June 14th, 2002


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Two U.S. Marines in WWII are assigned to protect Navajo Marines who use their native language as an unbreakable radio cypher.

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 5.9/10 (32,991 voted)

Critic's Score: 51/100

Director: John Woo

Stars: Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach, Peter Stormare

WWII. Joe Enders, a decorated Marine who is by-the-book to a fault, is just coming back on duty (by cheating on his medical tests). "Ox" Anderson, much greener, is also getting the same new task: Protect the Navajo codetalkers (Ben Yahzee and Charles Whitehorse, respectively). While Enders is initially frustrated with his assignment, his respect grows as the codetalkers prove their worth in the brutal battle to take Saipan.

Writers: John Rice, Joe Batteer

Nicolas Cage - Sergeant Joe Enders
Adam Beach - Private Ben Yahzee
Peter Stormare - Gunnery Sergeant Hjelmstad
Noah Emmerich - Private Chick
Mark Ruffalo - Private Pappas
Brian Van Holt - Private Harrigan
Martin Henderson - Private Nellie
Roger Willie - Private Charlie Whitehorse
Frances O'Connor - Rita
Christian Slater - Sgt. Pete 'Ox' Anderson
Jason Isaacs - Major Mellitz
Billy Morts - Fortino (as William Morts)
Cameron Thor - Mertens
Kevin Cooney - Ear Doctor
Holmes Osborne - Colonel Hollings

Taglines: The Navajo Has the Code. Protect the Code at All Costs.


Official Website: MGM | Official site [South Korea] |

Release Date: 14 June 2002

Filming Locations: Dillingham Estate - 68434 Farrington Highway, Mokulë`ia, O'ahu, Hawaii, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $115,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $14,520,412 (USA) (16 June 2002) (2898 Screens)

Gross: $40,914,068 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Argentina:  | USA: (director's cut)

Did You Know?

Steve J. Termath was originally cast for the role of Pvt. Nellie. However, the role went to Martin Henderson when Termath took a brief hiatus from acting for actual military service, enlisting in the US Army Reserves.

Continuity: When Enders is describing to Yahzee how he threw the first medal he received into the ocean, his raised hand alternates between right and left between shots.

Joe Enders: I ain't that drunk Yahzee, you cut that horseshit out.

User Review

The most realistic war movie ever made

Rating: 3/10

I learned a lot about World War II from this film. First of all, during this war it was a custom of both the Japanese and Americans to scream every time you shoot or get shot (even with about 30 bullets in your chest you can still scream apparently). Secondly, Japanese soldiers do not like cover. They like to stay out in the open, and will not fire their rifles unless they're within 15 feet of American soldiers. Thirdly, one man with a Thompson sub-machine gun can take out an entire regiment of Japanese soldiers in an afternoon.

This film was completely first rate, start to finish. From the soldiers who flail about wildly as entire belts of machine gun ammo are pumped into them (before they drop to the ground mind you), to the 12 soldiers that Nicholas Cage shoots with a handgun while laying on his back wounded in the space of about 15 seconds, this film just screamed realism and authenticity. Highly recommended to history buffs and people who can appreciate some of the best acting ever put on film.