Parents' Guide to

The Great Raid

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

A by-the-numbers WWII movie; mature teens and up.

Movie R 2005 132 minutes
The Great Raid Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

Really realistic

I come from a military background and have studied many wars. This is a very well represented film. The realist executions were well done. Everything was well represented. I would recommend this for everyone, there are to many young people who do not know what are men went through.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Adapted from Breuer's The Great Raid on Cabanatuan and Sides' Ghost Soldiers, this film reaffirms familiar oppositions between bravery and iniquity, by way of a by-the-numbers WWII movie plot. And its representations of variously raced characters -- Japanese, the Filipinos, the Caucasians -- are careless. It's a portrayal necessitated and perpetuated by war: the enemy must look less than human. The film includes several solid Filipino soldiers, including the valiant Captain Juan Pajota (Cesar Montano), whose resistance army holds off a Japanese deployment to ensure the rescue mission's success. Still, the raid itself resorts to simplistic good and bad images, with no comprehension of the Japanese beyond what seems a singular desire to commit atrocities.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: August 12, 2005
  • On DVD or streaming: December 20, 2005
  • Cast: Benjamin Bratt , Connie Nielsen , James Franco
  • Director: John Dahl
  • Inclusion Information: Indigenous actors, Latino actors, Female actors
  • Studio: Miramax
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 132 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong war violence and brief language
  • Last updated: January 1, 2023

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate