A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Do the right thing, even if it means making a huge sacrifice. Resist, fight, and stand against fascism.
Positive Role Models
While the soldiers all fight, shoot, and kill people, Teuntje and Janna are the real saviors. Brave and courageous, they are determined to save innocent lives and accomplish their mission. They do the right thing even when at great risk to themselves and their families.
The film is World War II historical fiction, "inspired by true events," and set in Europe. Leading up to the Battle of the Scheldt, the entire film features White characters either on the side of the Allies or the Nazis. But one of the main characters is a woman and she becomes incredibly important (along with another woman friend) in getting the Allies the intelligence needed to be victorious.
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Violence & Scariness
Lots of violence. Lots of blood, shooting, explosions, fighting, etc. Men get their limbs blown off and hold onto their legs and arms, screaming in agony. Trucks run over soldiers, men shoot men point blank, across fields, and often in the head. There are many fight scenes, stabbings, bottles broken over heads, grenade explosions, beatings, shoot-out scenes, some aerial combat, and moments of gore, like when a man uses a pistol to repeatedly bash in the head of another man. Lots of dead bodies pile up and wounded soldiers are shown often with bandages, missing limbs, necks cut or slit, and/or with shrapnel all over their bodies. There are executions, torture (Nazis torture a resistance fighter by cutting off his fingers or bashing them in), suicide (men blow their own heads off), and tank cannon fire that explode many people into bits.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Romantic relationships between some characters are implied. In one scene, men joke about how many women they've slept with.
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Some strong language throughout: "s--t," "sissy," "bastard," "idiot," "dingbat," and "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults constantly smoke and share cigarettes. Adults also drink wine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Forgotten Battle is a definitely-not-for-kids Dutch World War II movie about the Battle of the Scheldt. A gritty war film, this intense historical snapshot of brutal combat contains a ton of violence, blood, gore, shooting, fighting, stabbing, explosions, killing, beatings, torture, suicide, and executions. Men get their limbs blown off and hold onto their legs and arms, screaming in agony. Trucks run over soldiers, men shoot men point blank, across fields, in the trenches, in residential areas, and often in the head. Lots of dead bodies pile up and wounded soldiers are often shown with bandages, missing limbs, necks cut or slit, and/or with shrapnel all over their bodies. There are executions, torture (Nazis torture a resistance fighter by cutting off his fingers or bashing them in), suicide (men blow their own heads off), and tank cannon fire that explode many people into bits. Not for the faint of heart, this incredibly realistic portrayal of war is thrilling, but very brutal. Some strong language includes, "s--t," "sissy," "bastard," "idiot," "dingbat," and "hell," and men drink alcohol and constantly smoke cigarettes. Strong messages of sacrifice, courage, and fighting against fascism. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. has crafted an almost masterpiece of war cinema. Unflinching, brutal, terrifying, sad, and gut-wrenching, The Forgotton Battle is at times absolutely stunning. The cinematography from the prolific Lennert Hillege is dazzling and infused with grit, melancholy, and brutality. Explosions in the distance light up the night sky as soldiers quietly sneak their way past enemy combatants. Action and battle sequences are expertly sewn together and scripted, leading to intense scenes that rival any other canonical World War II movie. Additionally, the casting seems perfect, from the quietly impressive performance of Susan Radder (Teuntje Visser) to the smaller role of British pilot Tony Turner, perfectly played by Tom Felton of Harry Potter fame.
The scope of The Forgotten Battle is also ambitious. By choosing to tell the stories of 3 different main characters, the film can sometimes get bogged down with slow pacing as it has to jump between these 3 different (but intertwined) storylines. There's a lot character building and story scaffolding that might bore some viewers. And further, one of the main characters is a young Nazi soldier, who eventually becomes disillusioned with war and his Nazi party. Some viewers might find this yet another redemption story for someone who shouldn't necessarily be getting attention at all (see: Crash or Monster's Ball). But at least the focus is divided between the two other characters and their immediate social groups, and the conclusion to the young Nazi soldier's story is effective, sad, and powerful.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.