The Pacific Lives Up to Band of Brothers
Critics impressed with miniseries from Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2010 10:20 AM CST

(Newser) The Pacific, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg’s 10-hour World War II miniseries, debuts on HBO Sunday—and critics are, with few exceptions, impressed:

  • The Pacific is “absolutely worth watching in its 10-hour entirety,” writes Robert Lloyd in the Los Angeles Times, although it does have a few familiar Spielbergian issues, like “the stuttering shutter-speed effect that has come to stand for action too quick to comprehend” and at least one “slow-motion death scene.”

  • The Pacific stands with Band of Brothers as the best war movie ever made for TV,” writes Robert Bianco in USA Today, but the two are not companion pieces. “Rather than focus on a unit, The Pacific builds its story around three Marines whose paths cross but seldom converge,” and the result is “easily the most brutal depiction of battle ever shown on American TV”—much more “grueling” than Brothers.
  • “This is an overdue but fittingly painstaking and lavish tribute to men who were never supposed to have been forgotten,” writes Alessandra Stanley in the New York Times.
  • Heather Havrilesky agrees that the team’s “signature brand of straightforward storytelling” does the job in The Pacific. "The battle scenes are suspenseful and riveting, the dialogue is reasonably sharp." But she finds herself wishing for more. “If you're hoping for that extra bit of dramatic flair, if you're expecting one or two unusual choices, a little innovation, some imaginative filmmaking?" she wonders out loud on Salon. "You won't find it here.”

 

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