Writer/Director: Samuel Maoz
Running time: 93 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
UK Release date: 9th April 2010
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 26th January 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I remember this film coming out to much acclaim amongst the critics. On the strength of this it was duly added to ‘The List’. It took a few years, but it finally aired on TV recently and so I thought I’d have a look at what all the fuss was about. I have to admit I was quite impressed. A very claustrophobic feel makes the drama more intense in this tale of an Israeli tank in 1982. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
It is 1982 and Israel has sent troops into Lebanon. A tank, crewed by Shmulik (Yoav Donat), Assi (Itay Tiran), Hertzel (Oshri Cohen) and Yigal (Michael Moshonov), is supporting an infantry troop led by Gamil - or Jamil as it says on the subtitles (Zohar Shtrauss). We follow their progress through the war-torn country as they encounter both innocent civilians and hostile forces. Their mission seems straightforward enough at first, but proves more taxing the longer it goes on. As the pressure mounts we discover just who in the crew has the right stuff. I will leave it there; don’t want to give too much away.
A very claustrophobic feel is created by centring all of the action inside the tank. The only glimpses we have of the outside world is through the viewfinder on the tank’s guns. It’s all very dramatic with bickering amongst the crew as they all try to have their say as events unfold. All the performances were excellent and it seems unfair to give plaudits to any particular performer. I must also thank the people responsible for putting the subtitles on the screen; nice large print that’s easy to read; please do more like this! Over all, a very well made film with some nice ideas and well worth a look.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 7.9/10.
IMDb Score: 6.9/10 (based on 6,218 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 85/100: (Based on 28 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 71/100 (based on 5,183 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Official Site: http://www.sonyclassics.com/lebanon/