In the Land of Blood and Honey Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 23, 2012
It is admirable the dedication of Angeline Jolie to something she believes in so devotedly, which led her make this statement on the Bosnian War. But even if her movie is well directed and creates a strong impact, the characters are poorly developed and remain a puzzle until the very end.
Super Reviewer
½ March 5, 2012
Here is another fine example of "what the heck were the nay-sayers watching?" This movie was VERY well done. I think Angelina Jolie deserves mega praise for this story. She is a beautiful and fine actress, but this story shows a great empathy for her fellow man, and a fine-toned intellect, too. It shows the absolute horror of war, and the devastation to human life caught in the middle. No happily ever after ending here, folks....I personally would be very interested in seeing what else Angelina comes up with. She apparently has many talents...
Super Reviewer
March 23, 2012
Everything about this film feels false and inept, even though there is a certain admirable technical proficiency on display. The actors are strong and Jolie certainly has potential behind the lens, but the film is kind of a mess and doesn't do it's subject matter, cast, or crew justice. A thematic misfire sure, but a well made one.
Super Reviewer
½ July 28, 2013
Before they have a chance to escape, sisters Ajla(Zana Marjanovic), an artist, and Lejla(Vanessa Glodjo) are rounded up by Serbian soldiers. And they are soon separated as Ajla is taken prisoner to an army camp. To punctuate the soldiers' intent, one of the women is raped in front of the others. Ajla is next but Danijel(Goran Kostic) intercedes on her behalf. It turns out that they briefly dated before the bombs fell and their romance now recommences. Except all good things must end, as Danijel is called to Sarajevo by his father(Rade Serbedzija) and can no longer protect her. So, he shows her how to escape...

To its credit, "In the Land of Blood and Honey" is one of the only depictions of the recent genocide in the Balkans as seen from the ground level. The movie hits the right tone that is neither mawkish or exploitative in dramatizing the horrors the rest of world was ignoring. Framing it around a romance like it is here is definitely tricky and risky in the extreme, but first time writer-director Angelina Jolie pulls it off, as these characters were until very recently able to live in peace together and it would therefore seem reasonable that Danijel would have second thoughts about his current actions.
Super Reviewer
½ March 4, 2012
This American romantic war drama was written and directed by Angelina Jolie... and all I have to say is: I wish she could stick to acting! She obviously didn't know too much of the subject and the culture of the region she made a movie about! Actors were using English and it was awkward watching them struggle with the lines which were written by someone who has no clue how to interact between different groups in Bosnia. Even the stars Zana Marjanović, Goran Kostić were out of their place and the only one who could handle this was the veteran of the Balkan film Rade Serbedzija.

The story is set in Sarajevo against the back drop of the Bosnian War that tore the Balkan region apart in the 1990s and tells the story of Danijel (Goran Kostić), a soldier fighting for the Bosnian Serbs, and Ajla (Zana Marjanović), a Bosnian Muslim woman he was involved with before the war, and who is now a captive in the camp he oversees. Danijel is serving under his father, a Bosnian Serb army general, when he comes face to face with Ajla again, who is among a group of women forced to be sex slaves for the Serb soldiers... By the way, if you can imagine ANY war crime committed in ANY country by ANY army on this planet - Angelina managed to show us as a part of the Serbian War Menu! No actual historical support except hatred towards a nation on such a level that most of people watching this will conclude that Serbs must be monsters and Muslim population (or Bosnians as they called these days) have angels between them only. And somehow everyone forgets who actually profited from this war! Serbs... NO... Muslims... NO... Croatians... NO... it is a small group of reach people who were selling weapons, taking factories for few dollars from "provisional" governments on the Balkans... and after that invested them in movies like this - to make them feel good. Angelina is just a piece in a game with not much brain, that's all, and she did play her role well! Of course, Jolie explained the reason she wrote and directed the film was to rekindle attention for the survivors of a war that took place in recent history... In an interview she said she felt a responsibility to learn about the conflict in great detail, adding, "This was, you know, the worst genocide since World War II in Europe ... What were we all doing? And did we do enough? And why do we not speak about this enough?" Speak, Angelina, but check those facts again! Who made money out of it and why the war started! You'll be surprised by the answers... by the way the premiere after-party of this film was co-sponsored by the US foreign policy think tank Council on Foreign Relations (of which Angelina Jolie is a member) - I think I said enough!

