Written by cycleguy on January 21st, 2015

Right off the bat!!! THIS IS NOT A RELIGIOUS MOVIE about a man who came to Christ and forgave his captors. That literally did happen but don’t go to this movie looking for that scenario. You know…the happily ever after kind.

Second right off the bat. Angelina Jolie is the director and man, has she taken the hits from “Christians” because she did not include said conversion. She does not and did not deserve the criticism.

Okay…now the review.

Unbroken, if you don’t already know, is the story of Louie Zamperini’s experience in the prison camps of Japan. The movie open with a really brief snippet into his “criminal” bent as a child until his brother saw him run. He trained and became a track star, eventually finding himself competing in the 1936 Olympics. There is a far better introduction to his life here. Eventually Louie enlisted in the Army Air Corps and while flying a bombing mission his aircraft, Superman, was badly damaged. With Superman no longer flight-worthy, he was transferred to Hawaii to await further orders. It was while on a search mission that mechanical failures caused the plane to crash land in the ocean. Of the 11 crew members, 3 survived. After being adrift on the ocean-surviving starvation, shark attacks, and a storm-they were taken captive by the Japanese.

The bulk of the movie is spent with Louie enduring unmentionable prison conditions and torture. I will not spoil it for you by telling you about it. I will spoil it by telling you I shed some tears at the end. ‘Nuff said.

You should see this film. Ms. Jolie, IMHO, did an excellent job capturing what she wanted to capture-Louie Zamperini’s prison camp experience. The “Christian” critics have failed to mention the blurbs at the end of the movie which do mention his serious bout with PTSD, his conversion, and his subsequent visits to Japan to forgive his captors.  Make sure you see the blurbs. This is not a film for young children. Prison camp is not Hogan’s Heroes. There are a few swear words, but nothing you probably don’t hear on a daily basis.  (I heard more from the man behind me than in the movie). For the full and complete story you may want to read Laura Hillenbrand’s book, the one the movie was based on.


21 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jeff says:

    I am unfortunately not into movies and Hollywood. But it sounds like if you are this is one to get excited about.

  2. Daniel says:

    I don’t remember seeing you review a movie here before. Maybe I have forgotten, but your passion for this story does come out clearly. I seem to remember seeing an ad for this one, but had no idea Ms. Jolie had any involvement.

  3. Cynthia says:

    Hi Bill!
    Found you over at Floyd’s blog. I bet my husband would enjoy this movie! He is an avid history/war buff. He’s Christian, too, but, he is not judgmental. I would probably cry throughout the movie and spoil it for everyone else, with yucky nose-blowing and constant sniffling. Smiles! Thank you, for the synopsis. Cynthia

    • cycleguy says:

      Hi Cynthia! Thanks for visiting. Floyd is a good man. I look forward to the day we meet face to face-here or in heaven. If it makes you feel any better there were several tears shed throughout the movie, especially when one sees how much real suffering went on. Thanks again for coming by.

  4. I want to see this! Thanks for the review. And thanks for your thoughts on the critical comments. I haven’t kept up with the controversy much, but I agree with where you’re coming from. (We) Christians can be silly sometimes 🙂

    • cycleguy says:

      If you can see it take/find the time. I would love to hear what Rob thinks about it. And yes, we can pick the silliest things to ramble on about.

  5. I have heard so much about the movie, it’s one I’m eager to catch – maybe on DVD since it’s hard to get out too much with three little kids, haha. It is a shame that Jolie left out the conversion experience. Not necessarily that she should be condemned for doing so, but moreso an “aww shucks” from me because it would have been nice to see that. But I think either way it popularizes the story and perhaps the part of his conversion will get mentioned in peripheral media exposures.

    • cycleguy says:

      I’m not sure it is a “date night” movie unless your wife wants to please you by going. She mentions the life changing experience in the blurbs Loren. I think it would have been out of place in the movie. IMHO

  6. Kari Scare says:

    Read the book and saw the movie. Both are good. Book is essential for really grasping the impact of his testimony. After learning his story, I realize it have no excuse for not forgiving others. Amazing what that did for him.

  7. I listened to the audiobook version of this and it was intense! I literally would close my eyes at night only to see “the bird” swinging a belt. It’s an incredible story and powerful testimony. I haven’t seen it yet, but I may wait for the home version. Don’t know if I could handle it in a crowd! Thanks Bill.

  8. Loved the movie, went to see it with my five sons ( a treat all in itself!). We were moved by the commitment to remain “unbroken” despite the cruel treatment. His after story is a wonderful testament to God’s restorative power.

  9. I don’t usually see movies in the theaters, but wait until they are available for rent. I will definitely keep Unbroken on my list. It sounds like one both my husband and I would like.
    Blessings, Bill!

  10. Betty Draper says:

    Powerful movie, would not want to set through it again though. Wondered if you were going to see American Sniper and if you have what did you think of it? Anybody???

  11. Hi Bill,

    Yes, that has been on my list of movies to see. I’m glad Jolie chose to direct that film.

    Re your comment on my post “What God Would Whisper Under the Table to You,” I agree: cinnamon does not sound right in a chocolate chip cookie. 🙂

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan

  12. I am fascinated by this man. I know a little about him and his story.

  13. I read the book years ago and it is one of my all-time favorites. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I want to. I understand why people are disappointed that the conversion is missing. It’s my favorite part of the book, BUT the story is incredible. So many people go to movies and then read the book. They’ll get his testimony and as you said, at least it’s part of the afterword of the film. Thanks for the review!