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3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
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on January 18, 2002
Does the film deliver as entertainment? Yes. That is the bottom line. Does it deliver for historical accuracy? Well...pretty much.
I am glad the movie includes lesser known, real life characters and their exploits. Have to give the filmmakers credit for that. It also captures the real feel of the 40s, where travel and communications aren't like they are today. The scene where the nurses arrive at Pearl Harbor is great. They are wide-eyed in this place they had never seen or been to before. I thought that was a good touch.
Love story- lots of reviewers mention the cheesy love story. As a 36 yr old, I have no idea just how difficult relationships are in times of war. I thought PH actually did a good job portraying the conflict of feelings, and how one deals with the uncertainties of wartime romance. The phenomenal Battle of Britain scenes help keep the movie from bogging down until the immediate build up to the Pearl Harbor attack.
Glad it ends with the Doolittle Raid- that story deserves each and every opportunity to remind the world about those incredibly brave sailors and airmen. Also glad scenes of the Eagle Squadron at the Battle of Britain are included as a way to remember those brave american volunteer airmen that helped the British in their most desperate hour.
Remembering the film is entertainment...sit back and enjoy the aerial scenes and turn up the volume!
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on February 6, 2016
Another favorite that we have owned for years on VHS. We really enjoyed the quality of this on our new blu-ray player. Upgrading to a a blu-ray player and purchasing some of these old favorites has rekindled our love of movies. Amazon's selection, price and service is outstanding. We also find the bonus materials interesting and informative, often sending us off to google more information on these historic events.
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on December 27, 2012
They showed the true historical event on screen and the attack scenes were incredible and fantastic. Unfortunately,due to this attack, many innocent and brave Americans died but there were amazing people who kept on fighting back courageously. They were heros. This movie also shows the important things like love to your friends, loved ones,family and the Country. It was impressive.
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on December 15, 2011
I hear people talk about Pearl Harbor as though it were the worst film ever made. I didn't personally think it was that bad. It wasn't necessarily good, but it was entertaining in a very cheesy, hokey kind of way. There was some pretty terrible dialogue (Not anxious to die, just anxious to matter), a little too much focus on the love story and some consistency/accuracy issues (I had no idea that you could take a train from the US to London). I thought the acting was all right. Again, the writing was atrocious in some areas, but I think the actors made due. I don't think Cuba Gooding Jr. had a big enough role. I think the biggest redeeming thing for this film was the attack scene. I thought it was quite well done. The piloting, the effects, the stunts, I thought they did a great job recreating the actual attack, from what I've seen of footage and pictures. I wasn't there, so I can't speak to its accuracy, but it looked amazing on screen.

As for the DVD itself, it has a seperate disc with extras that are pretty entertaining and informative. They have behind the scenes features, about how things were shot, and they also have some historical pieces about Pearl Harbor.

I'd say it's worth picking up. Just perhaps keep your expectations in check.
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on December 31, 2004
In Pearl Harbor, the infamous attack on the Amercian naval fleet in 1941 forms the backdrop for an intriguing love triangle. Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett play best friends and pilots, while Kate Beckinsale is the woman they both love.
Despite the inevitable comparisons to Titanic, this historical drama -- more gritty than grand -- soars on its own. It features accomplished direction by Michael Bay, whose only miscalculation comes during the aftermath of the attack: the footage is blurred to accentuate the nurses' confusion, but good acting and editing would have sufficed. However, the attack scene alone is worth the price of admission, and it's an extraordinary feat to have outdone the impressive recreation depicted in the otherwise embarrassing Tora, Tora, Tora. The film also offers two riveting aerial battles, clever newsreel segments, stunning cinematography, and A+ sound. Hans Zimmer's score is both memorable and moving, but the theme song "There You'll Be" is no match for "My Heart Will Go On."
