Director: Angelina Jolie
Year Released: 2014
Rating: 2.0

The story of WWII bombardier Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell) and how he had to survive his plane crashing, being stranded at sea and eventual capture - and torture - by the Japanese at various internment camps, where Sergeant Watanabe (Miyavi) takes a particular disliking to him - amidst the punishment, the film intercuts to his youth as a mischievous kid, champion runner in high school and eventual Olympic athlete. As unreal as Zamperini's life was - he even met Hitler! - something about Jolie's treatment of it leaves it feeling a little numb: as horrific as the abuse Zamperini experienced actually was (the movie is actually toned down from Laura Hillenbrand's book, if one can believe it), the movie's last hour of terrible beatings and humiliations become routine and, curiously, unaffecting. Many of Jolie's decisions can and should be questioned, particularly her casting of Miyavi (a Japanese rock star) in a key role, the egregious Christ imagery and failing to note that Zamperini's life post-war was anything but 'unbroken' (he became an alcoholic) ... although that would have ended the movie on a less-than-uplifting note, right? Roger Deakins, William Goldenberg and Tim Squyres provide much needed assistance to the director, but I'd really like to know what the Coen brothers (!) contributed to this....