War films are usually quite depressing to watch giving their subject matter and Defiance is no different; however this is a war film that unlike so many others, is infact a very good watch from start to finish with some outstanding performances, especially from the main stars Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell who play the Bielski brothers, three Jews who during the war helped several others to safety away from the Nazis.
While there are no amazing set-pieces (with a lot of the film being set within woodland) or film techniques like in Schindlers List, there is an amazing script based around a true story. As well as this some very impressive performances both from the major cast and those in the background (the fast growing star Mia Wasikowska (In Treatment) being brilliant in her supporting role) drive the film forward, while the side-story of the brothers separating over their choices of survival or revenge is also very tense and sad.
The opening montage of footage (real or otherwise) is also very shocking but the perfect way for setting the scene and the tone of the film. In all I am not usually a fan of war films, largely because of the subject and because some of the films that have been produced seem very dated. Defiance, however, like Schindlers List is a brilliant film that has a strong real story and some great performances. A very very good film that captures the relatively unknown story of the brothers and to think people said that Daniel Craig could not act!