'Unbroken' | Boston Herald

December 1, 2014 3:31 PM

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'Unbroken' | Boston Herald

Impeccable craftsmanship and sober restraint have been brought to bear on "Unbroken," Angelina Jolie's beautifully wrought but cumulatively underwhelming portrait of Louis Zamperini, the Olympic runner-turned-U.S. Air Force bombardier who spent 47 days lost at sea and more than two years as a prisoner of the Japanese military during WWII. In re-creating the nightmarish journey so harrowingly relayed in Laura Hillenbrand's 2010 biography, Jolie has achieved something by turns eminently respectable and respectful to a fault, maintaining an intimate, character-driven focus that, despite the skill of the filmmaking and another superb lead performance from Jack O'Connell, never fully roars to dramatic life. A bit embalmed in its own nobility, it's an extraordinary story told in dutiful, unexceptional terms, the passionate commitment of all involved rarely achieving gut-level impact.

With a major awards push for Jolie and her topnotch collaborators -- d.p. Roger Deakins, composer Alexandre Desplat and editors Tim Squyres and William Goldenberg not least among them -- Universal should be able to court a sizable worldwide audience for this capably stirring, morally unambiguous and...

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