I saw it this past Sunday. I thought it was good. For me, it was a great history lesson since I am not as knowledgeable as I could be. When it comes out on DVD I want to see it again because I always miss things the first time around.
The author, James Bradley, was just at NMMI the week before last and my son got to hear him speak. He said it was interesting.
Read the book before you see the movie. Like every other book-based film, the book is superior. Still, the movie did an excellent job of portraying how the men dealt with their experiences on the island on a daily basis through the flashbacks.
I feel like the film didn't do a very good job of explaining Harlon Block's role. Besides Ira Hayes visiting his parents, and his mom recognizing him just by looking at his rear, they didn't do a whole lot with him.
If you read the book, you find out what the Japanese did to Iggy. Pretty gruesome. I'm glad they didn't show it in the film.
My favorite scene was when Ira met Sgt. Strank's mother for the first time after the war, and just broke down in her arms. I'll admit, I shed a tear.
I'm definitely going to see this movie soon, maybe tomorrow. I liked the book and really liked that James Bradley wrote it because his father was one of the flag raisers.
I wasn't nearly as happy with his second book, Flyboys. I felt that Bradley was trying to equate American actions with the torture and atrocities the Japanese inflicted on our troops, saying that we were just as bad as them. Don't take my word for it though, if this stuff interests you definitely read it for yourself.