A Mighty Heart Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 25, 2011
I really liked the fact that they kept it as real to life as possible and I believed that this had happened; although on a downside it made the film rather slow at times. Also I found it difficult to keep up with what was happening when there were several similar looking men pacing around and talking in a foreign language with no subtitles, it was difficult to figure out what was happening. Jolie gave a fantastic performance and I believed her as Mariane. It was heartbreaking to see her pain at finding out about her husbands execution. It did seem a bit strange however that she remained focused and in control of her emotions for the rest of the time after his death. I don't know if that was true of the real Mariane or not, but it is strange.
Super Reviewer
½ September 24, 2011
More thrilling - and much less weepy - than I expected, and a film in which Angelina Jolie carries out her role incredibly naturally, save for one scene, when the drama's at its highest, where she goes over the top. On the whole, A Mighty Heart was a surprise: an accessible adaptation of a difficult-to-understand true story that was helped along by decent performances from a group of relative unknowns. Worth seeing once.
Super Reviewer
February 1, 2011
This is the true story of the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, American journalist in Pakistan after 9/11. His widow, Mariane (also a journalist), wrote her memoirs of the event and is convincingly played by Angelina Jolie,(who i believe gave an outstanding performance). Even though we all know how things turn out, the movie is gripping early on and is worth seeing ~!
Super Reviewer
½ June 1, 2008
First, I have to say that I had no interest in this film, but someone bought me the DVD and, at last, I decided to give it a go. Even though this story is loyally based on true events, I constantly had the impression A Mighty Heart brought nothing new to the screen.

Most of the film is an awful mess, with a clumsy direction and a very normal screenplay.
Angelina Jolie handled well her French accent, but her performance was not that exceptional.

The emotional aspect of the movie is not enough exploited and when it is, I just wanted to shut off the TV.

Really, I didn't like this movie and I knew I wouldn't. I know it's an important movie and we all should watch it. I'm glad I finally did, but it still didn't impress me a bit.
Super Reviewer
June 25, 2007
Michael Winterbottom is one of today's most underrated filmmakers, and this film is a work of extraordinary power. Angelina Jolie gives her best performance to date.
Super Reviewer
½ March 2, 2009
This movie was filmed as if you were a fly on the wall. Scenes take place amidst chaos, as if there were no focus to the script - and that's what makes it compelling - you feel as if it were real and not some hollywood contrivance - but of course that is also the film's main detraction. too many scenes where you're wondering "who's that guy?", or "why is this guy in this place".

Jolie is stoic for the most part, which makes her gutteral breakdown all the more effective. The shrieks and sobs and wails seem so real that I almost felt embarassed to be a witness to it (it should have been private).

The film does an admirable job of conveying the claustrophobia and chaotic maismos of a major Pakistani city, as well as the almost desperation of the Pakistani police and intelligence who take it as a personal affront against them and an insult against the Pakistani people that an American journalist would be abducted on their watch. I was saddened by THEIR mighty heart, as they knew that public opinion on their entire race and culture was going to take another hit.

In the end, it was their pride that hit home more than anything else. As this is a docudrama, too much film was spent on minor charactors who really had nothing to contribute (the Wall Street Journal editors who ended up in Pakistan, for example). In all, the narrative could have been tighter and the time could have been better spent making the links of the investigation a bit more clear - it seemed like all the charactors knew exactly what was going on and who was linked to who - but a bit more clarity would have certainly helped.
Super Reviewer
August 3, 2008
For a movie entitled A Mighty Heart, I didn't see much heart in Angelina's performance. She was dead-eyed the entire time and the only touch of humanness I saw was after storming outside, distraught, she sees the child and quickly composes herself and says, "Very silly." The final breakdown was poorly done. I can understand screaming "NO!" over and over again in guttural agony, but perhaps it was the fault of the cinematography for not capturing Angelina's face, but then also her own fault for not acting with her back.
Super Reviewer
March 5, 2008
A moving documentary-style movie with a remarkable performance from Jolie
Super Reviewer
½ June 18, 2007
This tragic true story film is a heartbreaking, extremely powerful, and oddly inspiring film that reflects the strength and hope that people gain in the most difficult solution. Angelina Jolie makes an excellent performance as a real-life journalist Mariane Pearl in her own emotional for the concerns of her husband's kidnapped.
Super Reviewer
February 9, 2008
A Mighty Heart, like United 93, gives us some insight into a particular even. In this case it's the kidnapping and search for Daniel Pearl in Pakistan. In both cases we know the outcome before we walk into the theatre, and both films are successful in holding our attention while telling their stories.