The script by Randall Wallace vividly captures an era of innocence and hope, and speaks of duty, determination, and courage. Though the Japanese are not portrayed as bloodthirsty villains, it leaves their motives to the history books. Unfortunately, there is an unnecessary and lengthy postscript that tries to prove America's superiority by detailing a retaliatory raid on Tokyo. Since we all know the U.S. triumphed in the end, the flag-waving should have been dispensed with -- indeed, it would have been more effective to end the film with the title assault.
Ben Affleck gets top billing, but he is clearly not ready for leading-man status; some of his facial expressions are laughably bad. Kate Beckinsale, though lovely, is rather weak as the female lead, but the charming Josh Hartnett carries the film. The massive supporting cast includes the other pilots and cadre of nurses, all of whom are delightful and interesting. Dan Aykroyd, Colm Feore and Cuba Gooding Jr. shine in their supporting roles, while both Alec Baldwin and Jon Voight give Oscar-worthy efforts as Jim Doolittle and Franklin D. Roosevelt respectively.
Pearl Harbor is a heart-wrenching motion picture with spectacular visuals. Suspenseful, shocking and tragic, it serves as a fitting tribute to that Day of Infamy, when a presumed Armageddon descended on paradise. Rating: 8 out of 10.
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on February 28, 2004
Disney looked at TITANIC and figured out a formula. Set a love story against the backdrop of an epic catastrophe and make a mountain of money. Unfortunately, the formula produced PEARL HARBOR.
The love story is beyond lame. The fly boy characters are leftover caricatures from TOP GUN. The beautiful nurse they fight over looks beautiful (and she is) but the script gives her nothing else to do. Ben Affleck looks at least ten years older than Josh Hartnett. The scene where a riled FDR rallies his war cabinet by rising from his wheelchair is bizarre and laughable. Casting Hollywood super-lib Alec Baldwin as WWII Jimmy Doolittle is insulting and borderline sacrilegious. The ending is ridiculous.
The 40-minute battle scene in middle of this mess is impressive but the rest is hackneyed and unbelievable. I'd heard that Disney, trying to cover all the bases, released a version to the Japanese that ended after the devastating attack--so they wouldn't be insulted if we reminded them we ultimately won WWII. No kidding. Every scene, every lame line appears crafted to make a buck.
The sad part is: the Vets deserved better.
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on June 15, 2003
Excellent movie. It features everything that makes up a good one, in fact. The planes were fast, the bullets were plentiful, and the explosions were loud.
"Pearl Harbor" tells the emotional story of December 7th, 1941, and the events that led up to and followed it, mainly from the point-of-view of Rafe and Danny, two friends that were stationed at Pearl. The attack scene was incredible, the effects were awesome. It felt like I was there. They showed everything, from the Zeros flying in, making their approach, to the deathly quiet burning debris after the attack. The whole attack scene must have been about 1 hour.
While the movie was excellent, there was an excessive, over-the-top love saga, if you will, that I believe the movie could have really done without. It took the focus off the main subject of the movie, which was Pearl Harbor if any of you couldn't figure that out. I suppose this love story was an attempt by Hollywood to turn a bloody war movie partially into a chick-flick so everyone could enjoy it.
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on June 14, 2003
What a waste of time! FDR's "Day Of Infamy" speech is without
a doubt one of the most famous speeches in U.S. history, and
yet the makers of the film "Pearl Harbor" couldn't even get
that part right? The war almost seemed to be a bother to the
producers of this film, who were obviously more interested
in the cheesy love story than anything that had to do with
what this film should have been about? Sure, the scenery was
pretty. And it's hard to argue with the impressive graphics
during the actual attack, although at times it took on more
of a video game look than actual movie scenes? But if our
superhero pilots weren't super enough, their transformation
from fighter pilots to B-25's so they could save the day in
the Doolittle Raid gave the film a comedy feel (hmmm, maybe
"Pearl Harbor" was MEANT to be a comedy?), as did the highly
funny scenes of love interest Kate Beckinsale getting a front
row seat to hear the radio play by play of the actual battle?
