Stewie Griffin’s review published on Letterboxd:
barely topping out Pixar’s new sci-di adventure film, ‘Lightyear’, ‘The Thin Red Line’ is an evocatively inutile mess. a never-ending, radically flawed two-hours-and-fifty minutes, that i could not be more disappointed about.
i’m aware of the fact that i’ve just compared ratings between Terrence Malick’s third feature and Pixar’s new widespread embarrassment, but let me explain.
there a several cultural aspects put forth by ‘The Thin Red Line’, but non of those customs feel genuinely explored. the characters aren’t probed, nuanced and properly fleshed out, so their eventual demise doesn’t hold much merit. the sentimental acts don’t feel earned as we know so little of the characters and their interests that caring becomes an exceedingly difficult task.
for the first time in Malick’s career the direction of the film doesn’t conjecture any sort of determination, and didn’t seem like it was going anywhere. the artful precision his previous works are so abundant of, is oddly occult, and fails to pack any sort of emotional punch.
‘The Thin Red Line’ dispenses in plot, characterisation, dramatic structure, and emotional payoffs in favour of an hour of shots of flora and voiceovers of soldiers, that usually i’m wholly open to, but that lacked any sort of substance this time.
i realise this review is quite harsh, and i don’t enjoy going off on a movie like that, especially when the work who’s director this is made by i deeply admire, but because of this admiration the disappointment is consequently heightened. and, although i used plural nouns, this is my personal opinion and i don’t mean to objectify it at all.
overall, i can’t say i recommend it, but if you ever come across it, give it a chance, as i’m in the minority here. oh, and please don’t hate on me lol.
EDIT: eventually changed my mind on how i feel about certain aspects of this film after being exposed to a new point of view, so thank you Jerry McGlothlin.