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Restrepo (2010)

tomatometer

96

Average Rating: 8.1/10
Reviews Counted: 110
Fresh: 106 | Rotten: 4

Forsaking narrative structure for pure visceral power, Restrepo plunges viewers into the experiences of soldiers on the front lines of the Afghan War.

94

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 2

Forsaking narrative structure for pure visceral power, Restrepo plunges viewers into the experiences of soldiers on the front lines of the Afghan War.

audience

88

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 11,957

My Rating

Movie Info

Filmmakers Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington pay a visit to Afghanistan's Korengal Valley to spend a year with the Second Platoon, a besieged squadron who dubbed their stronghold Outpost Restrepo in honor of their fallen comrade PFC Juan Restrepo. An al-Qaeda and Taliban stronghold, Korengal Valley sees some of the fiercest fighting in the War on Terror. At Outpost Restrepo, every shot fired is personal, and every target hit a gift to a fallen friend. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Dec 7, 2010

$1.3M

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All Critics (111) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (106) | Rotten (4) | DVD (4)

Restrepo avoids political discussion. It just revels in the heroism of these impossibly young, brave soldiers who follow orders that at times seem pointless because following them is what their country has asked them to do.

January 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The camera lingers on the soldiers' smiles and tears and shows the human face of military tactics which reduce people to chess pieces.

October 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At this point in all our Middle Eastern conflicts, we need more from a documentary than just a grunts-eye-view of the frustrating nature of the war.

August 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Comments (12)
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The directors were satisfied with telling us about a group of courageous, honorable young soldiers -- a salute these men richly deserve.

August 12, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A look at both the tragic folly of war and the camaraderie of men under pressure, the documentary Restrepo holds both hope and horror.

August 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In hewing closely to the rhythms of war, Junger and Hetherington forgo different considerations about war.

August 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

its most emotionally raw moments are indicative of their military subjects' exceptional comfort level with their observers ( ... ) the arid yet woody outcroppings high above the valley are an intriguing new terrain

November 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Restrepo succeeds as both a remarkable piece of cinéma vérité documentary filmmaking and a tribute to the soldiers who are put through hell.

February 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Autopsy
Cinema Autopsy

Restrepo captures the physical trauma and psychological torment that forms the essence of the 'War is Hell' mantra, regardless of which flag you fight under.

February 7, 2011 Full Review Source: sbs.com.au
sbs.com.au

Everything about the way this film is shot, edited and packaged scream of a desire to show the war exactly as it is.

February 1, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

Though the movie tries not to make any kind of commentary, it's clear: this is just another reminder as to the utter pointlessness of this war.

January 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Comment (1)
Combustible Celluloid

"Restrepo" puts a new face on the war in Afghanistan. A decidedly American face. Paul Chambers, CNN.

January 26, 2011 Full Review Source: CNNRadio
CNNRadio

Reminds us that wars are fought by individuals, not faceless armies.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Despite being a moving reminder to support our troops, Restrepo cannot help but be "Exhibit A" in the case against the unwinnable "War on Terror."

December 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Restrepo comes closest of any film I've seen to fully suggesting what being a soldier is like.

November 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

The madness of warfare is starkly presented here, as dozens of questions potentially run through the viewer's mind.

November 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

Despite disclaimers by the directors that this is not a "political" movie, "Restrepo" is one damned good reason to get the hell out of Afghanistan NOW.

November 15, 2010 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews | Comments (3)
rec.arts.movies.reviews

With daredevil camera work and a real empathy for soldiers, this documentary film makes you feel like you are inside a G.I.'s uniform in Afghanistan's Korangal Valley.

October 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

[Achieves] level of visceral intensity that rivals the jacked-up, heart-in-mouth tension that was previously the preserve of the best fiction film-makers.

October 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Scotsman

Captures the complex human face of modern warfare.

October 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

A film that effectively captures the camaraderie, chaos and complexity of soldiers doing their best to win the "hearts and minds" of the local population.

October 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

It provides an admiring look at the brave soldiers eager to do the mission and return alive.

October 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

If the only message you get out of "Restrepo" is that war is all hell, then the documentary has done its job. But if a viewer equates being pro-soldier with being pro-war, then the point of this movie has been missed.

October 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

It's all strong stuff, and about as far removed from a traditional Hollywood all strong stuff, and as far removed additional Hollywood war movie as you can get.

