Unbroken (and 5 other must-see WWII films)
Jack O’Connell continues to make a name for himself in Hollywood as the protagonist in Angelina Jolie’s 2014 film Unbroken. Previously appearing in 300: Rise of An Empire and David Mackenzie's 2013 film Starred Up, O’Connell returns in the lead role for Jolie's film, based on the incredible true story of Olympian and war hero Louis Zamperini.
Zamperini, a man from a poor Italian-American background, competed as a middle-distance runner at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and then spent a gruelling two years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during the second world war.
While the film takes us through flashbacks of Zamperini’s young delinquency, we are eventually led to Zamperini in the Air Corp where he and his colleagues crash at sea and spend several days marooned in the ocean. However, the ordeal Zamperini endures at sea is nothing in comparison to what happens when he is ‘rescued’ by the Japanese navy.
Apart from O’Connell, this film is special for its famously-known director. Jolie directs this film as her second feature – In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011) being her first - and it’s a very well-crafted film. Collaborating with The Coen Brothers, who worked on the screenplay along with Richard La Gravenese and William Nicholson, Jolie shows that she isn’t afraid to fill a film with ample amounts of blood, violence and brutality. The film's talented cast also stars Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund and Luke Treadaway among others.
Unbroken arrives on DVD & Blu-Ray next week (May 4th) and you can find the trailer below, in the meantime we've picked five other essential films that cover the subject of WWII...
David Ayer's 2014 American war film stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal. Based around the story of a U.S. Army tank division during WWII, it’s a well-acted, raw depiction of war with very visual battles.
Directed by Bryan Singer, Tom Cruise stars in this 2008 American-German historical thriller set in Nazi Germany during WW2.
This 2002 historical drama was co-produced and directed by Roman Polanski. It’s about a Polish Jewish musician who struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto in WW2. One of Polanski's most powerful films.
Winner of 7 Oscars, Steven Spielberg’s 1993 American historical period drama is set in Poland during WW2. Factory owner Oskar Schindler, played by Liam Neeson, becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.
The Thin Red Line
Terrence Malick's adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel focuses on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second world war. The film stars Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn and Nick Nolte.