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Lebanon (Levanon) (2010)

tomatometer

90

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 100
Fresh: 90 | Rotten: 10

A powerful and personal account of war on the front line, writer-director Samuel Maoz takes the viewer inside an Israeli tank to deliver an exhausting, original film.

100

Average Rating: 8.3/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 0

A powerful and personal account of war on the front line, writer-director Samuel Maoz takes the viewer inside an Israeli tank to deliver an exhausting, original film.

audience

72

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 5,351

My Rating

Movie Info

The First Lebanon War - June, 1982. A lone tank is dispatched to search a hostile town that has already been bombarded by the Israeli Air Force. What seems to be a simple mission gradually spins out of control. Shmuel the gunner, Assi the commander, Herzl the loader and Yigal the driver are the tank's crew, four 20-something boys who have never fought in a war and are now operating a killing machine. Though trying to remain brave, the boys are pushed to their mental limits as they struggle to

R,

Art House & International, Drama

Jan 18, 2011

$0.4M

Sony Classic Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (103) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (90) | Rotten (10) | DVD (3)

We can smell the sweat, urine and diesel fuel in Lebanon. We can taste the exhaust, the metallic tang of explosive fumes from a shell ejected from the cannon.

October 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although Lebanon is to be congratulated for its bold visual strategy and strong antiwar stance, the film becomes claustrophobic after a while. When one of the characters finally emerges from the tank, you may find yourself as relieved as he is.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's a bit too much of the tight close-up of sweat- and soot-stained faces trembling with emotion and doubt, but there's no mistaking or escaping this movie's powerful impact.

September 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Film.com
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A filmmaking challenge that a cynic might dismiss as "Das Tank" if it didn't offer a scalding moral challenge in the bargain.

September 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is a grisly experience, and one of the greatest war films I have ever seen.

September 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The limited perspective of the world outside, combined with the claustrophobic, clammy interior of the rumbling tank, immediately generate a tremendous tension, and the film wastes no time in ratcheting up the stress.

September 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lebanon is an absolutely stunning piece of work. Both incredibly powerful and completely captivating, it's one of the best films I've ever seen.

November 11, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Though not as explicitly focused on memory as Waltz with Bashir, Lebanon's style lends its own dredged-from-memory, expressionistic rawness.

July 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

It's amazing how much tension can be built up in such a small space.

September 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Examiner.com
Examiner.com

Una aproximación a la traumática crueldad de un conflicto bélico narrada exclusivamente desde el interior de un tanque de guerra. La experiencia es tensa, agobiante y angustiante, casi como la guerra misma.

August 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

Physical, visceral, intimate, and even sensual, Lebnaon, a highlight of Israeli cinema of the past decade, is a combat film like no other war film you have seen before

June 2, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

An impressive claustrophobic and frightful depiction of war's insanity.

March 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Blood, sweat and oil...the only thing worse than the dark, hellish, odorous claustrophobia of the tank's innards is the tunnel vision afforded by the gun-sight...[Blu-ray]

January 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

It's a strong film, complex in many ways, and seems to me to come from a genuinely stricken conscience. But in its formal probity, Lebanon turns into a moral dodge.

January 3, 2011 Full Review Source: The Nation
The Nation

It works so strenuously to deliver its message that it threatens to short-circuit what otherwise could have been a gut-punch of a film.

December 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune
Times-Picayune

While it captures the confusion and horror experienced by these young soldiers, what, after all, is it saying? That war brutalises soldiers? We know that.

December 3, 2010 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

This brilliant, explosive drama is every bit as terrifying, brutal and shocking as The Hurt Locker.

December 2, 2010 Full Review Source: sbs.com.au
sbs.com.au

Rarely has a film so intensely conveyed the catastrophic shock to the system a first time on a battlefield must wield.

December 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

Watching Lebanon is more poignant armed with the knowledge that we're witnessing Maoz's own experiences as a young Israeli soldier during the war -- he's the gunner of the story.

December 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Trespass
Trespass

Lebanon certainly qualifies as one of the best films about modern warfare with its unflinching depiction of the trade-off between duty and humanity.

December 1, 2010 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

Powerfully shot from within the tank, this unflinching war drama is unforgettable.

November 30, 2010 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

An unforgettable piece of cinema; a haunting experience that doubles as the document that - 24 years on - finally laid the filmmaker's ghosts to rest.

November 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

Perhaps the most notable aspect of this film is that it's a coproduction between Israel, Lebanon, Germany and France.

November 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

It's a strong addition to the small number of anti-war, pro-peace Israeli films being produced at the moment.

November 24, 2010 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

Given the current global climate, this is an important film - a personal, powerful anti-war statement.

November 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Flicks.co.nz
Flicks.co.nz

A daring concept and a meticulously crafted study of the psychology of conflict.

November 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Screenwize
Screenwize

Audience Reviews for Lebanon (Levanon)

Lebanon is a rehashed addition to the 'War is Hell' genre. It offers nothing new and fails to engage as a large proportion of its audience will be muttering 'I've seen it all before' to themselves.
March 10, 2013
Jack Hawkins
Jack Hawkins

Super Reviewer

A suffocating story centered on four Israeli soldiers within a tank moving across an invaded land - isolated from the chaos outside but seeing everything through the gun-sight. A complex war film shot entirely inside the vehicle, depicting the personal impact of a conflict.
April 1, 2012
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

'Lebanon'. A gritty and visceral look at the war in the 1980s, geniusely directed purely from the viewpoint of a group of soldiers inside one tank, with their scope / viewfinder being the only link to the outside world.
March 28, 2011
c0up
c0up  

Super Reviewer

Lebanon is quite a unique war film in that its shot entirely from the perspective of a turret controller of a tank. This gives the viewer a voyeuristic glance at war and highlights the crews contrast of emotions. On one hand they feel trapped and claustrophobic but on the other hand they feel safe and protected. This all of course can be too much for a man, what with the heat, conflicting views and general madness and confusion that war brings. It does however make compelling viewing. A compelling, original and brilliantly devised film by Samuel Maoz - a director to look out for!
November 8, 2010
SirPant

Super Reviewer

    1. Hertzel: I got confused. Until now I only shot barrels.
    – Submitted by Frances H (6 months ago)
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