The Great Raid

Rated 5.0

Director John Dahl and writers Carlo Bernard and Doug Miro recount an all-but-forgotten episode from World War II: Late in the war, during the battle to retake the Philippines, a small detachment of U.S. Army Rangers went 30 miles behind enemy lines to rescue more than 500 British and American prisoners of war slated to be executed by the retreating Japanese. Adapted from two books (The Great Raid on Cabanatuan by William B. Breuer and Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides), the film is one of the best of the year, long but gripping. It follows a multitude of characters—soldiers, guerillas, prisoners and civilians—in a smooth narrative flow and culminates in a stirring climactic raid. Why this story hasn’t been filmed before is a mystery, but Dahl and company do it full justice here.