Bummer... And I was so looking forward to this one.
I don't give too much credence to any single reviewer these days, but if I trust anyone anymore it's Kurt Loder. (The best and most impartial film critic out there since Roger Ebert's brain turned to liberal Swiss cheese over the past year.)
"...You might think this heroic tale would be hard to screw up in a movie, and of course you'd be wrong. Director Edward Zwick, who last gave us the rote Leonardo DiCaprio action flick "Blood Diamond," has turned the Bielskis' story into a pacelessly episodic nature film — very heavy on trees and greenery and copious snow, and lighter than you might wish in narrative structure. The two oldest brothers, Tuvia (Craig) and Zus (Schreiber) have been set up to enunciate opposing views in the eternal argument about justifiable violence. 'We must get what we need without killing,' Tuvia says. 'We may be hunted like animals, but we will not become animals.' To which Zus replies, 'Your policy of diplomacy is sh--.' "So with The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond and now Defiance, Ed Zwick has managed to render three killer concepts as boring, anachronistic edu-tainment? (Actually, I kinda liked Blood Diamond, despite the obligatory vilification military contractors, but it was too preachy for most apparently.)