One of the critics described this movie as "a United Nations extra-credit project about the Bosnian War" and criticized Jolie for "producing a sanctimonious vanity commercial for her own good intentions". Not sure about the "good" part though in the last sentence... she made something she wanted - and it was bad and filled up with unfulfilled aspirations and stereotypes which are dragging for over two hours. Stay away if possible!
Super Reviewer
½ October 26, 2011
Historical Drama, War, Romance
Directorial Debut-Angelina Jolie

In the land of Blood and Honey is a meticulously, and seriously affecting , hand-crafted fictionalized historical war drama that is both intriguing and questioning. A movie that is at times hard to take in, but also at times hard to look away from. A movie that is so historicaly accurate, and it is unquestionably realilistic that you suspect that Jolie wanted us to feel every ounce of pain, and every once of heartache that was felt and it dares you not go home without a sense of emotional empathy.

Jolie didn't just direct this head turning and lip biting movie but she also partly produced it and also wrote it. Factoring in the low budget, and the low key, local actors that were obviously deeply committed to the film, and you wonder if this movie could of been any easier to make. I really believe this was an admirable attempt at making a hard to swallow movie on a(n) emotional, and such a grief strickining subject.

As I watched the film I often felt many things. I felt sadness, regret, a deep sense of hate and loathing, and even a mix of anger. 'In the Land of Blood and Honey'is truely compelling, but it is at times jaw dropping and sickingly raw. When any group of people find ways to make excuses for racism, and genocide it is ludicrous.

'In the Land of Blood and Honey' might have fell short of greatness because even though it is hair raising real, and acted with such profound compassion, it leaves many things on the table. I understood the romance and felt for the pain of two people from different backgrounds. It wasn't quite answered though what they were really feeling about each other though and the film continued without letting the audience know anymore about it.

As far as this being Jolie's directorial debut, it felt as if Jolie wrote things down and took notes. I thought I was watching a film that was filmed,cut and edited with such precison that I could of easily thought that 'Danny Boyle' directed it. Limited movies, or low budget movies aren't always bad, some might not have enough backing because of the subject matter and I fell as if 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' didn't have enough supporters because of the setting, and becuase of such a touchy plot.

Being not just a(n) Angelina Jolie fan, but a connoisseur of historical films, and stories of tragedy and war, I was more then willing to watch it. This one had a troubled romance added(Dark Blue world 90% had one that caused a rift in a father/son like relationship between two men) Even though the romance is hard to understand,the rest of the movie is understood, and easy to follow.

While most people are willing to write of movies(like a girl I know who hated wrestling/boxing movies, but changed her mind with Cinerella Man, and The Fighter,although like me, though the Wrestler 60% was overrated.) I constantly find low budget dramas, movies like Frost/Nixon 90%,Changeling 100%, A Mighty Heart 100%(Ironicly enough the last two starred Jolie), are sometimes better then bigger budget pictures such as The Dark Knight(50%) or even Red Tails(80%)which cost about 250 million to make.

'In the Land of Blood and Honey' has very graphic footage, heartbreaking scenes that disgust, intrigue, and make you think, but more importantly inform you. "In the land of Blood and Honey' is a film tah shouldn't be viewed by anyone under 17 although if parents accompany or allow children under 17 to watch it is a(n) important film that not only recreates, but demonstrates the harsh reality of hatrid, and genocide, along with the struggles of a romance between two people from different backgrounds.

the movie shouldn't be criticzed for what it get's wrong because it is very little. It should however be praised and lauded for what it gets right. It accomplishes so much and with a commited cast and crew 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' is a tense, heartwrenching, and utterly shocking drama that is as emotionaly compelling, and all too realilistic for comfort. 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' is a special film that shouldn't just be written off. It is not quite a great film, but it is very good. For a film like this, very good, is almost as good as great. That is a compliment!
Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2012
An extraordinary and unusual love story set to the backdrop of war. Though Angelina Jolie definitely shows signs of a first time director, the film still comes from the heart and lures you in with a passion that sets it apart from its kindred.
Super Reviewer
March 26, 2012
Decent enough film for Angelina Jolie's directorial debut. While the subject matter was distressing (it's based on historical events), I don't think it generated enough emotion to really make me feel one way or the other.
Super Reviewer
March 8, 2012
I just saw the Angelina Jolie's film, In the Land of Blood and Honey, and I must say, I liked it. The film was at times hard to watch because the scenes were intense and very realistic. I heard a lot about this film before I saw it, and it was even nominated in the category best foreign film for Golden Globes, and to tell the truth I was afraid that it would be a disaster, but it was not, it was a film that showed the horrors of war and a lot of rapes and crimes for Muslim people in Bosnia. Many people had heard about those things, you knew it was true, but your brain could not picture it. Angelina Jolie showed two hours of brutal pictures and painful scenes for the viewer. People might criticize her film for being one side story, but the fact remained that these horrors shown in the film took place in Yugoslavia and the whole world knew. The love story was made up, but it gave a different taste which I liked. To see how they were torn apart and how they were dealing with the relationship after they were forced into opposite sides. Not bad at all.
June 24, 2013
Overall, Jolie has nothing to be embarrassed about and much of which to be proud with this movie. Even in moments where the film doesn't quite work, she shows ample evidence of ambition and a discerning director's eye.
December 20, 2012
An excellent, thrilling, and emotional war romance set during the brutal & cruel times of the Bosnian War.
December 8, 2012
I thought this film was powerful in many ways; the performances, the story... I think Angelina Jolie's directorial debut was really well done. The two leads are outstanding. I couldn't stop watching. Just couldn't. Excited to see her future work.
June 18, 2011
I could deal with the fact that the movie is heavy-handed and emotionally inept if the central love story actually resonated for even a moment or if the movie actually had the courage to explore its most unsettling issues on anything but the shallowest level. I love Angelina Jolie for trying to shed some light on this issue; I just wish that she had used a bigger flashlight. No one could question her enthusiasm, but one definitely has to question her directorial abilities to handle such a controversial and intricate subject as the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
August 13, 2012
Obviously, I didn't expect happiness and sunshine from a movie with this subject matter, but it was simply TOO bleak and disturbing. I sat through about 45 minutes of it before I just couldn't take any more of it. This is depressing and slow moving, and while the acting is good, it's just not something I can consider entertainment of any kind.
August 3, 2012
Angelina Jolie's directing debut was solid, but nothing from this war/romantic-drama movie stood out to me. I kinda zoned in and out of it, so.. not so great, but not a total miss either.
½ July 12, 2012
Bold in its effort. A tad lacking in the delivery. The rapes were pretty rough to watch, but I think Jolie was really going for a slow, twisting of a knife sort of feeling. I applaud her for shinning a light on an otherwise overlooked and scarcely talked about conflict. The set designs were absolutely incredible. I wonder where the location shooting...?
October 3, 2011
This is definitely not my favorite kind of movie to watch. It was heartbreaking to see how these women were treated and the people were destroyed, but this movie is about a horrible war so nothing unexpected happened. The movie ended the only way that it could to be realistic; unfortunately, there is no resolution to be had.
½ May 29, 2012
In the Land of Blood and Honey is Angelina Jolie's directorial debut. It got some attention for both that and being a romance taking place during the seige of Sarajevo, Yugoslavia (before the entire dissolution of that former nation) between a Bosnian muslim woman and a Serb militia-man. The Serbs were noted as practically "ethnically cleansing" Bosnia/Herzogovina during the Balkan's Bosnian War in the 1990's (I canNOT believe this was happening while I finished high school) and therefore the two lovers were star-crossed. We are given a VERY brief introduction to the characters who were on a date when the first bombing/shellings occurred and as he found her of interest he looks out for her when he finds her in a refugee-like camp (where the women served the Serbian men). I think there is too much here to be a great film although it has some very good moments. I believe there is the making(s) of a successful story here; but Jolie is too bogged down in some of the side-story to effectively convince the audience of the central character's relationship. There is also some uncertainty here that I feel would have been better handled by a seasoned vet of direction; but I think Jolie has shown that she has a vision and can tell a story. I liked the film more as a historical record than as a romance ... the first Olympics I remember fully as a child were the 1984 Winter Games in Sarajevo. Knowing what happened to much of that beautiful and historic city (the "shot heard round the world" that started WWI happened in the city streets) is very sad. The city and its people have come a long way in a short period of time; but we all need to be aware that things like this happen all over the world everyday. For that ... I am thankful for this film. I just with it had been better.
May 21, 2012
Immorally one sided movie about tragic civil war in Bosnia. The story is better then expected, but where are Muslim and Croatian solders?, or Angelina wanted to say that Serbs were fighting civilians and woman only?? If she would show atrocities they did too, the movie would have been much more realistic. So tragically, the anti-propaganda and devilization of Serbs continues:(
I have an idea for Angelina's next movie: suffering of Afghan, Korean, Vietnam, Iraqi or even Serbian woman, children and other civilians caused by American imperial attack to these far lands. Or, to stay in a zone of their own civilian wars, suffering of Indian woman and children Americans caused for a "better tomorrow".
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