The Vietnam POW drama Rescue Dawn has such a harrowing attention to detail that it’s no surprise to learn acclaimed German director Werner Herzog based the movie on a double dose of reality: the actual travails of downed American pilot Dieter Dengler and Herzog’s own 1997 documentary about Dengler’s experience, Little Dieter Needs to Fly. Rescue Dawn, which charts Dengler’s unlikely but true escape from an enemy prison camp and ensuing journey through the Laotian jungle, is a subdued portrait of survival. Herzog never pumps up the drama with cinematic conventions. Instead, he immerses us in the day-to-day determination that enabled Dengler to make it back alive. Christian Bale plays Dengler as obstinate, almost insolent – you never really fear for his life – but Steve Zahn, as a fellow captive, hits alarmingly authentic notes of terror. Watch closely and you’ll realize that the deep-seated look of absolute fear never leaves his red-ringed eyes.