Director: Clint Eastwood
Year Released: 2006
Slight investigation into the lives of the six men who raised the flag on Iwo Jima - and how the photo by Joe Rosenthal was used as a propaganda tool to raise money through war bonds (much to the discomfort of the three that survived). The war footage is grizzly and strongly reminiscent of Saving Private Ryan, but Eastwood keeps cutting back and forth, over and over, between the intense scenes of combat and the scenes in America, and the effect is disorienting and irritating - the battle scenes are so strong and the American scenes are so weak you could almost argue that he's spliced together two different movies (in other words, you can either have Sands of Iwo Jima or you have The Best Years of Our Lives). The simultaneously-shot picture from the Japanese point-of-view, Letters from Iwo Jima, is superior.