Flags Of Our Fathers

Perhaps only the clout of director Clint Eastwood and coproducer Steven Spielberg could have brought us a movie about how the most inspirational photo of World War IIfour GIs raising the flag at Iwo Jimawas mendaciously exploited to sell war bonds. It’s a noble undertaking, and Eastwood is stylistically bold enough to create a view of combat based mainly on images that are clearly manufactured. (As with Saving Private Ryan, the movie’s principal source is The Big Red One, whose director, Samuel Fuller, actually experienced the war.) But this is underimagined and so thesis ridden that it’s nearly over before it starts. (Part of the storythe experience of Native American marine Ira Hamilton Hayeswas better told 45 years earlier in The Outsider, starring Tony Curtis.) William Broyles Jr. and Paul Haggis adapted a book by James Bradley and Ron Powers; with Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradford, and Adam Beach. R, 132 min. (JR)

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