In the post-WWII era, there were a lot of stories to be told on the big screen. And, as seen here, they didn't all have to revolve around the war itself.
Once in a while, something comes along that absolutely knocks the wind out of you in a way that you're thankful for.
The idea of an adult using a loophole to enter a children's national spelling bee is funny enough, especially when you go into it knowing it has an R rating.
This is a film that stands the test of time, with themes as relevant now as they will ever be.
The dialogue is raw and real, the struggles grounded and impactful, and the characters fleshed-out and believable. All around, I had a great time watching this.
This takes the "dumb young people vs hillbillies in the woods" trope and turns it completely on its ear, to wonderful results.
This is heralded by many as one of the greatest Westerns ever filmed, and since I grew up watching a lot of John Wayne movies, I had to finally cross this one off my list.
It's not interested in being the typical kind of war story, choosing instead to dive deep into deeper issues of human behavior, duty, honor, and the greater social order.
Ever see a movie and wonder how it got funded? For me, this is one of those.
At only 85 minutes, it is a total breeze that doesn't outstay its welcome and produces genuine laughter the entire time.
To call it depressing for most of its 150 minutes is a fair assessment, but it makes the finale more rewarding. And, really, how uplifting can we expect a prison movie to be?
This was an excellent two hour look at humanity through the lens of something decidedly inhuman and I really enjoyed not only watching the thrilling ride but thinking about its deeper implications.
This is a certified classic and a worthy remake of its source.
Speaking volumes about the nature vs nurture debate and inviting you to think deeply on the subject, it's the kind of emotionally-wrecking film that will be difficult to revisit, but demands to be appreciated.