Heartbreak Ridge

Heartbreak ridge is a 1986 action/comedy/drama movie directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. A standard military film, which while it has a standard plot is more driven by its characters. It's a motion picture made when more and more action films were becoming special effects heavy, but is more of a bare bones action film.

The plot is fairly straight forward, Clint plays Tom Highway, a veteran marine. Highway seeks a transfer to a new unit and is put in charge of training a recon team to straighten up and turn them into marines. At the same time as he is training this platoon, he knows that his life as a military man is coming to an end and is trying to cope with that. In addition to everything else that is going on he also talks to and seeks to mend fences with his ex wife.

I found this plot to be entertaining, despite being a fairly cliched story. Its a very well written and well paced story that has a little bit of everything, but never too much. Its balanced out and every part of the story has something to advance the plot and keep the story rolling.


The Acting in this film was great and it was interesting seeing these characters change and grow over time. Eastwood did a great job with the Highway character being both tough as nails, and able to show emotions in other scenes.

The supporting actors also did an amazing job with their characters. Mario Van Peebles as "Stitch" Jones, Everett Mcgill as Major Powers and Marsha Mason as Aggie all turned in great performances. Everett Mcgill especially did a great job as the antagonist to Highway, by the end of the movie you really do hate his character.

There are some bad points to this film though. The army base doesn't seem as expansive as you would imagine, only having what seems like a few barracks and only house two platoons. Another thing that I noticed is the ending scenes seemed to give off a "low budget" feeling.

Heartbreak Ridge is not only a great war movie, but a great dramatic film as well. Dealing with the battles being waged in the field, but also the internal battle of a man trying to deal with his past and future. An enjoyable film for anyone looking for a great story told on screen by some great actors.

Grade: B


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