6.72 h 18 min2019X-RayPG-13
The story of the Battle of Midway, told through the experiences of the WWII leaders and soldiers who fought it.
Roland Emmerich
Ed SkreinPatrick WilsonLuke Evans
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Aaron EckhartNick Jonas
Roland EmmerichHarald Kloser
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Content advisory
Smokingalcohol usefoul languageviolence
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4.6 out of 5 stars

56656 global ratings

  1. 73% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 16% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Alan F. SewellReviewed in the United States on November 9, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent reality film of the Battle of Midway
I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s and heard all about the Battle of Midway from my father, a WWII vet. I read a lot about it too, in books like John Toland’s THE RISING SUN. I remember the 1976 Movie MIDWAY with the stellar cast of Charlton Heston , Henry Fonda , James Coburn Hal Holbrook, Robert Mitchum, Pat Morita, and Glenn Ford. I expect many will measure this 2019 movie by the 1976 classic.

I think the 1976 movie tells the “big picture” a little better and is more packed with personal drama due to the stellar acting qualities of the cast. The flamboyant personalities of the U.S. and Japanese commanders were vividly dramatized by the best actors of the day. That’s fine, because those people were flamboyant, so that movie was true-to-life.

However, the producers of this 2019 movie wisely decided not to duplicate the personality profile acting of the 1976 version. This movie is weighted more to the reality stories of the Navy men and pilots who fought the battles, with the “big picture” layered on top of that.

The scenes of battle, preparation of battle, and the counting of costs of dead and wounded after the battles are shown magnificently from the perspectives of the servicemen and their families. Perhaps about half the film is combat scenes, filmed spectacularly with aircraft and ships from the 1940’s. So, you feel as if you were a participant in going to war with the equipment of that era.

The most powerful emotionally-charged dramatic scenes are nicely tied together at the end. It’s realistic in showing the heroism of both sides without white washing the barbarity of the Japanese on some occasions, such as dealing with two shotdown American pilots the Japanese captured during the battle. I did not see anything that would be objectionable for children to see --- no gratuitous sex or offensive language.

It’s an excellent movie to understand what happened at Midway, what the stakes were for the United States, and what they meant to the men who fought and died there.
579 people found this helpful
RJ from RenoReviewed in the United States on November 10, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Achievement.
I hesitated going to see this movie and was prepared to groan to see just how far Hollywood would go to appease the political correct police.

Instead this movie was awesome at portraying the men of the US Navy who fought and died in the dark early days of the war in the Pacific.

It also spotlighted the Japanese atrocities and actions properly. The country of Japan and it's leaders were every bit as bad and criminal as the Nazi Germans. They genocided the Chinese and their soldiers systematically murdered, raped, and enslaved millions.

The movie had the audience captivated and on the edge of their seats from start to finish. A scale of a movie but not difficult to follow and keep track of the players.

Great achievement, Thank you veterans., I am proud of my country.
397 people found this helpful
Carl SchultzReviewed in the United States on November 11, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Spectacular Review of History
“Midway” Distributed by Lionsgate Pictures, 138 Minutes, Rated PG-13, Released November 08, 2019:

Good production values and excellent computer-generated effects highlight “Midway,” the new movie from Lionsgate Pictures retelling the story of the 1942 battle that shifted the balance of naval superiority in the Pacific Ocean during World War II. The Battle of Midway was the first naval encounter in history in which the opposing fleets were never within sight of each other.

“Midway” covers much of the same material as Michael Bay’s “Pearl Harbor” in 2001. In describing the events which led to the June 1942 confrontation between the US and Japanese fleets, “Midway” also depicts the December 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, the April 1942 Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, and the Battle of the Coral Sea in May of 1942--the actual Midway sequence occupies only the final hour of the picture. But advances in computer generated imagery and realistic recreations of actual events turn this historical review into surprisingly compelling--and often startling--motion picture viewing.

The script by rookie screenwriter Wes Tooke is sometimes deficient in explaining a few of the intricacies of the battle: A delay in sighting the Japanese fleet led to the US Navy’s launching an uncoordinated attack. Without support from fighter planes, virtually the entire first wave of American torpedo bombers was shot down by the Japanese, resulting in the dive bombers carrying most of the burden of the battle. The picture also glosses over the pivotal role of Rear Admiral Spruance in the absence of the ailing Admiral Halsey, and the loss of the aircraft carrier Yorktown. In the plus column, the historical importance of the encounter is given its due, if not emphasized.

Among the standout performances in the ensemble cast, Patrick Wilson is harried and devoted as naval codebreaker Edwin Layton, Dennis Quaid is blowsy and blustery in an extended cameo appearance as Admiral “Bull” Halsey, and Aaron Eckhart is a steely, flinty General Doolittle, leading the US Army’s bomber raid on Tokyo. Woody Harrelson is unusually subdued and thoughtful as Pacific Fleet Commander Chester Nimitz (with his wavy white hair, Harrelson resembles a cross between Bill Clinton and Billy Graham). Tadanobu Asano and Jun Kunimura are the Japanese admirals Yamaguchi and Nagumo.

In the grand tradition of pop stars appearing in war pictures, Nick Jonas plays an especially heroic radioman/gunner, and almost singlehandedly earns the movie’s PG-13 rating by dropping its solitary F-bomb. Ed Skrein, late of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” is the picture’s nominal leading man as the dashing Navy flyer Richard Best, while Mandy Moore as a Navy wife wrings her hands on the home front in Honolulu. But the picture’s best characterization is contributed by the eclectic Luke Evans as legendary US Navy squadron commander Wade McClusky. Evans’ chiseled countenance and humorless demeanor camouflage the occasional zingers in his dialogue.

“Midway” has long been a passion project of motion picture director Roland Emmerich, the blockbuster filmmaker behind 1996’s “Independence Day” and its 2016 sequel, the 1998 “Godzilla” remake, “The Patriot” in 2000, and 2013’s “White House Down.” For years, Emmerich couldn’t obtain the necessary backing for the film, and finally resorted to raising the reported $100 million budget himself, much of it from Chinese investors. As a result, “Midway” is one of the most expensive independent pictures ever produced.

Released during the Veteran’s Day weekend to some 3242 theaters across the United States and Canada, preliminary estimates indicate the gamble of “Midway” is paying off: Originally projected by distributor Lionsgate Pictures to earn up to $15 million over its opening weekend, “Midway” was able to bring in some $6.3 million on its opening day alone. The picture scored the first place spot in the week’s Box Office Mojo Top Ten with $17.5 in ticket sales, over the new “Doctor Sleep” in second with $14.1 million. “Playing with Fire” placed third, and “Last Christmas” fourth.

Film buffs will enjoy the brief subplot in “Midway” featuring actor Geoffrey Blake as legendary filmmaker John Ford. The Academy Award-winning Ford was commissioned a Commander in the US Naval Reserve during World War II and assigned to the Office of Strategic Services, where he supervised the production of propaganda films. Stationed on Midway at the time of the battle, Ford and a small camera crew filmed portions of the actual fighting even after being strafed and wounded by a Japanese fighter plane. Ford’s resulting 18-minute color documentary, “The Battle of Midway,” is easily available for viewing on YouTube.