Anyone who has traveled in South Asia will find the setting familiar. Location shots pepper the plot line in order to remind us that "we're not in Kansas anymore." The crush of traffic, architecture, vegetation, local dress are visually stunning - not necessarily pretty, but beautiful in their own way. The use of hand held cameras and tight shots is very effective in conveying mood. Angelina Jolie is wonderful, but I'm not sure the performance is Oscar worthy. I guess that's contingent on how many strong female roles come along this year.

What is most interesting about the film is the way it shows us the world today, the world of terrorism, and how a handful of discontent with computers and cell phones can be tremendously disruptive.
Super Reviewer
½ June 19, 2007
The only thing you can really get behind in A Mighty Heart is Angelina Jolie's performance. Everything else is competent, if not totally sterile. I won't remember a single thing about it in two weeks except how effective Angie was when she did fateful TV interviews, investigated frantically, and learned her husband died. And even her role is sadly downplayed; she is confined to her house in Pakistan for nearly the entire movie, not getting to do anything but let the plot come to her. It's not her fault since the narrative is based on a true story, but a really excellent performance like hers deserves a little more room to breathe.

I guess the big challenge in making this movie was creating a suspenseful, entertaining story even though everyone already knows the ending. I guess it succeeded. It at least held my attention, though I wasn't exactly shitting myself in anticipation for the 900th phone call the characters issue or receive.

It was kind of funny seeing ol' Angie in this after I watched Hackers yesterday. Humble beginnings.
Super Reviewer
½ November 26, 2007
This film was soooo boring! I was watching this while drinking...that was the only reason why I finished the whole film.
Super Reviewer
½ October 28, 2007
this was a decent film. it definitely did a great job of showing modern pakistan and the turmoil cased by terrorism. the film was really slow and shifty and nothing was emphasized, in one way it was good because you felt like you were watching real life, in another way it made the story a little hard to follow. not great but worth watching.
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2007
Directed by: Michael Winterbottom.
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Dan Futterman, Archie Panjabi, Alyy Khan

I will say this again, as I always do in reviews for films like this....I am not politically minded, nor am I someone who ever followed worldwide events such as this, it is a personal choice, nothing hateful. Instead, I saw this film as a film, not to judge how accurate anything is.

The story follows the tragic, true accounts of Mariane Pearl, a French freelance journalist who is in Pakastan with husband Daniel Pearl, who is a Wall Street journalist who is covering different aspects of the war on terrorism. When Daniel leaves for a final meeting, he never returns and Mariane faces a major task of trying to find him. One thing I found to be a high point was the fact that Michael Winterbottom and John Orloff never delve into the accounts of why things happened (although some elements confused me as I did not follow any of these events), instead, they tell the story from Mariane's point of view (whihc is obvious, being adapted from her novel). Michael Winterbottom takes his hand held style into this film and it works out to be a very strong point. Shot documentary style, it is shot very up close and personal, putting us right in the middle of all this and it is very intense and uncomfortable to watch at times. Although I found the film to be slightly unfocused on an emotional level, what you do see of it comes from Angelina Jolie's performance. She is someone who showed acting potential in such films as Girl, Interrupted, she hasn't exactly picked roles that show it since then. In a very demanding role, she is an unexpected choice and without going into any race related issues, she delivers a very commanding, powerful and gripping performance, where a major turning point for her involves a scene near the end of the film when she hears news of her husband, the scene holds a large emotional core thanks to Angelina and it was really difficult to watch.

