Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
Rating Explanation: for violence and language.
Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review: This is a moody, but action-packed WWII drama of tenacity and resilence in the face of unspeakable violence.
DVD Features: Commentary by Director Edward Zick; Defiance: Return to the Forest HD; Children of the Otriad: The Families Speak HD; Scoring Defiance HD; Bielski Partisan Survivors HD.
Daniel Craig ... Tuvia Bielski
Liev Schreiber ... Zus Bielski
Jamie Bell ... Asael Bielski
Alexa Davalos ... Lilka
Mark Feuerstein ... Malbin
Allan Corduner ... Shamon
George MacKay ... Aron Bielski
This extraordinary true story begins in 1941 Poland,when four brothers
take off into the dense Belarussian forest after their parents are murdered by local police who were paid off by the Nazis by identifying Jews. Zus
(Liev Schreiber "The Manchurial Candidate") wants to strike out at the German, but his level-headed older brother Tuvia (Daniel Craig "Casino Royale") doesn't want them to become barbarous like their enemies.The diagreement between the two older brothers splits the family, with Tuvia deciding to buid a community of displaced Jewish refugees in the woods, while hotheaded Zus joins some Russian partisans who continue to wage war against the Nazis. The Russian's lack of love for Jews is superceded by their having a common enemy. And after their first engagement with the Nazis, General Pachenko (Ravel Isyanov "The Good German") recognizes an exceptional fighter in Zus, when he sees one.
The third brother Asael (Jamie Bell "Billy Elliot") slowly
develops a heroic response to the violence around him and before long he is in love with one of the escapees, while their youngest brother Aron (George MacKay "Peter Pan") slowly begins to turn in
on himself. When Tuvia and his little brother visit a nearby Jewish ghetto, they spirit out scores of additional refugees and as their numbers grow, they make an uneasy alliance with
the Soviet partisans against the Germans.
Director Ed Zwick ("Glory") has applied his usual artistic skills and attention to detail with gorgeous cinematography by Eduardo Serra ("Blood Diamond") that brings the Belarussian forest, where the film was shot, sharply to life. And an impressive cast and a dramatic score by James Newton Howard ("The Dark Knight") add authenticity to this moody drama of tenacity and resilence in the face of unspeakable violence. The only negative to this gripping tale is the fact that the filmmakers have packed too many power struggles, battle sequences, and love stories into what is basically a simple examination of the moral choices people must make during periods of wartime tensions and fear.