Shake Hands with the Devil - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Shake Hands with the Devil Reviews

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April 15, 2016
Shake hands with diablo.
½ February 3, 2016
I loved the film for it's realism in many of the aspects of a peacekeepers mission, however it lost a lot of realism for me in other instances which drew away from the overall experience. I can remember being on the edge of my seat, and then the realism would be broken and I would sink back into my chair. However the overall story arch did tell a wonderful tale that was quite captivating and at other times heart wrenching.
February 2, 2016
I think it is important to remember the tragedies that happened in Rwanda.

I've always had a great respect for Romeo Dallaire. After seeing this movie, I have a different kind of respect however. This movie allows us to see the horrible things that happened through his eyes.

This movie brought up all kinds of emotions within me. The most important/prevalent was how important it is to respect humanity, to respect all life and to uphold humanity and all life, at any cost. It made me feel very proud to be a Canadian and a member of the Canadian Armed Forces.
I'd like to close with the appropriate motto of the CIC "ILLUMINATE VIAM"
January 6, 2014
Not the happiest of movies to watch and I will admit to being a bit confused initially as to what was going on and why Dallarie wasn't given any help (in fact support was taken away) or the ability to engage. His hands were completely tied as he watched genocide take place around him, very frustrating. Roy Dupuis is amazing in this role, transforming himself into the General. The scenes when he is with his therapist back in Canada were interesting, as the ghosts of those he knew and served with are in the room with him. Beautiful scenery but horrific and stomach churning that this was allowed to happen.10/13 (2)

"Powerful account of the Rwandan genocide in the mid-1990's, as seen through the eyes of Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire (Roy Dupuis) who led a United Nations peacekeeping force. As the world stood by, 454 UN Peacekeepers from over 20 nations chose to stay behind in Rwanda, helping to save the lives of 32,000 Rwandans who would otherwise have been murdered."
Super Reviewer
November 11, 2013
Another viewpoint of the horrific events of the Rwandan genocide. Slow moving, but really well done. Roy Dupuis is excellent as the Canadian General leading the mission, and not getting the resources that he needs to do the job. For anyone who has seen Hotel Rwanda, or read about the genocide and wants to know more, this fills in some of the gaps from the international side. I recommend watching this in connection with Sometimes in April, which tells the story from the government side with a Hutu army officer being the protagonist. All good films....all very disturbing, but real.
May 21, 2013
This film, despite its limited character viewpoints (some of the characters I wanted to see more of), delivers a rather real perspective of the 1990s Rwandan civil war, with an A+ performance from Roy Dupuis, and above-average cinematography.
March 3, 2013
A hard hitting movie!!The problem persists to this day.Its really sad to see that the worlds great powers are getting together to Ruin such a beautiful place.Hopefully the Africans will end this senseless bloodshed and learn "one day" to live like brothers.
½ January 12, 2013
At the end of this movie, I mentally congratulated myself for not crying - and promptly burst into tears. Dammit, stop manipulating my emotions with your true stories.
½ November 24, 2012
great book...if your into genocide/war...the movie was slightly disappointing...
October 13, 2012
Dallaire is a hero, regardless of his real-life actions in the face of his enemies. However, 'Shake Hands with the Devil' portrays an altruistic hero as a bold warrior looking for a glorious death - something I find hard to believe.
½ September 4, 2012
I'd like to give this film 4 stars on the strength of Roy Dupuis's performance as Lt-General Romà (C)o Dallaire and the handful of scenes that were genuinely moving in this depiction of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. But some problems keep this from being a great movie, or at least a better one.

First, the good things, in addition to Dupuis: the movie was filmed in Rwanda, in the actual locations of the events shown. This adds a huge dose of authenticity to the setting and it must have helped the actors enormously to be there. Rwandan extras were used throughout and that, too, adds to the emotional impact of some scenes. From what I recall of the story from the news (I have not read Dallaire's book, on which this film is based), the film seems to be true to the history as we know it and does not attempt to whitewash how badly the West handled the looming and ongoing violence. I also appreciated the bilingual nature of the film, given that Rwanda, a former Belgian colony, was more French than English. I can see, though, how that will limit the film's appeal in some locations.

