Chosen

 (243)
5.31 h 45 min2016R
Inspired by true events comes an epic tale of family, honor, vengeance and salvation in World War II.
Directors
Jasmin Dizdar
Starring
Harvey KeitelLuke MablyAna Ularu
Genres
DramaAction
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Producers
Gabriel De MercurTim DennisonMichael Riley
Studio
Lionsgate
Rating
R (Restricted)
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Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

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Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

243 global ratings

  1. 51% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 26% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 13% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 5% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Me2Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Passing down TRUTH to each generation is crucial
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"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." Ronald Reagan

Powerful story told by grandfather to grandson to help the youngster with an essay he was required to write. The interaction between these two was also powerful (and well acted). Like so many from The Greatest Generation, Grandpa doesn't talk much about those days. They did what they had to do, then moved on with life.
As a grandmother I can relate to wanting my grandchildren to know the true history (not revisionist version), and have collected historical accounts in my personal library..... some are simply histories and others biographies or autobiographies. I want them to have access to such stories and histories as this movie portrays.
Anyone who doesn't know history is doomed to repeat it.
I thoroughly was captivated with this movie; the presentation, the flashbacks or story and action.
I especially loved how the resisters used cunning and smarts to outwit the oppressive & cruel German regime.
Beat 'em at their own game. I was cheering them on!
As some other reviewer stated this gave graphic enough visuals of the horror of wartime, the fear & suffering, without resorting to gore. Smart move so the blood/guts wouldn't overshadow the entire story.
7 people found this helpful
Lawrence RobertsReviewed in the United States on July 26, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
Would like to have ranked it higher, but.....
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I wanted to like the story, but it seems so historically incorrect that I have to view it as fiction. I don’t expect to learn history from movies, but this one take so many liberties with historical fact that is seems to be almost totally fictional.
The story opens in August of 1943 in a Dreceden Hungary forced labor camp. But the army forcing the labor by Jewish men is the Hungarian Army, at that time still allied with Germany. The Nazis had not yet occupied Hungary. Further, the Hungarian government was still successful at preventing the deportation of Hungarian Jews as part of the Final Solution. That evening, the hero of the story, a Hungarian Jew named Sonson, is told by his sister in law “the Germans are on the ropes.” Well they were in retreat in Russia after the disaster at Stalingrad and the failed offensive against Moscow, but to say they were “on the ropes” at that time would have been Allied propagandas more than fact. Perhaps it was the end of August and they had just lost the battle of Kursk, but defeat was still nearly two years away for Germany.
The next scene shows Judith, the sister in law of Sonson, telling him that Prime Minister Kalley has resigned and that Admiral Horthy has taken over and has been welcomed by German troops. In the movie it is still summer time, implying this is a short time after August of 1943. In fact, this did not occur until March of 1944 when Hitler ordered German occupation of Hungary under Operation Margarethe, and when it did happen, Horthy was confined under house arrest. Yet, the very next scene shows Hungarians, presumably Jews, being loaded onto trains with German soldiers as well as Hungarians supervising the loading. Then it shows the Hungarian resistance listening to a radio announcing the airborne landing of British, American, and Canadian soldiers in Northern France. No mention of the D Day landing – but the airborne landing which proceeded D Day marine landings occurred in June of 1944. The failed British airborne landing, Operation Market Garden was in the Netherlands and was in September of 1944. This movie ends in May of 1944. So, it seems they have simply fictionalized the events and time line of WWII to suit the storyline of the movie.
Shortly after the confrontation with his sister in law in August of 1943, Sonson says to his wife “we have more than just the two of us to worry about”. She is pregnant. Shortly thereafter she gets breast cancer. She does not appear to be pregnant on her death bed, so we assume she dies rather quickly, within months probably. Yet they are all wearing the Jewish badge, the gold star, which impiies it is after the German occupation, thus it must be spring of 1944. What happened to the pregnancy? When the Hungarian soldiers raid the resistance headquarters they are listening to a report of an uprising in Paris. The Paris uprising by the resistance did not occur until just before the liberation of Paris in August of 1944.
The Hungarian soldiers have rounded up some Jewish women in Dreceden, and are raping them. This may be an accurate portrayal, as rape of Jewish women by the Nazi supporters in Czechoslovakia and Hungary did occur. Somehow, somewhere, the resistance fighters steal some German SS uniforms, and masquerade as SS and confront the Hungarian Commander. This is almost unbelievable – where did they get the uniforms, especially that of a General? It is believable that German authority would be upset at Hungarian allies raping Jewish women, since the German policies with respect to Aryan-Jewish relations prevented any sexual relationships between the races. Although, there certainly were abuses in the concentration camps, it is highly unlikely that the German commander of the Warsaw occupying force would smirk to an SS General about bringing in Jewish women so his soldiers “could have some pleasure.” And they must have been extraordinarily virile Germans as he stated he had 459 soldiers, but was dismayed that only 1800 Jewish women were coming, not the 3000 he was promised! Despite all of their brutality, the Germans were not known to be brutal rapists that the Russians were, nor did they employ using women in occupied territories as sex slaves (comfort women) as the Japanese did.
Well to move on, the movie shifts to the Warsaw ghetto, where Sonson believes his sister in law has been taken. He organizes the resistance, and they take over the German headquarters, and defeat a German force trying to put down the uprising in an extremely poorly done battle scene. This is perhaps the most insulting rewriting of history in the entire movie. After the battle, the movie says Sonson killed his last German soldier on May16, 1944. In what battle? The Warsaw uprising did not even occur until July of 1944! Further, it shows the Red Army coming in at the end of the battle, presumably to save the resistance and finish off the Germans, and then awarding medals to the Polish resistance fighters. The truth is, the Stalin refused to aid the Poles in the Warsaw uprising despite pleas from Churchill and FDR, because he wanted it crushed, and especially its leadership. He saw the resistance as a threat to the puppet government he intended to establish. And Russians awarding medals to the Polish resistance!
I know better than to take the history presented in movies seriously, but this one so disrespects actual history to the point of being a near total fiction. And it is a rather soppy storyline with some gross overacting of a very sloppy script anyway.
5 people found this helpful
Dr. KenReviewed in the United States on June 1, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Tale of Moral Virtue Inspired By the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
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A story born of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising against Nazi occupation during WW2, Chosen is about the intergenerational transfer of heritage, both personal and cultural. Interesting point about the Uprising: both Right and Left Wing Jewish organizations formed militias and fought the Nazis together. Unfortunately, such things rarely happen before violent resistance to tyranny becomes, at best, a pyrrhic victory. That is the true story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It's an unpleasant truth most don't want to discuss, much less learn from and endeavor not to repeat.

Another major theme of this excellent movie is that true heroism breeds true humility. The grandfather, and hero of the tale, won't tell his story in the first person. He changes the names and recites the heroic ballad in the third person in spite of the fact that he is reciting his autobiography to his own grandson. In so doing, he taught (by demonstration of his example...which is the best kind of pedagogy) he impresses the need for discretion and humility on his grandson. In a contemporary world full of the cacophony and strobe light glare of self-promotion and all manner of digitally and chemically enhanced puffery, Chosen brings us a quiet reminder of the true ideal of bravery. It doesn't brag. It does not seek recognition. The courageous, in fact, tend to redirect the attention to others whenever the spotlight seeks them out. For true bravery happens in the shadows and in the smoke. And real survivors know the value of acting valiantly and effectively without attracting attention.

Highly recommended!
One person found this helpful
DaleReviewed in the United States on April 30, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Very well done. Not gory or graphic and little language. Does portray rape. No nudity.
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Overall this is a very well done movie and tells the story of the atrocities of the prosecution of Jews during WWII. All based on True events and their descendants.It starts off as a young kid/teen who goes to see his grandpa in order to get help with his homework for Hebrew School. As a result he tells the story of an ordinary man who does great things against a very evil and powerful forces. It shows the bravery of a man who lost his wife and stands up to the Nazis and corrupt Hungarian Police who followed Nazi Orders. For the most part, this is a good movie to watch with the family as long as they're not too young for there is some scenes that you might not want your kids to see such as the portrayal of rape. Outside of that there really isn't anything overly graphic, obscene, vulgar or disturbing and no nudity. This starts in Hungary and ends up in Poland where some of the most horrific concentration camps were set up including Auschwitz. After losing his wife due to medical treatment being denied to the Jews and the Roundup to send the Jews for extermination, the Hungarian Police round up several Jewish women in order to find the resistance. After being betrayed by fellow Jews, his wife's sister is taken and placed on one of the trains to Poland. In order to save his Sister-in-law he comes up with a brave scheme of posing as a German SS officer to start freeing Jews. As a result he builds a small army of resistant fighters who go into the bowels of the German strongholds in Poland. This is a very important lesson that kids need to learn about the evils of Government forces when they gain too much power and how easy it is for people to turn on their own families, friends and anyone they can with a promise of safety that is all a lie yet they believe the lies anyways and help exterminate their own friends and families.
One person found this helpful
ScottReviewed in the United States on April 3, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Great acting. Very slow plot, but that's partly because, life is a slow plot
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Production qualities, excellent. Acting, superb. Biographical profile, just difficult to watch.

The script dragged at times, which is my rationale for 4 stars instead of 5. Some will imagine this story to be tired, told in many ways and forms too many times, and some might even be hostile to it, or imagine it to be part, or mostly fiction.

I don't care about other's reviews. This was a monumental piece of history. History, as in factual events in factual places, which occurred to factual persons. If you watch this, you are in part honoring the Eastern European dead, Jewish and non-Jewish, that died due to Hitler's war machine. Only God will ever bring justice for these victims. That is unfortunately the case, everywhere that genocide has occurred.

It's not entertaining. It's very worthwhile watching. (Note: I'm a "boomer", i.e. of an age that actually studied world and US history, who actually knows of the WWII events like these, from first hand testimony of my father, mother, uncles, aunts, and the many "heroes" who fought in that war, who were family neighbors, friends, and acquaintances of my parents. Younger generations need to see movie-documentaries like this, to understand that those events of now 80 years ago, were not mythological, to understand the people who suffered those events. )
2 people found this helpful
query23Reviewed in the United States on July 15, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Filled with historical innacuracies.
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The script seems to be plagiarized from postwar Soviet propaganda. They make the bad guys the Csendor rather than the einstzengruppen something that never occurred. Rather postwar the Soviets portrayed all partisans as Nazis because partisans would also oppose their occupation as they had the Germans. Amusingly they also have the Red Army save the day when in fact they repeatedly waited out battles between the Nazis and Partisans in Poland in the hopes that they would attrite each other.
5 people found this helpful
John LongReviewed in the United States on April 14, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Uncommon courage that was common in WW2
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Lots of WW2 biographical flicks have been coming out. This one is not the best, but is enjoyable. It's a story of Hungarian Jews who resist after Nazis pressure the Hungarian government to get rid of them. Because Hungary entered the war as an ally of Nazi Germany, they had been allowed to run their own country, albeit under Nazi influence. Hungary allowed some discrimination of the Jews but did not send them to concentration camps until Hitler decided to take over Hungary fairly late in the war. This film is about one specific Hungarian who was part of the resistance. I admire the courage of him and his compatriots who decided it was better to fight with the slight risk of success than to simply give in and die.
Julie R BarnesReviewed in the United States on March 23, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Not Bad, But Not Great Either
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I have read many books and seen many movies about WWII and the Holocaust. This isn't a bad movie, but it isn't great either. I think the plot development is a bit weak. The best way I can describe the movie is that it is very "surface." It doesn't really get very "deep." I am not sure how a movie about Jewish persecution manages that, but something is lacking. I really could not identify with the characters. Movies on this subject matter usually leave me in tears. I didn't shed a tear with this movie. Maybe deeper character development would have helped. I like Harvey Keitel very much, but I don't think this is his best movie. Again, it's not a bad movie, but it's not great either.
One person found this helpful
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