The Thin Red Line

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20th Century Fox Released 1999

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Movie Summary

Director:
Terrence Malick
Released:
1999
Rating:
R
The Thin Red Line is a 1998 war drama from director Terrance Malik. The film tells the story of a company of American soldiers in the Pacific theater of World War II. It portrays the young men of Army Rifle Company C embroiled in a struggle with the Japanese over a strategic asset in Guadalcanal: an airfield critical to the Japanese advance in the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. Military expects these men to lay down their lives in this pursuit; the Japanese forces make sure that they will all get a chance. Throughout terrible conditions, the men form powerful bonds and help each other cope with the horrors of war. Malik assembles an accomplished ensemble cast to capture the various experiences of the lives of the men of Company C. Each brings his own perspective to the conflict: including Corporal Geoffrey Fife (Adrian Brody), pessimistic Sergeant Edward Welsh (Sean Penn), and love-struck dreamer Private Robert Witt (Jim Caviezel).

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    An art film to the core. If it's an epic, it's an intimate, dream-time epic, an elliptical, episodic film, dependent on images and reveries, that treats war as the ultimate nightma...

  • 80

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Like a Rousseau painting splattered with carnage of warfare.

  • 70

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    One more film that could have been helped by excising repetition and focusing performances, but it wanders almost randomly instead. The heart-piercing moments that punctuate its ra...

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    Themes

    Military & War