Do the words "radio silence" mean anything? I dont recall
the actual Doolittle Raiders talking plane to plane like that?
And wasn't it sweet of Josh Hartnett to fly air cover for pal
Ben Affleck once his B-25 went down? YEARIGHT! =) The bottom
line is that if you're looking for a cheesy love story, "Pearl
Harbor" fits the bill. But as a war movie or piece of U.S.
history, "Pearl Harbor" belongs in the "fiction" section. I'm
sorry you guys couldn't get it right..
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on June 13, 2003
This movie was not a complete waste as many people are putting it. It was a very good look at the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the attack we made on Heroshima(spelling?) afterwards. The only downfall of the movie was that it was 3 hours long, and for about an hour and 45 monutes, it is all about romance and relationships, which in my opinion, has nothing to do with Pearl Harbor. But I do understand why they through it in there. It was basicly to give the teenage girls something to watch(Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett) and the guys something to watch(the bombing and action scenes) But the movie all-in-all was not bad at all.
Directed by Michael Bay(Bad Boys, Bad Boys 2, Armageddon) he does a better than average job directing a piece of unforgetable history. And put together by the legendary producer Jery Bruckheimer and his team, who did all of those awesome action and suspense movies such as Con Air, Crimson Tide, Bad Boys, Bad Boys 2, Enemy Of The State, The Rock, Armageddon, Black Hawk Down, and many others. They definatly do not fail in putting together the story of Pearl Harbor.
This movie wasn't the greatest, and I will admit that the previews definatly conned a lot of people into seeing this movie by leaving out the fact that it had a HUGE romance plot to it, but in the end, the movie turned out to be succesful.
"PEARL HARBOR" runs for a little over 3 hours. It is rated PG-13 for strong war violence, language, some disurbing images of wounded people, and some sexuality.
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on May 31, 2003
Director Michael Bay breathes much needed new life into the war movie genre by making "Pearl Harbor" a crowd-pleasing musical in the tradition of the great MGM extravaganzas of the forties and fifties. Bay introduces colorful song and dance numbers into the Sunday morning tussle that welcomed America into WWII, and thereby turns what would otherwise be a pedantic history lesson into a popcorn-munching good time.

The film opens with the performance of the jaunty "Rots of Bombs". The Japanese pilots are quietly performing pre-attack calisthenics on the deck of a carrier when Admiral Yamamoto (Akio Mikuni) appears and begins a spirited, samba-tinged call and response. Jumping jacks turn into rumba dancing as Yamamoto sings out questions and the pilots merrily reply: "Who has bombs?/We have bombs/How many bombs?/Rots of bombs."
Back in Oahu, American pilots Dex and Dewey (Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett)share the affection of nurse Rhonda (Kate Beckinsale). The three are tangled in the afterglow of a night of tropical lovemaking when the attack begins. As they drive their jeep to the airfield, Affleck and Hartnett show off heretofore unheard vocal talent when they sing the haunting ballad "Snuggle Time", which includes: "When we kissed our baby bye-bye/We tasted last night's mai-tai./Now we've lost our morning mojo/Thanks to Admiral Tojo./We should be sandwiching our baby /But they're torpedoing our navy./There is no bigger crime/Than missing snuggle time."
The only misstep in "Pearl Harbor" is an ill-conceived hip-hop tune by Alec Baldwin as Lt. Jimmy Doolittle. Leading his squadron on a reprisal bombing of Japan, Baldwin flips his fighter cap around backwards and begins rapping: "Whacha bomb my homies for/It's disrespectful, doncha know?/Now I gotta even up the score/And jack some pain on Tokyo." It seems disingenuous that onboard the bombers are coolers of malt liquor.
Otherwise, "Pearl Harbor" combines the magic of Hollywood with the mirth of war. The seamless merging of rousing show tunes with exploding flight decks will leave you feeling proud and prickly. And what's Yamato with that?
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