Entertainment Weekly said it "lacks a center. It's an exhausted sprawl with multiple story foci, none of them terribly compelling," concluding, "Dahl does vividly re-create that least heralded burden of war: the boredom."  Steven Rea of The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, " The Great Raid , which documents the largest rescue mission in . military history (and ends with archival footage of many of the real soldiers portrayed in the film), lacks the visceral sweep of Saving Private Ryan . But Spielberg 's story, for all its gut-wrenching intensity, was a fiction. Dahl's movie, slower in pace and conscious of its own artifice, addresses the same issues of courage and sacrifice - and tells a true story. That's worth something. In fact, it's worth a lot."