Filmed on location in Hawaii with some additional production in Montreal, Quebec, “Midway” is rated PG-13 for sequences of war violence and related images, and for language concerns (thank Nick Jonas) and scenes of smoking and liquor consumption.
184 people found this helpful
NHMovieLoverReviewed in the United States on November 29, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
Meterosexuals trying to be REAL men
This was truly a very weak film. The CGI was horrible considering how many years they've been using it, the plot was weak and the performances we're horrendous. I actually walked out of this movie(something I rarely ever do) and found something more productive to do. The actors today are so meterosexual that they can't seem to grasp what "real" men were like during that time period. None of the actors were cast properly and seemed to be out of their familiar elliment. It's a shame cause this is a very important part of American history that should never be forgotten and we represent it with this new Hollywood garbage.
182 people found this helpful
SpencerReviewed in the United States on February 4, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
To be shown as a documentary in today's schools, unfortunately.
Verified purchase
I trust the historical accounts of the war from 60 years ago, not this gloss over fiction. Try to label this as actual reference material worthy of accuracy? Nope. Having a pot head anti establishment worm like Harrelson portraying Nimitz proves he'll sell out his beliefs for the paycheck. Let's have Scott Peterson play JFK in the next flick, sounds like a good match.
102 people found this helpful
Fred G. SanfordReviewed in the United States on December 4, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
A movie which tries to tell everything but ultimately tells little
The good parts of this movie are the action scenes, and this is the only advantage it has over the 1976 version. It attempts to include everything - events prior to Pearl Harbor, Pearl Harbor, the Doolittle Raid, the Coral Sea and finally, the Battle of Midway. The result of this a choppy movie that jumps from event to event without a particularly coherent story in between, save for an excessive amount of sappy dialogue. Ed Skrein does a poor job playing a stereotypical loud, cocky pilot from New Jersey (that is when he isn't slipping back into an English accent), and he is joined by Woody Harrelson's imitation of Admiral Nimitz and Dennis Quaid's creaking version of Halsey. Skrein's acting is overdramatic and almost seems to be a parody of a 1940s film. Spruance is almost an afterthought, and his role in making key decisions regarding when to attack is largely ignored. The reasons for the Japanese failure to locate the American fleet earlier, as well as Nogumo's decision to rearm his planes after returning from Midway are either glossed over or not explained, nor was the role of American scouting planes in locating the Japanese fleet included. The result is a long movie with great action that doesn't do a very good job of explaining what actually occurred and why it occurred, and this is where this film is truly inferior to the 1976 version. Wait for this to make it to Amazon Prime or Netflix and watch it then.
110 people found this helpful
Jim 'n ChanReviewed in the United States on February 11, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Ignore the bad reviews - coming from a combat veteran, this is a fantastic, wonderful film.
Verified purchase
This film takes an honest, personal look at some of the heroes from the Battle of Midway. It isn't overly sentimental, but your heart will feel full after watching it. The action is breathtaking, but realistic. Apparently it gets a few minor details wrong, but it is overwhelmingly accurate historically. You'll learn things, as I did, even if you are familiar with the history surrounding the battle, as I am. It doesn't try hard to be "PC", but it doesn't demonize the Japanese either. It just shows things as they happened, some good, some awful.

I should add that my wife really liked and appreciated this film too - having stuck with me through deployments, and having been on the other side of a marriage where the husband had deployments and came back with PTSD. This film really shows the sacrifices and courage of military spouses too.

The action is very realistic without being outlandish or over the top. The violence and profanity are realistic, but not excessive or gratuitous, hence the PG-13 rating. I could not recommend this film more highly. It is a crying shame that it was completely snubbed by the acadamy awards. This is the best film I've seen in years.
70 people found this helpful
HMS WarspiteReviewed in the United States on November 10, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
The turning of the tide at Midway...
"Midway" recreates the 1942 battle that turned the tide of the Second World War in the Pacific. The movie has to cover a lot of ground in a bit over two hours, and it does that by following around a few selected U.S. and Japanese personalities. An ensemble cast and lots of CGI help drive the movie.

The narrative moves quickly through Pearl Harbor, the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, and the Battle of the Coral Sea, but saves plenty of time and space for the concluding set piece at Midway. The U.S. Navy dive-bomber attacks on the Japanese aircraft carriers are rightly the climatic moment of the movie. More than a few clichés get tossed around, but they don't seem to detract from the impact of the movie. Of note, the Navy intelligence analysts who gave Admiral Nimitz his edge at Midway get their fair share of attention. Also of note, the movie makes a point of the Japanese atrocities committed in China in pursuit of the U.S. pilots who bombed Tokyo. Recommended as a history lesson with plenty of entertainment value.
83 people found this helpful
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