October 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

Restrepo is an exercise in visceral intimacy.

October 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Audience Reviews for Restrepo

War documentaries aren't all that new, since news reels have been played in the beginning of penny shows at the start of the twenties, but this is so obtuse and discomforting. It's of this time, it revolves around people that are close to our hearts, and more horrifying they have been there for a long time. Journalist Sebastian Junger and filmmaking partner Tim Hetherington spent years shadowing a platoon in the infamous Korengal Valley, one of the most dangerous places in any war zone. Surrounded by the enemy at all times, the men go through a spectrum of attacks and retribution just to seize this bit of territory from Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and possibly kill the men who killed their own. Their squad leader, barely distinguishable from his young squadron, tries to find common ground with the local sages, but time and again cultural barriers turn the tides, including the death of a cow in their fencing. The platoon early on loses a medic named Restrepo, who they name their Observational Point after. Building the OP in itself is difficult thanks to the frequent firefights that come with the cursing of broken down soldiers. More than one time the soldiers are seen in the outpost firing at some unseen entity, cursing and cajoling their fellow soldiers into action. They do joke around quite a bit as well, and turn to one another for comfort through humor at the worst of times but most of the time it's all grief, travesty, and horror. At one point in the film a solider is cut down by gunfire and a fellow soldier cries out in horror for a long while as the others try to get him to keep fighting. Their leader bucks them up, and turns the unseen forces around them into an enemy based on the hatred the soldiers feel at losing their friends. It becomes an unending cycle, and by the end you're happy that they have gotten out, as unnerving and traumatic as it was for them. Very well put together, edited, and composed, this is a true look at the state of Afghanistan's relations with US soldiers and the situation there. This is more about relations than the horrors of war, which are all the more impactful thanks to soldier's interviews with the directors afterwards. It's just a riveting watch, for anyone out there limiting themselves on the debate of the war.
March 21, 2013
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

Restrepo is a visceral, powerful documentary on the war in Afghanistan, but I found it to be way over-hyped. It wasn't as powerful or as war-like as I expected it to be, but that put aside, I felt that the film did a good job of documenting the terror, and the camaraderie that these people felt. Beautifully shot, well edited, insightful and exciting, Restrepo is one of the better war documentaries.
November 1, 2012
Raymond Wieser

Super Reviewer

This was an excellent documentary that gives an inside look at the war in Iraq.

This documentary has everything including the firefights of war, losing teammates, being away from family, etc. It gives a lot of good insight about what the soldiers do there, why they are there, and how dangerous it really is to be over in Iraq. This documentary was really scary and heartbreaking. The fallen teammates' stories were really sad and depressing. The fact that the soldiers saw their teammates die/get injured then were able to keep fighting really shows how strong they are. This documentary is a good tribute to Restrepo and I literally almost cried at the end. It was so sad. This documentary is by far the best I have ever seen. It's all true and it's right there in the action- in the most dangerous post in Afghanistan. This documentary does a fantastic job at showing the other side of the Iraqi war.
December 16, 2011
Japes
Japes .

Super Reviewer

Restrepo is a well made documentary about the last military outpost in the Korengal Valley. This outpost is surrounded by enemy Taliban Insurgents. The Korengal Valley was dubbed the dangerous posting of U.S Military. Restrepo is a very good insight into the combat environment of what these men go through. Throughout the course of the documentary, we see two of their own get KIA, and the cost on some soldiers. The documentary is well done, this is as close to combat as any civilian would like to get the film manages to capture the real essence of combat, and the camaraderie that develops between soldiers throughout the course of their deployment. The film manages to give the viewer the taste of a combat environment. You experience the hardships that the troops undergo as they fight in the most dangerous region of Afghanistan. This almost a perfect documentary film, but in the end it felt like watching any other documentary or TV show on the Military Channel or History Channel. For what its worth, Restrepo give you an in depth taste of combat. I thought that the filmmakers did a great job at capturing the feel of battle, but where the film failed slightly was showing the real toll on the soldiers' state of mind. Most of them didn't seem that distraught. Only a few showed emotion talking about their experience. Restrepo is still an interesting film that shows the chaos of warfare, but its nothing groundbreaking. I've seen similar stuff before.
September 2, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

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April 20, 2011:
RIP Restrepo director Tim Hetherington: 1970-2011
"Restrepo" director Tim Hetherington has reportedly been killed while covering the war in Libya.
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