starring Jack O'Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Miyavi, Garrett Hedlund
screenplay by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen and Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson
directed by Angelina Jolie
by Walter Chaw I genuinely believe that Angelina Jolie means well. She's like the distaff Sean Penn. Unlike Sean Penn, she probably shouldn't direct more movies. Jolie does her research by going to the places she makes movies about. She cares. She adopts children from those places. She takes embarrassing publicity photos with her subjects, sometimes, that indicate not malicious self-promotion, but rather an unaffected, Costner-esque surprise and wonder. She's growing in her morality before our very eyes, and it's great, but her second time up to the plate, Unbroken, is naive and simpering. The only thing remotely interesting about it is that its subject, Olympic athlete and WWII POW Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell), after getting tortured by the Japanese for a while, decided post-war to embrace Billy Graham and forgive his torturers. That bit, the interesting bit, is left to a few lengthy end-title cards. It's sort of like reading the Old Testament and calling it good and, um, wanting to post the Ten Commandments in schools instead of the Sermon on the Mount. Never mind.