Saturday, 29 January 2011

Film Review: GREEN ZONE (2010)

Director: Paul Greengrass
Running time: 115 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Thriller/Action/Adventure/War
UK release date 12th March 2010

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 29th January 2011.


This film has had a bit of a slating by certain critics and I know it didn’t go down too well with many in the USA. Given all this controversy I decided it might be worth a viewing and I can see how it might get certain sections of society a bit riled up. What I saw was an entertaining film, a work of fiction based on recent events in Iraq. But more of what I think later, here’s a brief summary first (summary haters please search that building for WMDs while I write the next paragraph).

Roy Miller is a soldier tasked with investigating sites identified as holding Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) soon after the invasion of Iraq. After coming up empty each time he begins to question the validity of sources used to obtain this information. The top brass aren’t interested and just fob him off but a CIA operative, Martin Brown, is sympathetic to his dilemma. Whilst investigating a site (& coming up empty yet again) an Iraqi civilian approaches Miller’s unit and tells him that he has seen some ex-republican guard commanders meeting at a house nearby. This civilian ‘Freddy’ is brought along as an interpreter and they set off to intercept the meeting. Capturing one of the insurgents, they find out that a General Al Rawi was attending. Miller takes a notebook from the prisoner before a Special Forces unit, lead by Briggs, intercepts and takes the prisoner away. The notebook Miller has taken has the key to finding the General and others, with much darker, political, agenda’s would like to get hold of him for their own means. I’ll leave it there as I don’t want to give the whole plot away.

There have been several films made on the subject of this conflict, but this one stands out as one that questions the reasons for the war in the first place. The US government are portrayed as very uncaring and only out to cover up anything that might make them look bad in the eyes of the world. Yes, it’s all very political! Decent performances all round; Matt Damon did a decent job as Miller and Brendan Gleeson was pretty good as Martin Brown. Honourable mentions also go to; Greg Kinnear as Clark Poundstone, “Hello” to Jason Isaacs, with a tremendous moustache, as Briggs and Amy Ryan as journalist Lawrie Dayne. I also thought that Khalid Abdalla was excellent at the Iraqi civilian, Freddy.

Now, as I’ve already said this film is very political, but it is also a very good thriller with a lot of action thrown in for good measure. As a piece of entertainment I found it very adequate although I could see the plot being a bit over-complicated for some. At the end of the day I thought it was an entertaining thriller set against the aftermath of the Iraq war that asks some tough questions of those that brought the war about in the first place. Recommended.

My score: 7.1/10

(RT = Rotten Tomatoes)
IMDb Page:
RT Page:
Official Site:

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