JT Film Review

10 – Hart’s War (2002)

Hart’s War REVIEW

3/5 stars

Director – Gregory Hoblit

Cast – Colin Farrell, Bruce Willis, Cole Hauser, Terrence Howard


hartHart’s War follows a young American military man in a German POW camp as he defends in a court-martial a black man accused of murdering a white soldier. All is not as it seems however, as Lieutenant Hart (Colin Farrell) digs deeper and discovers some shocking truths behind the case.

The movie follows his investigations in a passably interesting way, and all the actors do a decent job. Bruce Willis plays Hart’s mentor, and he is, well… Bruce Willis, with all the good and bad which that entails. The man on trial is played by Terence Howard, and he does a very good job as usual. The best performance of the movie however, comes from the relative unknown who plays the German Colonel in charge of the POW camp. His name is Marcel Iures, and his performance is head and shoulders above the film itself.

Now this movie tries to be original, and attempts to do things a bit differently. For example, many times while hart2watching the movie with my brother we found ourself shouting out “Oh! They’re _____!” For example when the POW’s are being transported to the camp their train is derailed and an American P-51 starts strafing them, not realizing he is shooting his fellow Americans. So the men arrange themselves in the snow to spell ‘P O W”. The plane then flies off. In the court scenes, many times a legal point is made which we think is un-defeatable, and is promptly shot down by the prosecution.

hartswar4It is a generally smart script on the small-scale. However, when it comes to the larger picture, and to the large plot points, this movie flounders and flounders hard. Military cliché’s abound, speeches about “honour” and “duty” are thrown around in all the stereotypical way. Not to belittle those attributes, but they need to be dealt with in the right way, and that isn’t done here. I found myself wishing someone had taken a few risks. War movies have been done to death, and something new is always welcome. Here it just isn’t to be found.


Hart’s War is a competent, decent movie. But unfortunately it is little else and could have been much more. Recommended ONLY if you like war/legal films and don’t mind a bit of cliché. Well, quite a bit of cliché…



“Hart’s War” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia



June 21, 2009 - Posted by | 3 Stars, Film Review, Genre - War, Year - 2000-2009 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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