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Rescue Dawn

HD   PG-13 Closed Captioning

Werner Herzog

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About the Movie

Based on the true story of an American pilot, Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale) is shot down during a top-secret mission to destroy Viet Cong strongholds in Laos at the beginning of the Vietnam War. Taken hostage, he endures unimaginable conditions at the hands of cruel captors in a makeshift POW camp. Dengler's iron will to survive guides him and fellow prisoners in a meticulously planned, death-defying escape, only to discover the harsh realities of an unforgiving jungle beyond the camp walls.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 161
  • Fresh: 146
  • Rotten: 15
  • Average Rating: 7.5/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: But just as exciting -- maybe even more so, for those who love the medium and, especially, the uplift of the great-escape genre -- Rescue Dawn is a triumphant Werner Herzog movie. – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly, Sep 7, 2011

Fresh: That heart-stopping beginning tells us Herzog is again in top form, richly depicting the true story of the only American POW known to have escaped from Laotian captivity. – Michael Booth, Denver Post, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Takes what could have been a mundane if well-made war story into something greater -- more harrowing, more hungry and more human. – Tom Long, Detroit News, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: The performances here are as excellent as they are unnerving. – Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Can't give Herzog (or Bale) anything less than a 5...

Great movie, important story that is also interesting, another amazing, not-to-miss- performance by Christian Bale and an unforgettable Steve Zahn. Keep in mind that the events of this film occurred before US "involvement" - which makes it a particulalry compelling story for anyone who wants to understand (or become more confused) about the what the heck we were doing over there... Extremely good and timely retelling in story form of Herzog's earlier documentary "Little Dieter Needs to Fly". Dieter's story is impressive and very motivating. If you love flying, are interested in the Vietnam war, love Herzog, or just like a good film and a great story - rent this!

It's Okay...

Herzog's a revered documentary filmmaker, and Rescue Dawn is basically one of his earlier docu-films but with a plot. He's good, but the film... well, it could've used a few more drafts in pre-production. Okay, the things that work with this film mainly come from the performances. Bale isn't award-worthy here, but good nonetheless. Zahn is pretty good in his first serious role as well, but he's still mediocre in overall quality. The action is small and unsatisfying. Some of the suspensful sequences work and some don't. The writing seems rushed and if done with some Valume in the writer's system, I think we could've had a better film. All in all, Rescue Dawn is a good effort, but if I had to choose how many out of 5 stars it's worth, it'd be a 3 -- aka C. It's not a film I'm willing to see more than twice. Rent it, but don't buy.

Christian Bale is the man

I look forward to every movie Christian Bale is in. He really knows how to get into a role. He just about starved himself to death for this flick.