Lions for Lambs Reviews
When I saw the theatrical trailer, I was totally waiting for the movie it actually shows: a movie where people talk... Talk about one of the most important subject of our time. I was not waiting for a thriller with conspiracies in every corner like the critics seemed to !
Okay, maybe the story was a little slow (but don't get me wrong, every lines were astonishing and the movie contains some breathtaking war scenes), but I thought each word was chosen perfectly and said by actors at their best. Ahh the actors ! Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise were completely admirable ! And well Robert Redford, without compting in his excellent direction job, acted greatly.
By forgetting what the critics said negatively about the abrupt ending, on my side, I thought it was very clever.
Finally, like it or not, it's still a movie every one should see.
While the core arguements may seem pat, the telling in real life terms of cause and effect keep the film fresh and relevent.
Crisp dialog delivered by three very accomplished actors, who feel natural and immersed in their roles, truly make this film shine. A perfect casting for Tom Cruise, who uses his disarming smile and lets you see the hint of gamemanship behind it, as the young Republican Senator and West Point grad who is playing politics, but at the same time, truly believes in our role in Afghanistan.
Streep, as a battle weary and wary journalist plays off Cruise like a paso doble, bantering and challenging, and yet never letting Cruise see the dislike for what he has to say.
Redford is simply at ease and charming as the poli-sci professor who tries to motivate a gifted student into doing "something".
All this against the backdrop of a botched marine landing that dooms two friends and former Redford students - both who had so much more to offer mankind - and yet, the film manages to not convey an anti-war sentiment; it's far to complex, as are the issues themselves. The message here is to see and learn, and then make your own choices, remembering that by doing nothing at all you give tacit agreement to the status quo.
Lions for Lambs was released in a year full of Iraq or war-related films and isn't one of the best of that year. I have to admit that I wonder just exactly what Redford is trying to say in this film and this is wil try to focus on, as well as the film's flaws and good parts.
Prior to watching this film, I had no idea as to how I would feel about this film-so I went into it with a relativly open mind. What's interesting though, is that the film starts off resonably well and gets progressivly worse as the film goes on. The main flaw, and a big one at that, is the content within the film. As mentioned by many reviews by my friends on this site; this film is incredibly prechy. As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, I wonder just exactly what Redford is really trying to tell us. Is it just full of his political ideas? Argbably that could be the case. However I think it's not only a fault of his but the script is a major problem and perhaps research that was carried out.
I wonder exactly why Redford thought this film was the right way to go. The problem with it is that it tells us nothing new about events up to and surrounding the Iraq war. Like I said before, it preches to us things we've heard time and time again about the war, by news stations and newspapers. I started to feel very irritated and insulted towards the middle of the film. This is because you feel as though Redford feels that the audience watching this have no concept of what this war is about. Thus, by the end of the film you feel as though you've been lectured to by one of your parents or teacher.
One review that I read said this film was "politics for dummies" and I think he's probably right. Much of the dialogue in this film is very obvious and uncessary. Yes, we know that the war in Iraq shouldn't have happened and Yes we know the consequences of war. I struggle to understand some of the sub-plots in this film. What was the purpse of the professor and the student and why exactly does Meryal Streep's character need to be there. Some of those unanswered questions means the films loses "the flow" that every film needs. By that I mean that a perfect film needs to be consistently great through every scene and every scene needs purpse. Lions for Lambs does not have that.
I really feel for Meryl Streep in this film as she is the only good part of it. Her character is very likeable and represents the masses in some respects. However the material given to her means we don't see the full extent of her capabilities in this role. Tom Cruise, I found very very irritating and found his character to be way to patrirchal for my liking.
Overall, Lions for Lambs fails to impress on all levels and I don't recomend it.
Watch Taxi to The Dark Side...to see a true portrayal of the Iraq War
However, I still can't help but to think this movie falls flat. I enjoyed the questions this movie tackles and I love how it makes you think on your own. But I left this movie feeling empty. This film lacks a lot of substance. The heart-breaking climax was off target in my opinion, I found it to be more unfortunate than "sad."
So much more could've been done with this film. However, it does have a good message and is a must for those of us who have been captivated by the War on Terrorism since 2001. But, at the end of the day, this movie is completely forgettable.
Starring: Robert Redford, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Derek Luke, Michael Peņa.
"Do you want to win the war on terror, yes or no? This is the quintessential yes or no question of our time.....yes, or no?"
Funny how the question on many peoples minds to so many is interrupted in this film by a phone call.
The story follows three intertwining stories over a course of a day, all set off by one where two students at a university who make a bold decision to join the battle in Afghanistan and end up being stranded in battle fighting for there lives. We also meet the teacher of these two students, after failing to convert them away from going to war, he tries his best with a potential student of his and the third consists of a Senator speaking to a Journalist about his new plan for the war, which caused the events in the first place. It has been 6 years since an event started the war of terror and we have endured many films about it, some have worked brilliantly, others failed terribly....Lions For Lambs is in the latter. What drew me to the film was certainly the talent behind the film, you have 3 brilliant leading actors with Robert Redford back in the directors chair after 7 years and new coming writer Matthew Michael Carnahan showing a lot of potential after writing 'The Kingdom'....but none of these talents show there stuff. The very big letdown is Matthew Michael Carnahan's incoherent screenplay, even running at a mere 88 minutes, we are given a slow pacing, messy structure and way too many common questions that millions already ask with no answers to make the film engaging, even with some small ideas that are interesting, it really does not work at all and we are left to enduring some terribly dull lectures while shaking our heads at how he forgot to make his paper-thin character more formed. Robert Redford makes the worst comeback behind the camera and let us hope he either improves or stops. Not only do we have a heavy handed handle on the subject matter, but the small action sequences are sloppy and terribly directed. The acting shows nothing more than mediocrity for the most part, Meryl Streep is at her most awkward, droning through her lines with no power, Tom Cruise tries too hard and falls flat and although Robert Redford shows heart with his character, he doesn't show anything else to save the film.
There's a word I'm looking for that somehow sums this film up, I felt that it knew it was dull and messy and the characters on screen really reflected how the audience felt, when they looked at the time a lot and talked a lot about questions being raised with no answers, it all seemed very hypocritical. The most disappointing film of the year.