Green Zone


Green Zone

Critics Consensus

Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass return to the propulsive action and visceral editing of the Bourne films -- but a cliched script and stock characters keep those methods from being as effective this time around.



Total Count: 184


Audience Score

User Ratings: 152,523
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Green Zone Photos

Movie Info

United 93 director Paul Greengrass explores the aftermath of the Iraq invasion in this feature adaptation of author Rajiv Chandrasekaran's literary exposé Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone. A onetime Baghdad bureau chief of the Washington Post, Chandrasekaran was present as American forces attempted to set up a provisional government on the grounds surrounding former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's opulent palace. The resulting governing body, according to critics, existed in a bubble so far-removed from the grim realities of the Iraq War that it failed to properly assess the needs of the people. In this fictional thriller set during the U.S.-led occupation of Baghdad, director Greengrass and screenwriter Brian Helgeland use Chandrasekaran's journalistic account as the foundation for the story of an officer who joins forces with a senior CIA officer to unearth evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Matt Damon) is certain that Hussein has been stockpiling WMDs in the Iraqi desert, but in their race from one empty site to the next, they soon stumble across evidence of an elaborate cover up. As a result, Miller realizes that operatives on both sides of the conflict are attempting to spin the story in their favor. Now, as Miller searches for answers made ever more elusive by covert and faulty intelligence, the truth becomes the most valuable weapon of all. Will those answers prove pivotal in clearing a rogue regime, or escalate the war in a region that grows increasingly unstable with each passing day? Amy Ryan co-stars as the New York Times foreign correspondent who travels to Iraq investigating the U.S. government's allegations about weapons of mass destruction, with Greg Kinnear appearing in the role of an additional CIA officer, and Antoni Corone essaying the role of a colonel. Brendan Gleeson rounds out the main cast for this Universal Pictures production. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Matt Damon
as Roy Miller
Greg Kinnear
as Clark Poundstone
Brendan Gleeson
as Martin Brown
Amy Ryan
as Lawrie Dayne
Antoni Corone
as Colonel Lyons
Igal Naor
as Al Rawi
Said Faraj
as Seyyed Hamza
Aymen Hamdouchi
as Ayad Hamza
Sean Huze
as Conway
Raad Rawi
as Ahmed Zubaidi
Bijan Daneshmand
as Zubaidi's Aide
Bryan Reents
as Poundstone's Aide
Michael O'Neill
as Colonel Bethel
Allen Vaught
as Colonel Jonathan Vaught
Martin McDougall
as Brown's Aide
Driss Roukhe
as Tahir al-Malik
Faical Attougui
as Al Rawi Bodyguard
John Roberson
as Infantry Sergeant
Troy Brown
as Soldier at WMD Site
Paul Jones
as JMOC Soldier
Patrick St. Esprit
as Military Intel 2 Star
Tim Ahern
as General at VTC
Timothy Ahern
as General at VTC
Whitley Bruner
as Senior CIA Man at VTC
Intishal Al Timmi
as Hawkish Iraqi
Jamal Selamoui
as Hawkish Aide
Mohamed Kafi
as Iraqi Officer
Kadhum Sabur
as Mystery Man
Boubker Hilal
as Qasim's Aide
Thamou el Metouani
as Seyyed's Housekeeper
Naji El Jouhary
as Seyyed's Son
Aroun Benchkaroun
as Seyyed's Son
Hajar Machroune
as Seyyed's Daughter
William Oakes
as Camp Cropper Tech
Ziad Adwan
as Translator
Ian Bendel
as Camp Cropper Guard
Venie Joshua
as Camp Cropper Guard
Miguel Berroa
as Camp Cropper Guard
Peter Shayhorn
as Camp Cropper Guard
Miguel Palaugalarza
as Camp Cropper Warden
Christopher Lilly
as Camp Cropper Warden
Sabir Ed-Dayab
as Iraqi Prisoner
Omar Berdouni
as Righteous Ali
Alex Moore
as CIA Tech
Paul Cloutier
as Special Forces Tech
Wallace Bagwell
as Alpha Leader 1
William Meredith
as CPA Presser
Tommy Campbell
as Chopper Comms Commander
James 'Kimo' Wills
as Chopper Comms Tech
Jered Bezemek
as Convoy Commander
Johnny Nilsson
as Republican Palace Reporter
Salman Hassan
as Zubaidi Conference Speaker #1
Ammar Khdir
as Zubaidi Conference Speaker #2
Youssif Falah-Jassem
as Zubaidi Conference Speaker #3
Latif Al Anzi
as Zubaidi Conference Speaker #4
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News & Interviews for Green Zone

Critic Reviews for Green Zone

All Critics (184) | Top Critics (48)

  • I don't like polemics, not even those supporting my position. This film does not support my position...the movie contains far too little in terms of a coherent, believable plot.

