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Based on an extraordinary true story, "Defiance" is an epic tale of family, honor, vengeance and salvation in World War II. The year is 1941 and the Jews of Eastern Europe are being massacred by the thousands. Managing to escape certain death, three brothers take refuge in the dense surrounding woods they have known since childhood. There they begin their desperate battle against the Nazis. The brothers turn a primitive struggle to survive into something far more consequential--a way to avenge the deaths of their loved ones by saving thousands of others. At first, it is all they can… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The way Zwick force-feeds his audience emotion becomes laborious."
‑ Ben Lyons, At the Movies
"It's understandable and laudable that they desire not to sensationalize the Bielskis, and they've made a worthy film. But their understated approach makes the struggle seem less urgent than it must surely have been."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"Zwick wants to tell timeless stories on a grand scale. I know that's not what people want anymore. I know it's not breathtaking. But it's not something many are doing now, and definitely not doing it this well."
‑ Will Leitch, Deadspin
"Defiance is heavy-handed, but emotionally compelling, engaging and inspiring throughout."
‑ R. L. Shaffer, IGN DVD
"Un drama bélico eficaz que rescata la heroicidad de los hermanos Bielski, protagonistas de un episodio poco conocido de la Segunda Guerra Mundial."
‑ Enrique Buchichio, Uruguay Total
"I felt like these characters were prototypes and not people."
‑ Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies
"Ultimately, the film celebrates and memorializes the survival of something unthinkable, and a group of people for whom defiance meant, at heart, that they would push against the growing darkness and carry on."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"Zwick does not deal in gratuitous grotesquery or far-fetched metaphor. "Operatic" and "surreal" are not in his vocabulary."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Director Edward Zwick does a fine job presenting the challenges of reality without falling into nostalgia or easy Hollywood heroes."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"This is not an easy film to watch, as it describes the horrors of war with neither sympathetic nor maudlin touches."
‑ Jamie Gillies, Apollo Guide
"As a piece of historical redress, a great service has been done in bringing this narrative to the screen."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"It's difficult, perhaps impossible, to make a gripping 137-minute epic about people standing around under the trees."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"For all its pomp and ruminating, Defiance isn't really interested in drama. It really just wants to entertain us. But it's not any better at that."
‑ Joshua Starnes,
"succumbing to Hollywood cliches at the expense of historical truth"
‑ Dragan Antulov, Draxblog Movie Reviews
"In addition to blowing bunker-sized holes in the concept of Jewish timidity during the Holocaust, it's also a darn good bit of period storytelling."
‑ Mike Scott, Times-Picayune
More reviews for Defiance on Rotten Tomatoes

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