It is, in one sentence, very compelling filmmaking. Brilliantly shot and with compelling storytelling....and a performance from Angelina that deserves recognition from the Academy, it is a film sure to stay with you when you leave the theater.
Super Reviewer
June 20, 2007
A Mighty Heart, one of the strongest contenders for next year's Oscars is a wonderful drama shot in a documentary style, masterfully directed by Michael Winterbottom and really well cut, but, the most impressive thing about this film, and the thing that's got everybody buzzing, is Angelina Jolie's performance. Intense, tough and at the same time tender, just great. She''l definitely be getting her second Oscar later next year.
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2007
Angelina Jolie is the heart and soul of this movie. Despite its touchy subject matter and political implications, the movie is essentially about a woman trying to cope with the drama that surrounds her. This drama would become one that unfolded before the world and caused a major uproar in 2002.

Although you know what happens in the movie (from hearing about Daniel Pearl on the news, etc.) you still feel surprised and you still find yourself at the edge of your seat as the story unravels.

Jolie delivers one of the best performances of her career in this beautifully executed film (no pun intended.) She shines where she should shine in a brilliant turn as a wife stuck in a foreign land with a problem that no wife should have to face.

I'll be shocked if this performance doesn't earn her another Oscar nomination--this time for Best Actress.

The film itself, Jolie not withstanding, is also a high quality piece in all respects. Its script is magnificent and the directions (from its tender moments of subtle pans; to the turbulent grittiness of its shaky trills) the movie is great to watch as well. There's never a dull moment.

Watch for Jolie's breakdown scene. It is truly harrowing and will make that evanescent lump in your throat lodge itself there for the rest of the movie.
Super Reviewer
½ August 23, 2012
A Mighty Heart is a compelling biopic about one of the seminal events in the War on Terror; the abduction of American journalist Daniel Pearl. Based on the memoir of Mariane Pearl, the film follows her struggles as she deals with the abduction of her husband by Islamic terrorists, and the pursuing attempt to rescue him. Angelina Jolie stars as Mariane and gives an outstanding performance that's extremely powerful. However, the film gets a little self-serving at times and losses focus. Still, A Mighty Heart tells an intense and emotional story about courage and strength in the face of evil.
Super Reviewer
½ June 25, 2007
[font=Century Gothic]In "A MIghty Heart", it is January 2002 and Daniel Pearl(Dan Futterman), a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, is abducted in Karachi, Pakistan while seeking an interview with Sheikh Gilani who is suspected of having ties to Richard Reid and the 9/11 conspirators. Pearl's wife, Mariane(Angelina Jolie), also a journalist and five months pregnant, sifts through the clues with a friend, Asra(Archie Panjabi), a journalist from India.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]Based on the book by Mariane Pearl, "A Mighty Heart" is a taut political thriller that works on multiple layers, thanks to Michael Winterbottom's skill as a director. First, this is a deeply romantic love story about two people from two different backgrounds and two different religions uniting for a common passion.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]Secondly, this is a thorough examination of journalism in this day and age.(Especially take notice of the press coverage of the Pearls' ordeal.) Daniel and Mariane are in Pakistan to cover the American invasion of Afghanistan, but stay after the other journalists have left because the story of terrorism is still out there.(Also, the Pearls stay in a friend's house while the other journalists are holed up at the Sheraton.) On the day of Daniel's abduction, they were planning on leaving for air-conditioned Dubai. They are courageous but not foolhardy. [/font]

[font=Century Gothic]I think it was a huge risk in casting Angelina Jolie, a movie star who has done little of interest in her career, in the lead, but here she pulls off an emotionally resonant performance admirably. A movie star turn would have killed the movie, since with Michael Winterbottom's guerrilla style of filmmaking, the acting has to be as natural as possible.[/font]
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