The Situation Reviews

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Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
February 8, 2007
As ambitious in scope as it is interpretively timid, The Situation delivers the requisite incendiary climax, but collapses in on itself with daft speeches about the elusiveness of truth in something called 'the fourth dimension of time.'
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
February 2, 2007
The situation in The Situation is grimly photogenic, yet persistently opaque.
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
January 23, 2007
Tackles its topical subject with lurching focus and plenty of from-the-mouths-of-mouthpieces didacticism.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
February 2, 2007
Set in wartime Iraq, The Situation is exploitation cinema of the most narcoleptic kind.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
February 2, 2007
The narrative has no direction. There is no central problem to be resolved, no goal to be reached.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Sandy MacDonald
Boston Globe
April 13, 2007
The concept is strong and expertly fleshed out; it's just a pity that Hollywood tropes are allowed to invade.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
February 21, 2007
You want better for this film, but the discomfort it causes is not a matter of it being too soon for the audience, but rather, it seems, for the filmmakers.
Kent Turner
February 2, 2007
The Situation never fails to be illustrative, like in straight reporting, but at the expense of catharsis.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
January 31, 2007
An overstuffed, unengaging drama.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
February 8, 2007
The film would have made a serviceable drama, perhaps, if [writer] Steavenson and [director] Haas weren't so inured to trite utterances.
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 8, 2007
There are a half dozen people in colorful supporting roles all of whom have their own truths. And all of whom are far more interesting, as characters and actors, than [Connie Nielsen].
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Jules Brenner
Cinema Signals
January 13, 2007
Having served my duty by pointing out the main failures of the film, it's equally obligatory to say that by film's end you have a better understanding of the opposing interests that are deconstructing Iraq than media coverage conveys.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Ronnie Scheib
October 31, 2006
[The] film is undeniably topical but the lack of emotional investment in its characters renders it more intelligent than engaging.
Top Critic
Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
March 30, 2007
[Haas'] attempt to convey the tangled relations between sheikhs and insurgents, occupiers and civilians is undercut by Wendell Steavenson's mightily overwritten screenplay.
July 9, 2007
I don't think this movie sheds any new light on 'the situation', but it could have, and it's a shame that it didn't.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics
February 3, 2007
The super-accurate reportage may be lost when combined with the war-flick plot. Fact and fiction have different audiences.
| Original Score: 6/10
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
February 7, 2007
It fails to strike an emotional chord, however, with a meandering narrative and heroes who spout rhetoric like pundits.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Harvey S. Karten
January 2, 2007
Had traces of human feeling, but [it's] mostly didactic.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
January 30, 2007
Awkward and half-digested.
Top Critic
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
January 16, 2007
Part war drama, part political thriller, part romance -- and wholly uninvolving.
Peter Keough
Boston Phoenix
April 23, 2009
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