Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Length: 137 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 13+. The movie is about the experiences of American soldier Louis Zamperini, who was a prisoner of war of Japan during World War II and was tortured and abused during that time; there is cursing, beatings, starvation, and various other violence, on top of the typical war violence (bombings, plane crashes) and threats of shark attacks. Also some male nudity (bare butts in the POW camp), the suggestion that a character is gay, some youth lawlessness (children bully and beat up Louis, who also steals and runs from the cops and is spanked by his father), and characters drinking and smoking cigarettes. Overall, though, it’s meant to be an uplifting, inspirational message with some Christian ideology, and it is often effective.
‘Unbroken’ follows a typical awards-bait formula to tell the story of the atypical Louis Zamperini, an Olympian who survived a plane crash, 47 days at sea, and a prisoner of war camp during World War II. The film hits the right emotional beats, even though it’s stiflingly obvious in its approach.
By Roxana Hadadi
Filtered golden lighting and sweeping cinematography. A script full of inspirational one-liners. A swelling, omnipresent score. A story of American guts triumphing over foreign evil. “Unbroken” has all of the elements of Oscar bait in its presentation of the life of Olympian, plane-crash survivor, and prisoner of war Louis Zamperini, and sometimes it staggers under the weight of all the important things it’s trying to convey. But ultimately the film can’t help but move you, and you won’t find any better movie to see with your older relatives this holiday season.