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Hart's War (2002)

Bruce Willis , Colin Farrell , Gregory Hoblit  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Willis, Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard, Cole Hauser, Marcel Iures
  • Directors: Gregory Hoblit
  • Writers: Billy Ray, John Katzenbach, Terry George
  • Producers: Gregory Hoblit, Arnold Rifkin, David Foster, David Ladd
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Surround), French (Mono), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: July 9, 2002
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JKTP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,100 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hart's War" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Bruce Willis stars as an imprisoned officer who refuses to give up his fight to defeat the Nazis inthis "absorbing" (Roger Ebert) WWII adventure. Co-starring Colin Farrell (Minority Report) and packed with "crisp action sequences" (Los Angeles Times), Hart's War is a powerful and "stirring tribute to soldierly courage and honor" (L.A. Daily News). When Col. William McNamara (Willis) is stripped of his freedom in a German POW camp, he's determined to keep onfightingeven from behind enemy lines. Enlisting the help of a young lieutenant (Farrell) in a brilliant plot against his captors, McNamara risks everything on a mission to free his men and change the outcome of the war.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
I finally got around to watching this movie last night (after buying it for $4 on DVD a few weeks ago) and I can say I was very pleasantly surprised by it after reading so many negative reviews.

The Problem: This film was mareketed poorly - the trailers give an accurate idea of the content, but they give you the wrong impression as to the tone. Because Bruce Willis is in it, they chose to make it out to contain tons of action and heroic combat! They also chose to make it appear to be a Bruce Willis vehicle. Let me tell you, if you are renting or buying it for either of the above reasons, you will hate it! The "combat action" scenes are sparse (two scenes) and extremely short (though very exciting when they do occur. And Bruce Willis is really a supporting actor to Farrel - in fact, of the major characters, he probably has less screen time than anyone else, and is rarely seen outside of Farrel's perspective.

(Also, Americans seem to reject the idea that Nazis in an interrment camp could have had a shred of civility. Perhaps this film gave them a little too much credit - but I think that even as evil as they were, not all Nazis were inhuman brutes.)

