David Denby is the latest critic to weigh in negatively on Flags of Our Fathers. He writes, The movie has a fine, sensitive temper, but it lacks an emotional payoff.
It sits at 73% cream of the crop rating at rottentomatoes.com. Compare that to Eastwood's last venture, Million Dollar Baby, which finished out the year with a 95% cream of the crop rating.
If you compare Million Dollar Baby to all of the other films nominated for Best Picture that year, you find the following:
MDB - 95%
Finding Neverland - 81%
The Aviator - 82%
Ray - 85%
Sideways - 98%
Now take a look at other films that may be in line for Best Picture consideration this year:
The Departed - 95%
Little Miss Sunshine - 90%
The Queen - 100%
Little Children - 91%
With Babel, Dreamgirls, The Good German, The Pursuit of Happyness, The Last King of Scotland, Catch a Fire, and The Good Shepard on the way, could this movie be pushed out of the way all together? Very doubtful, although I can't see how it's a winner without some serious publicity help a la Crash (and I'm guessing Dreamgirls gets a ton).
Mystic River had a 95% cream of the crop rating and still lost to that stupid elves movie. So Eastwood's not invincible.