But. The film's structure and script are confusing. I suspect that if you're not Canadian or Rwandan and didn't follow this story in the news, you'd have a hard time following this movie. Characters and factions are introduced quickly with little background or context. The all-important U.N. decisions not to get involved receive very little screen time and even less explanation. There is no sense of how the outside world was reacting to the news coming from Rwanda. Dallaire devises plans to stop the slaughter, if only the U.N. would give him the resources and the authority, but it's not clear whether these plans were truly workable. Where the script really shines is where Dallaire is trying to protect refugees from the machete-wielding thugs manning barricades throughout the capital city of Kigali.

But. The film is framed with flash-forward scenes of Dallaire apparently in therapy after witnessing the horrors of the genocide. He sits in an office, in a suit, while a voice-over narration describes how he felt about some of the action just seen. Neither he nor the supposed therapist speak out loud to each other, though Dallaire appears to be having hallucinatory conversations with his colleagues from the Rwandan mission. While it's apparent that Dallaire is deeply traumatized by his experiences, it's not clear what he's doing in this office and how long or how often he's been there.

But. As the film progresses, it tries to do too many things. It starts as a geopolitical tale of the genocide, but it seems to become a tale of Dallaire's heroic struggle to save who he can. Then, in the final half-hour or so, it becomes a very personal tale of Dallaire's failure to maintain his sanity and detachment.

But. There are some odd editing quirks, where the shot jumps occasionally (a jump cut, I believe it's called), but to the same camera angle, instead of a different angle. It gives the effect of having cut a few frames out and then spliced the ends back together. The budget was limited, as can be seen in the few special effects shots of combat, where rockets and explosions just don't look quite right (as if any of us know what such scenes would really look like, nevertheless, moviegoers are used to a certain look and this film doesn't quite deliver).

I like this film. I want to like it more, but it gets in its own way.
July 28, 2012
Roy Dupuis is amazing in this account of the Rwandan genocide.
July 16, 2012
A "Hotel Rwanda" wannabe.
½ June 19, 2012
A damn good film!!!!
April 24, 2012
This is a terrific and moving film. It is a great companion piece to "Hotel Rwanda"
March 5, 2012
Brutal, heartbreaking account of Canadian General Romeo Dellaire's harrowing experiences during the Rwandan genocide. Sad, hard to watch, but something that should never be forgotten.
½ December 4, 2011
Now this is how you make a movie. Shot on location in Rwanda, Shake Hands with the Devil accomplishes the difficult feat of making you, the viewer, feel as though you are a part of the film, no, a part of the story. You will truly be disturbed by the horrific, detestable, terrible, gut-wrenching acts of violence and ultimately genocide portrayed in this film, and at the aspects of human nature and human culture often swept under the carpet. This CAN happen again, and probably is, because we simply choose to ignore that which we do not wish to realize or remember. Ignorance IS bliss. And Roy Dupuis really portrayed Romeo Dallaire perfectly in this film, truly painting him as a modern day hero in his ability to stand up to oppression and his courage in dealing with the seemingly impossible. my only complaint would be that this film was just a tad too pro-Canadian and over-the-top at points.
November 27, 2011
The film lacks a fulfilling flow. The events of the film are quick to build up and never move away from there. The story lacks flow and a sense of characters. l imagine it as a highlight of the book and nothing more
November 13, 2011
Having seen the documentary and read the book that was the inspiration for this film, I found it didn't hold-up. I had some issues with the technical side of the film as well in terms of direction, editing and acting. All that being said, it's still a worthwhile film with an important story to tell, but I would recommend checking the book out first.
September 16, 2011
Powerful and excellent film, cheers to UN Peacekeeper
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