BFI Screen Online says it's "satisfying as a war film, with stirring battle scenes -the jailbreak sequence is spectacular- and a spirit of breathless boy's own adventure throughout". DVD Talk says, "The film presents an intriguingly ambivalent attitude toward military life. Army traditions are exalted, yet the hero is a conscientious individualist unwilling to go to war" and calls it "the perfect film to initiate a discussion of codes of honor." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 100%. TCM has an overview.