On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbour, with the loss of 2400 lives and 21 ships. This single event brought the United States into the Second World War, and changed the course of history. It was inevitable that these momentous events would be depicted on the silver screen. Tora Tora Tora (1970) gives us two perspectives. On the Japanese side we see the planning and execution of the attack. For no other reason than incompetence, The United States military was taken completely by surprise. This was despite them having intelligence warning them that an attack was imminent.
This is how a war movie should be made. Michael Bay's Pearl Harbour (2001) boasted a visually impressive attack sequence, thanks to the stirling work of premier visual effects company, Industrial Light and Magic. Indeed, this was the high point of an otherwise mediocre film. For some reason, perhaps to broaden its audience appeal, it was felt necessary to add a superflous and nauseating romantic subplot. The final result was something that thankfully hasn't been tried since; a hybrid war/date movie.
The subject matter is handled far better in the earlier film, and Pearl Harbour rightfully deserves to be derided for its historical innacuracies and spurious attempts at being a grand epic.