The Prisoner Or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair Reviews

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Beverly Berning
culturevulture.net
April 23, 2007
The American military comes across as bungling and ineffective as protectors. If people thought we didn't know what we were doing in Iraq before, this is yet more evidence of our incompetence.
Top Critic
Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
April 9, 2007
... a chillingly pitch-black comedy of errors ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jette Kernion
Cinematical
April 4, 2007
I would have preferred a clearer narrative that was easier to understand, without all the comic-book gimmicks. Despite those faults, the documentary is worth seeing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
John P. McCarthy
Boxoffice Magazine
March 31, 2007
The filmmaker's methodology backfires by undercutting the credibility of the testimony presented and overshadowing any actual miscarriage of justice.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
March 30, 2007
[Abbas'] story demands to be heard, though Tucker and Epperlein lack the material for a full feature and pad this out to 73 minutes with some incongruously playful elements.
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Bill Stamets
Chicago Sun-Times
March 30, 2007
Abbas could tell his interrogators nothing they wanted to know, but everything we needed to know about their tactics.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 30, 2007
It's an angry story, but also a strangely hopeful one, in the sense of new life sprouting through a battlefield. Above all, it's personal and specific, and that is news we can use.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Marrit Ingman
Austin Chronicle
March 30, 2007
The film makes clear its point about the profound failures of justice caused by aggressive attempts at arrests and detention.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
March 30, 2007
The Prisoner doesn't try to put the entire war in context or offer broad solutions. It's a focused slice of the war, covering an issue that you've probably wondered about but haven't seen in many other places.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
March 30, 2007
A modestly mounted, but curiously poignant little documentary which somehow -- quietly, devastatingly -- shows and tells you more than you may perhaps want to know about the dehumanization implicit in the mighty, blighted Iraqi adventure.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
March 30, 2007
What's troubling about the film's technique is its lack of context; we must take Yuris, who speaks serviceable English, pretty much at his word. What's troubling about his story is its ring of truth.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
March 29, 2007
The Prisoner is a triumph of specificity. It is one man's story, told in scrupulous and vivid detail.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
March 28, 2007
None of The Prisoner's showy flourishes -- animation, sound effects, fancy editing -- can match the power of Abbas' stillness as he describes one man's agony in one huge hell.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Merle Bertrand
Film Threat
March 27, 2007
Turns out that every country, every civilization, has its good eggs as well as its bad ones. What The Prisoner clearly shows us is that this Administration has no interest in learning the difference between the two.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
March 24, 2007
Retroish cartoon panels of Uday Hussein and torture cell blocks, thought balloons floating over live talking heads, amplified sound effects. The choice is a bold one, occasionally glib and almost derailing the seriousness of the material.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
March 24, 2007
Consider it the single gloomiest cocktail-party story of all time.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Prairie Miller
WBAI Web Radio
March 23, 2007
The banality and muted despair of this endured horror is laced with the all too chilling familiarity of racist US revenge culture, like police brutality, exported to an imperialist conquest war zone and spreading like a planetary social contagion.
Jeffrey Wachs
Reel.com
March 23, 2007
Provides ample proof of the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
March 23, 2007
A depressing story, certainly, as well as moving, confusing and, at a fast 72 minutes, at once undercooked and overpadded.
| Original Score: 3/5
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
March 22, 2007
A follow-up to the acclaimed Gunner Place, this docu, about one innocent Iraqui's detention and then shipment to Abu Ghraib, exhibits a restrained approach that allows its righteous indignation to grow slowly without resorting to manipulative tactics.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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