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Midway

"'Midway' tells a story that's vividly and viscerally rendered, with all the entertainment value of a big, old-fashioned war movie, cutting back and forth between the home front and front line." - Washington Post

"If you’d like to get all your Second World War Pacific naval history in one place, pay a visit to Roland Emmerich’s Midway. Midway opens in 1937 with Admiral Yamamoto warning American military attaché Edwin Layton (Patrick Wilson) that nobody puts Japan in a corner, or words to that effect. Cut to Dec. 7, 1941, and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour that 'awakened a sleeping giant.'

"From there Emmerich follows a number of American flyboys with varying degrees of bravery and craziness as they arm up and engage the enemy. The film doesn’t give equal time to the Japanese but it does present them as more than just faceless villains. The cast includes flying aces and famous faces. Woody Harrelson plays Admiral Nimitz; Dennis Quaid is Vice Admiral 'Bull' Halsey; and Aaron Eckhart is Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, shot down over occupied China during the raid that bears his name. Probably the most screen time goes to Ed Skrein as Dick Best; Mandy Moore plays his wife. Dick’s buddy Wade McClusky is played by Luke Evans, and there’s also Bruno Gaido (Nick Jonas), who in one memorable (and factual!) scene shoots down a Japanese bomber from a parked plane on the deck of the aircraft carrier Enterprise; the crashing bomber is so close it slices through his own plane’s tail on its way down.

"Emmerich knows how to wring tension from combat scenes, whether with a torpedo that fails to explode, or a near miss in a bombing run. The carnage is visceral without being too bloody, resulting in a PG rating. And sure, we know where all of this is headed, but the filmmaker finds time to add some intriguing historical footnotes. Midway may not have lofty aspirations, but it provides thrilling popcorn fare nonetheless." - National Post

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