Hidden Gems: The Thin Red Line

The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick, 1998)

I finally got around to watching this movie after waiting for the perfect 3-hour block of my life to devote to it.  It was definitely worth the investment.  It came out the same year as Saving Private Ryan, so it was criminally overlooked, but it is quite simply one of the greatest war movies ever made.  The impressive cast boasts names like Penn, Travolta, Brody, Clooney, Cusack, Leto, Caviezel, Chaplin, Nolte, Harrellson, Koteas, Reilly and more.  Odds are that at least one of your favorite actors shows up at some point in this film.  The Thin Red Line is a tale of despair, horror and morality as seen through the eyes of its many characters during a single World War II battle in the South Pacific.  There is very little dialogue, but the haunting score and the multiple-character voiceovers provide a worthy soundtrack for stunning imagery that Malick places on the screen.  The nearly 2 hour-long battle sequence is one of the most involving and intense I have ever seen.  Malick masterfully captures the essence of the soldiers’ surroundings through his camera.  He firmly places the viewer in the tall grass, crawling alongside the characters in the film.  This film is true viewing experience.  After just a single viewing, The Thin Red Line has firmly established itself among my top 3 war films of all time with stalwarts like Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now.

Rating: 10/10

Woody Harrelson and Elias Koteas in "The Thin Red Line

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2 Responses to “Hidden Gems: The Thin Red Line”
  1. Frank says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I feel as if Malick is the American Kubrick. They aren’t just movies, they’re more philisophical, more deep then most films made. I give it a 10 as well.

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  1. […] in its most premium form.  You can read my thoughts on his 1998 masterpiece, The Thin Red Line here.  Here’s a couple more of his films.  I still haven’t seen his most recent film, The […]



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