To End All Wars

DVD Release: June 15, 2004
To End All Wars
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Synopsis

During WWII, a Japanese P.O.W. camp becomes the battleground for the souls as well as the lives of its Allied prisoners. Based on a true story, “To End All Wars” centers around Ernest Gordon, a young soldier who wants to create a school of higher learning despite the criticism of his superior offier, Ian Campbell, who insists on excape, and jimReardon, the lone American who is running a black market. Under the relentless brutality of the camp, the only way for the soldiers to survive is to find what gives their lives meaning.

Dove Review

This movie is based on actual events during World War 11 when 61,000 Allied POW’s were forced to build the Thailand-Burma Railway. The way they are treated is horrendous in this film, as they are bullied, tortured, beaten, and underfed.

One soldier is a loner, caring only for himself. Later, after he is captured and tied to the ground to endure a night of hard rain in the face, he changes and stands with his fellow captors. When the leader of the camp tells the men a shovel is missing and the entire camp will pay the price for it unless someone confesses, this soldier, no longer the loner, comes forward. He is beaten with a shovel in the back until he loses feeling in his legs. It is at this point a commander runs in to explain the missing shovel has been found and the leader then beats his own man.

Although the film features themes of forgiveness and sacrifice, such as the men ministering to the Japanese wounded at war’s end, the violence level is strong. There are scenes of graphic shooting and men being executed. One man is crucified and the scene is vivid with the spikes being clearly seen in his wrists and the blood flowing freely. Due to the violent content level, and the smoking scenes being a constant throughout the movie, we are unable to award our Dove Seal to this movie as a family-friendly film.

Content Description

Sex: Some girls are brought to camp, prisoners from the war, and it is strongly hinted at that they are there to be used sexually; talk of starting up a prostitution ring.
Language: H-4; A-3; Bloody-4; B-10; D-1
Violence: Several people are shot and killed with one man clearly being shot in the neck; man is crucified with bloody results, several men are tortured and severely beaten; water hose is forced down men's throats; men are punched in the stomach; men stabbed; men are slapped; men are thrown into graves and then shot; wrapped corpses are thrown into the fire; a man takes his own life with a sword at the end with bloody results; a man has beaten so badly his eye is a bloody pulp.
Drugs: Drinking in a few scenes and smoking throughout the entire film.
Nudity: Shirtless men are seen.
Other: Racial slurs about the "Japs"; several scenes of Bible reading and discussions; a mention of Buddhism; the topic of grief and a funeral service is seen; men deal with grief and seeing their friends killed right before their eyes; blindfolded men are forced to march; feelings of resentment and anger are explored; photos are seen of starving terribly thin men; a man says if he can't escape he'll take care of things himself, implying suicide.

Info

Company: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Genre: Action
Runtime: 123 min.
Industry Rating: R
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter