Lions for Lambs Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 7, 2007
The premise of the film is actually very interesting. It views the US war on terror from different parallel angles: a liberal reporter interviewing a republican senator (Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise), a university professor trying to get his student to become political again (Robert Redford and Andrew Spiderman Garfield) while two US soldiers, his former students, are under attack in the Afghan mountains. With names like this, you expect the acting to be top notch and the dialogs to be smart and to the point and all that's the case, especially in the excellent Washington part. The film has a lot of smart things to say about the state of America in its war on terror and demands to open up the discussion again. That's a noble thought. Sadly, the Uni office section doesn't always get to the point as sharply and the Afghan story line ends in the expected preachy way. In the end you're wondering what was actually accomplished in those 90 minutes. A lot is hinted at, nothing's resolved. But then again, at least it made you think about it all, that's gotta count for something.
Super Reviewer
½ February 7, 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Separate stories connected by a common theme telling a story from different perspectives made the movie relevant to political discussions about American policies and ideas of war. The movie also does the best job showing the price of war with the great lives sacrificed often for unjust reasons.
Super Reviewer
October 7, 2007
It's frustrating me to see the critics rating this movie as if it was the worst of the year !
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.
Super Reviewer
½ January 27, 2010
I really didn't care all that much for the story, but it did have some great acting performances. Tom Cruise obviously stole the show with his corrupt politician character, but it's also some of the best acting i've seen from Robert Redford in a while. I think it mainly failed due to the fact that everyone already figures that there was/is corruption in the Iraq War so there weren't any real surprises.
Super Reviewer
October 29, 2009
The interwoven stories effect has been used many a time before, but here I felt it a cohesive commentary, each segment casting a significant light on the thoughts and actions of the other segments.

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.
Super Reviewer
May 4, 2009
A well-acted, but ultimately flawed and one sided liberal approach towards the War in Iraq. Robert Redford's story concerning him and his student is not entirely riveting, and the movie pitches so many political cliches and generalizations that it's hard to keep up with what its trying to say other than that this war is a bad one. Tom Cruise is a perfect selection to play the John Edwards look-a-like who explains to the pessimistic Meryl Streep why they're in this war. The ending is pretty bad as well, not only does it end abruptly, but what happens to the two soldiers it follows (Michael Pena and Derek Luke) is massively disappointing. A rare misfire from Robert Redford.
Super Reviewer
March 24, 2009
Injuries sustained by two Army ranger behind enemy lines in Afghanistan set off a sequence of events involving a congressman, a journalist and a professor

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 see a true portrayal of the Iraq War
Super Reviewer
½ March 17, 2009
While the theme was good, the execution of the movie was too poor to impress me.
Super Reviewer
½ December 31, 2008
It's extremely well-made, and has a good cast who all (yes, even Tom Cruise) give really good performances, and, while I liked the fact that multiple views were represented, as well as the open-ended nature of the film, it didn't really go anywhere, and just lost steam and ran in circles towards the end.
Super Reviewer
½ July 16, 2008
Lions for Lambs, as it's title suggests, is a provocative film based on the harsh reality of the Iraq War. The film follows three incredibly moving story lines. This movie aims to impress with its very sharp and witty dialogue. This is not a movie for teenagers or action junkies. It is a political thriller, so some interest in politics and current events is needed to fully understand and associate with this film.

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.
Super Reviewer
½ December 22, 2007
Does every Movie that Robert Reford is in suck. I mean this one had a point I guess but I missed it. Time to retire Redford.
Super Reviewer
½ June 21, 2008
This is not a film. It is a speech. Plain and simple it is endless talking about the war on terror. Some kind of a feeble plot has been inserted around the preaching (it isn't dialogue). The actors do great and they bloody want to having to take up every last second with their "acting". Why not make a documentary? Or just a public speech if this is how you feel. By the end the talking turns to whining and just "Blah Blah Blah". Luckily it is a merciful 80 odd minutes. It's been there, done that, heard it all before cinema with an extra coat of gloss.
Super Reviewer
November 6, 2007
A gripping, thrilling and astonishing political drama. Absorbing, captivating and breathtaking. Heart-pounding, exciting and very compelling. It roars across the screen with political tension and intensity that blows you away. A riveting and deeply moving film. It's splendid, spectacular and magnificent. Stunning, intelligent, unforgettable and incrediably outstanding throughout. A masterpiece. Robert Redfords finest film as a director and artist. A brilliant all-star cast. Robert Redford and Tom Cruise have never been better. They act with such power, fierce dedication and intelligence. Crafting some of the best performances of their careers. Even thow the two are not in a scene together, dosent mean you cant feel the force. Derek Luke and Michael Pena are teriffic. A film that will definately be talked about for years. It goes where most movies wouldnt dare to go. A full-on statement that gets you thinking even after it's nail-biting conclusion. I truly loved this film. Flat-out electrifying.
Super Reviewer
½ March 26, 2008
We get're against the war in Iraq.
Super Reviewer
½ February 15, 2008
Theres no real storyline and then the movie just ends. Crap.
Super Reviewer
December 12, 2007
Proves that a ten minutes scene of two people sitting in a room talking doesn't always have to be boring. Bit preachy at the end, thanks, but otherwise very good.
August 22, 2007
Directed by: Robert Redford.
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.
Super Reviewer
½ December 5, 2007
lil bobby redford hand-delivers this message from the sixties for you jaded 21st century, too-much make-up, addicted to self-phones, greedy, materialistic, crybabies: "stop it! go out and get involved in something outside of yourself, you knuckleheads, even if it means goin' to fight in iran/iraq/afganistan or whatever!" not badly written, and sure, the guy makes a damn good point (no more, no less than yer overweight auntie probably made at thanksgiving about yer lousy lovelife...and did you listen to her? do you ever...?) but somehow it's a film w/o any guts to it...and i HATE to say that about lil bobby redford.
Super Reviewer
½ November 10, 2007
Great cast and interesting characters. This movie was very thought provoking about two friends who join the army to fight in Afghanistan. While politicians plan and plot their actions from the comfort and safety of Washington DC. Interwined in the story is a journalist and professor with differing options about the war.
Super Reviewer
September 23, 2007
About one-third of this film is great, but the other two-thirds are pretty weak. A big disappointment overall.
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