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Hart's War (Widescreen)

Bruce Willis , Colin Farrell , Gregory Hoblit    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
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Willis/Farrell/Howard/Hauser/Iures ~ Hart's War

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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars The Plot Successfully Escaped July 16 2004
HART'S WAR had potential. The last months of World War Two as a backdrop with demoralized GI's crammed into an overcrowded POW compound. If this picture was soley about the hardships endured by surrendered soldiers during the Battle of the Bulge, then it could have had a chance. Instead the film makers took on too many plots and subplots. Unintentionally the movie borrows from SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE, A SOLDIER'S STORY, THE GREAT ESCAPE and STALAG 17. A cardinal rule in war films is that the premise has to be simple. In HART'S WAR we find some good elements lost in a virtual Mulligan stew. In the story Colin Farrell's character, a rear echelon lawyer, accompanies another officer on what he thinks is a joyride. Unfortunately for Farrell, the Germans have launched their attack in the Ardennes. The young lawyer is captured, harshly interrogated, and finally shipped out to a German stalag. There he meets the senior POW officer, played by Bruce Willis, and tries to settle down in the dirty and uncomfortable life of a POW. A soldier is killed and a recently downed Tuskegee airman is accused of murder. Yes, you guessed it. Farrell takes on the aviator's defense during the subsequent courts martial. If director Gregory Hoblit left the storyline to develop around the trial a decent film could have emerged. Instead we have additions of Colonel Hart's unexplained behavior, an mass tunnel escape plot, sabotage and the German Commandant's attempt to befriend the American lawyer as superfluous baggage.
HART'S WAR was filmed in the Czech Republic, no doubt to cut costs. A little more effort and a lot less story and this film would have had a better showing at the box office. Still, if you enjoy war movies you should probably add this DVD to your collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars COLIN'S MOVIE May 17 2004
Colin Farrell is an amazing actor. In the few years since he burst on the scene in TIGERLAND, he has given us marvelous performances in films such as MINORITY REPORT, PHONE BOOTH, and THE RECRUIT. In HART'S WAR, it is heart and fierce performance that drives this well executed film. Director Gregory Hoblit (Fallen, Frequency) has orchestrated a tense, inspiring and suspenseful look at men in war. Bruce Willis also stars as Colonel McNamara, a man whose intense desire to be at war obscures his humanity and morality. Terence Howard as Lt. Scott, accused of murdering a bigoted soldier, is also brilliant in his uncompromising performance. Howard never overdoes the prejudice he faces, and is truly moving in his speech about the German POWs treatment in Alabama as compared to African-Americans. Marcel Iuries as the German commandant gives a multi-layered performance of a man driven to exert his power and yet commiserate on the agonies of war. The rest of the cast, including Sam Jaeger (Fisk) and Cole Hauser (Brendon) are perfect. The cinematography, music and editing are likewise top notch, and HART'S WAR provides us a searing, heartbreaking look at the power of honor and justice. And again shows us what a truly versatile actor COLIN FARRELL has turned out to be.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the packaging; this is an enjoyable drama March 15 2004
By A Customer
With Bruce Willis' name first on the cover, and his big mug looming up front, I was expecting this film to be 'Die Hard' meets 'Hogan's Heroes.' You know, 'Bruce Willis is Joe Hart, kicking some Nazi 'behind' behind enemy lines, waging his own private little war - Hart's war!' But the packaging does a great disservice to the film.
First of all, Willis isn't even Hart; he's an important but sparingly used character. Colin Farrell is Hart, and he, Willis, and Howard give fine performances in this serious drama which is more about racism, cowardice, and the hypocrisies within and between otherwise good men, rather than being about gunplay. The heroics in this film are on a more subtle level.
Some here have called this film historically innaccurate. That may strictly be true, but the spirit rather than the letter of the script is what's important. And when you know the true stories of WWII, truth is certainly stranger than fiction; if I were told that this WAS based on a true story, I'd have believed it. It's less crazy than a lot of films that ARE based on fact!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly Good WWII POW film!! Jan. 19 2004
This movie came and went relatively quickly at the theaters. I was skeptical to watch it. I finally rented this film and what a treat. I am a big fan of WWII films. As far as POW films go this was on par with STALAG 17 and THE GREAT ESCAPE. The camp seemed have the same layout as the two movies I mentioned above but the buildings seemed to be worn down and more in line with what a prison camp would be like. I've spent time in Norway. It seems that you are always in the shadow of some mountain and it creates a dark depressing atmosphere. I thought the way the director captured the dark winter was just right.
I'm not a big fan of Colin Farrell but thought he did a fine job as did all the actors. Bruce Willis has worked hard to shed his action image and it has paid off. For a movie just over 2 hours I think it does quite well to include a murder mystery, racial confrontations, prison escape and a courtroom drama. This film is well worth a view! I may try and get the book the film is based on and read it.
The DVD offers good special features. A decent commentary with an actor, director and production staff member, trailers and a documentary. All in all this is a good film that received good attention from the DVD producers.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you
I had no luck finding Hart's War in the stores so was grateful to be able to order it from Amazon. As my previous experiences it arrived quickly with good packaging. Read more
Published on Nov. 13 2011 by Emma
2.0 out of 5 stars Where's the history?
A movie based on WW2 backdrop should at least remain somewhat historical in it's context. The implausible storyline, added with a hyped up propaganda laced motif makes for one... Read more
Published on June 5 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Stalag 13 - up close & personal
Well, not really Stalag 13, but the situations reminded me of the TV series. But the racism got to this redneck cowboy who stopped looking at color years ago. Read more
Published on June 3 2004 by jackroberts49
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Ending
This movie has one of the best endings and definitely the most surprise one I've ever seen in any movie. Read more
Published on April 28 2004 by Jason
3.0 out of 5 stars It was worth seeing...
I enjoyed the movie & I'm glad I saw it. I haven't decided yet if it's a keeper or not. I expected there to be more action then there was. Read more
Published on April 24 2004 by ThisThatNEverything
2.0 out of 5 stars Starts out with a bang, but....
then incredibly lapses into a "Oh, feel sorry for da black man" flick.
I'm sorry people, but this is nothing but more brainwashing coming out of the propaganda... Read more
Published on Feb. 1 2004 by Ghenghis
3.0 out of 5 stars Hogans Heroes collides with JAG...
Well, why not get the positives out of the way first. I thought Id brought home a good even great one after the stunning 'Battle of the Bulge' jeep-scene and chase in the opening... Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by patrick
2.0 out of 5 stars DISAPPOINTING !
Ok the actors are good but I expected something else.In this movie, the German soldiers and officers are just too kind ! Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2003 by Guiglou
1.0 out of 5 stars Preposterous premise/disturbing message
Am I the only one disturbed by the concept of a Nazi Commander teaching a bunch of racist Americans the meaning of honor and racial equality in 'Hart's War'? Read more
Published on Oct. 30 2003 by J. Eric Dietrich
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