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Angelina Jolie is a compassionate, committed, courageous force in the world of film; as an actor and director she shines in her professionalism and is worthy of the countless accolades she has garnished over the years.

Unfortunately, in “Unbroken” her judgment was slightly askew; she became too emotionally involved with Louis Zamperini (1917-2014); an Olympic runner, a hero whose tale of gargantuan fortitude and resolve deserved to be shared with the world; based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand (written by the Coen brothers, Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson) “Louie’s” WWII  “red badge of courage” was tortuously, tediously earned; 47 days adrift in the Pacific Ocean, before being captured by the Japanese, moves as if in real time; enormous, inhumane cruelty by “The Bird”  Japanese “Sergeant Watanabe” (intriguing, sexually erotic performance by Miyavi) pushed the barbaric bar beyond comprehension; sadistic persecution, redundantly abusive; absurdly, miraculously Louie survived; in the process of making the film he and Jolie developed a connection that admittedly changed their lives; his at the nadir, hers at the pinnacle.

Jack O’Connell gives a valiant, pugnacious spin to the young, truculent  Louie; he is devilishly likeable, admirable, especially in the “lost at sea scenes”; Jolie, a fine actor, recognizes the leeway and elasticity that a director must allow the individual in his interpretation; O’Connell superlatively passes.

Tirelessly beautiful to view, Jolie’s homage to Louis Zamperini tragically should have been cauterized at the 120 minute mark; too much of a savage dish to be digested at a solo sitting.

TWO & 1/2 STARS!!



  1. Unsurprisingly a film about someone being tortured is in fact torture to watch.

    • Jolie put him on a pedestal that he might have been worthy of but lost sight of her audience. Thanks, P.

      • I think so, she also lives a life where the abuse of power and the struggles of those caught u in that abuse are a big part of her mind set, her interest. It seemed to me that she lost sight of what filmmaking is actually about. By that I don’t mean to ‘entertain’ but to build a world and draw you in. I was not drawn in.

  2. I wanted this film to be a masterpiece….great human being, good book, admirable director.

    But it needed to be a bit more messy…not quite so tidy. I don’t need to see blood and gore…the soundtrack took care of that. It was too stylized and stilted in parts…too ‘pretty’. Nobody’s hair grew, mostly always clean shaven and often the background froze – especially the scenes at sea. He had no shoes (at sea) and then had well fitted ones. And there was no sense of time…apart from the 47 days at sea.

    Here in Jamaica audiences are hyper-critical and my audience laughed out loud at some of the dialogue. Hard to believe the Coens had anything to do with the script.

    • Excellent observations! Truthfully it should have been a mini-series; I was profoundly bored>
      Happy New Year! P.

    • Wow, excellent points all. Things like hair not growing/changing are the sort of subtle things that bother a viewer without their even realizing it (unless one is as observant as this commenter!); subtle, yet if too many things like that are a film they overwhelm its message.

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