that makes you like him rather than find him repulsive. John Turturro as a grief counselor is excellent in a small but well developed role. Benicio del Toro merely fills the space as Perez' opportunistic husband; Deirde O'Connell as the widow of Bridges' partner is startingly effective.
FEARLESS moves at a slow pace, and I found myself getting angry with Bridges for neglecting his family to help Perez. The strawberry ending while definitely effective is also a tad too perfect in how it resolves Bridges' crisis.
But even with its flaws, FEARLESS is an unusual and moving film, heightened by the wonderful performances of its cast.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most life-affirming films ever made April 23 2004
"Fearless" is one of those great movies I decided to watch without any expectations. And I was absolutely floored, not only by the storyline, but by the letter-perfect performances, particularly Jeff Bridges (who is under-rated in general, never more so than here) and Rosie Perez (probably her best-ever performance). This film is second only to Kieslowski's "Three Colours: Red" in my all-time favorites. Both the opening and ending scenes are haunting, heartbreaking, and at the same time, fill you with a kind of hope based on the actions of certain characters. The ending scene, for me, is one of the great single scenes of the movies, and could reduce the most stoic man to tears. If you've never seen this film, you really are missing out on something truly special. I almost forgot about what could be the pivotal scene of the film: where Bridges tries to help Perez come to terms with her guilt by strapping her into the back seat of his sedan, placing a fire extinguisher into her arms, then taking off full speed in the sedan towards a brick wall while "Where The Streets Have No Name" by U2 plays on the soundtrack. The combination is flawless and absolutely heart-wrenchingly human. This movie is just crying out for the Criterion treatment, as the pan & scan version of the current DVD is the only flaw. Don't miss it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece Feb. 6 2004
By TommyT
Without going into any deep philosophical ponderings, let's just say that if you do not come to the end of this film without being emotionally gutted from head to toe, there's something wrong. Max Klein's (Jeff Bridges) near-death-experience aboard a doomed aircraft becomes marital death for wife Laura (Isabella Rossellini) as he transcends into a ecstatic state of invulnerabilty to a lifetime shackled by fear. Carla (Rosie Perez), whose despondence is due to the death of her infant son in the same crash, is mentored by the eccentric sensibilities that liberate him from his past. Unfortunately, this liberation includes his relationship with Laura, who struggles to re-connect with a husband whose experience she only relates to as the near-death victim of a doomed marriage.
Peter Weir could have trimmed some scenes here and there to assist with the pace, but the emotional payoff of the final sequence makes the long trip worth your while. "Fearless" conveys the axiom that vulnerability and weakness is the common
thread of all mankind. Separated by invincible courage, Max Klein is dead to his loved ones, and must be brought back to life.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It�ll make you think
Fearless will make you weep but most of all it'll make you think. Career performances from Jeff Bridges and Rosie Perez.
Published on March 6 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars "Fearless" Requires a Patient Viewer
What happens when a man is fearless at the moment of his death? Fearless is the dramatization of the inner conflict created from facing tragic death and living through the... Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2004 by Jason Kantz
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films ever made
So emotionally raw that that watching this movie will exhaust you. Be prepared to live through a plane crash. Peter Weir is a genius.
Published on Jan. 30 2004 by Jean
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer Excellence
One of the greatest films ever made, hands down.
Delves deeper in philosophy and normal life than ever before. Read more
Published on Dec 13 2003 by GJJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Peerless
"Fearless" begins with one of the best opening sequences ever: a dishevelled man steps between rows of corn in a cornfield. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2003 by Rich Stoehr
5.0 out of 5 stars If for no other reason...
...see this film for it's haunting score and the film's coda, which, in my opinion, has the most memorable plane crash sequence in film. Absolutely emotionally devastating. Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2003 by E. FREYMUTH
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good
Jeff Bridges is one of my favorite actors, and in this movie he gets a more unusual role than most, playing a man beset by survivor guilt after he miraculously survives a plane... Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2003 by Magellan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterful Drama
This is an exceptionally poignant drama, with a truly powerful and emotionally moving script and fine performances from the cast. Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2003 by Paarko Seitaar
5.0 out of 5 stars I created the 3D graphics scene for nutty nicks
So, obviously I am a bit biased. But this is a movie I have returned to several times over the years. Read more
Published on June 26 2003 by RJB
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