The Good: So, the first thing you need to do is lay aside your expectation of a SAVING PRIVATE RYAN or GUNS OF NAVARONNE type movie. This is a drama! And it is a very good one. There are several layers to this story - one is that of Lt. Hart's (Colin Farrel) need for redemption after an early failure in the film. His assignment to defend the falsely accused marine gives him that chance. The main story is the trial of a marine who asserts he was framed for the murder of a fellow marine in the stockade.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A war story that defies credulity July 27, 2002
It is hard to imagine a more contrived story than this WWII POW film. There are just so many unrealistic plot elements that the story loses all credibility. Director Gregory Hoblit, ("Frequency", "Primal Fear") has delivered good dramatic films in the past, but this one simply loses its grip on reality. While the production values are excellent, Hoblit doesn't seem to notice or care that plot and the behavior of his characters range from inconsistent to implausible.
Take Colonel Werner Visser (Marcel Iures). The workup on him shows him to be evil, intolerant, cruel and autocratic and those are his nicer qualities. Then suddenly, for no reason we can discern, he develops a soft spot for Lt. Hart (Colin Farrell). This is a conniving, manipulative, hard hearted creature and just because he went to the same college as Hart, he becomes his avuncular advisor and benefactor. Let's get real here.
Yes, and I am sure they are going to send a lieutenant assigned to headquarters and privileged to strategic information, who has never been in combat, to shuttle another officer to the front lines so he can get captured and spill his guts to the enemy. That detail would have been given to a non commissioned officer with no exposure to such intelligence.
The one bright spot in this film is the acting of Colin Farrell. Farrell combines rugged good looks and excellent dramatic skills to bring this film whatever shred of credibility it has. He manages to make his character believable, despite the unbelievable nature of everything that is going on around him. Bruce Willis gets top billing in this film, but doesn't log 20% of the screen time that Farrell commands.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasing But Improbable War Film! September 10, 2002
This is another in a series of recent films that seem to be less interested in plot plausibility than with getting a great ensemble cast together to spin a decent yarn. For me the problems with the plot here really strain the credibility of everything else, and although I liked the performance of all concerned, I found myself impatient at points because it all seemed far too contrived. Having said this, the acting is uniformly good, and I found that to be the one redeeming feature of the film.
Colin Farrell is especially good here, and acting out the title role lends credibility and verve to the film. Likewise, Marcel Lures does a good job convincing us he is indeed an evil and manipulative Camp Commander. Bruce Willis is also terrific as the by-the-book West Point graduate and Prisoner Commander who must decide whether or not to intercede to save Hart from his existential situation. Given his willingness to let one man die for the good of many, the choice he must make is by no means a foregone conclusion.
The action sequences are extremely well choreographed and photographed, and while the plot reels from happenstance to happenstance all too conveniently to be believed, the film is entertaining and intriguing in bringing up social issues one does not ordinarily think about in terms of the Second World War. While this isn't intended as a serious drama, it is a good action flick that will keep you entertained if you don't allow the potboiler plot to get in the way. Enjoy!
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26 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Read the book, miss the movie June 24, 2002
I really enjoyed John Katzenbach's novel about a murder trial set in a German POW camp during World War II. The story moved well with good, three dimensional, characters. I was excited when it was announced that the rights for the movie were sold.
I was somewhat apprehensive when it was announced that Bruce Willis was starring in the movie. This is not to say that I don't like Willis, just that there wasn't any character appropriate for him in the book... When I saw the trailer for the movie I was totally turned off by all the explosions. It appeared that a tight courtroom thriller was turned into "Die Hard". The trailer turned me off and I never went to see the film in the theatre.
I finally saw the movie this past week and I discovered that my apprehensions and refusal to see the movie in the theatre was right.
"Hart's war" is not a terrible movie - it's not great with good visuals and a comparatively weak plot (probably three stars). The problem is that the movie states that it "is based on" a great book and virtually none of the story was passed from the book to the film. Somewhere in the adaptation, Hart's character is no longer a drafted law student, there is suddenly _two_ black airmen (the book only has one) and the movie's story is more about hurting the German war effort - not about finding a murderer. None of these changes help the story and, to be honest, the movie's plot really doesn't make a lot of sense.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining and hearthy
Great movie, what else to say?
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. Patty Perez
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Well-Acted Drama
This movie is an excellent, and well-acted drama, not an action movie (although there is some action). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Barry
2.0 out of 5 stars Hart without heart
It is probably a better movie if you have never read the book. If you have read the book you will wonder why they changed so much in the movie - needlessly and really to the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by PRBuzz
2.0 out of 5 stars Made for Willis.
Not much of the original story from the book...Wrong hero even....Movie made for Bruce Willis....???? If I hadn't just read the book. I may have given one more star.
Published 3 months ago by Hal777
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie
This is such a great movie, I just had to have it! Bruce Willis and Collin Ferrel did an amazing job!
Published 6 months ago by Sarah
4.0 out of 5 stars Movie
This was ordered for my husbands movie collection that is still currently growing and will continue to over the next year
Published 7 months ago by Glenda Simshauser
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie.
I saw this movie many years ago and loved it. I saw it was available in digital form and had to buy it. For a war movie it is a good on. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sue
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice!
The movie is great, good story, good actors and interesting background story. You should watch it:) Bruce is great in the movie!
Published 7 months ago by Daniel J.
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, good movie
Amazon movie easy to play and more choices and more recent movies when we want
Compliments our Netflix subscription
Movie is very good.
Published 8 months ago by John P Herrmann
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
I got this for my dad for Christmas and we have watched everyday since Christmas. It is an older movie but the acting is pretty good.
Published 9 months ago by Erin Waters
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