    Jan 12, 2018 | Full Review…

    Ed Koch

    The Atlantic
    Top Critic
  • Green Zone is the rare miss from frequent collaborators Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass.

    May 6, 2011 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

    Laremy Legel
    Top Critic
  • It's one thing for the filmmakers to (sort of) fictionalize real people, but Green Zone wraps up with a wish-fulfillment fantasy that is about as believable as watching reinforcements riding in to save Custer.

    Jan 3, 2011 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • Paul Greengrass's loud, Damon-driven documentary-style thriller confusingly weaves fact and fiction and whipsaws between various conspiracy theories, while the nonstop action mimics an Xbox splatter game.

    Mar 25, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    Thelma Adams

    Us Weekly
    Top Critic
  • I can't believe people will not go to see Green Zone in their droves. I certainly hope they do, for it is a shocking, replenishing film, not to be missed.

    Mar 16, 2010 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Green Zone has technical flair, but we expect more from Greengrass.

    Mar 15, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Green Zone

  • Jan 02, 2013
    Paul Greengrass has made some terrific films in his career as a director. When he collaborates with Matt Damon, he always manages to create something entertaining and worth seeing. Green Zone is a highly entertaining action thriller set during the Iraq War. This is a well acted film that has a very good plot that makes this a very entertaining film from start to finish. The film focuses on an Army officer who hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction, and comes out empty handed due to faulty intelligence reports. This is a tense film that is yet another strong directorial outing for Greengrass, who always knows how to create something memorable with his movies. Green Zone is a fine movie that has a strong cast that deliver some terrific performances. If you're looking for affine thriller, then give this one a shot, it definitely is an engaging picture that will grab your attention. Matt Damon is terrific in the role of Roy Miller, the army officer hunting for the WMD's. Paul Greengrass is a terrific filmmaker and he always picks some terrific ideas for movies. This is yet another well crafted film from a great director, and this is a must see for action fans. This is a tense ride from start to finish and it overcomes its flaws by delivering a well layered plot with great acting and tense, thrilling scenes that will keep you hooked till the final frame. Whenever Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon get together they make something special, and the result is displayed clearly in this well executed action thriller. I found that this film was a bit underrated and it deserves to be seen by film fans everywhere, and it ranks among the directors best works.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Oct 01, 2012
    Not as good as I hoped for there was allot of story and not enough action to keep me entertained apart from the final scene but even that was pretty average, It could of been much better or maybe it's beacause i'm an action junkie and want too much from films, At the end of day an ok film that will either bore you or entertain your mind but not your action fix.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 09, 2012
    The camera work was terrible. Everything was shaky and disorienting. I could not believe how bad the direction was for this movie. The only saving grace for Green Zone was Matt Damon. His acting is always superb. However, the story was completely boring. The acting was on point for most of the actors. However, I still felt sleepy throughout the movie. Even though it picked up in the middle, the movie ended on a low note. Overall, a rehash of The Bourne Identity with a war twist.
    Jack M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 29, 2011
    On top of being the greatest actor alive, Leonardo DiCaprio is a heck of an active activist, but it seems as though Matt Damon has got him beat when it comes to taking action with his environmentalism. Actually, come to think of it, going around, beating polluters into submission doesn't seem like it's making much progress, seeing as he was only able to get "one" zone to go green. "'Green' Zone"; get it? ...Hey, it's either that, or "The Bourne Locker", so do to my bad joke what they did with the camera during an action sequence in this: just run with it. I had to specifically mention the behavior of the camera during the action, because if I was to just leave it at "do to my bad joke what they did with the camera", then all two of my readers would start having seizures, just like the cameraman did when he wasn't filmming this crazy action. Okay, now, I understand that they're using these type of shaky, handheld cameras for the sake of realism, but from the bottom of my heart, I have these genuine words to say: ...I don't care; this shaky cam idea stinks! Now, I know that I sound like I'm nitpicking, but this type of gratuitous, third-person shaky cam overwhelms and drowns out the resonance of a scenario, making the film rather unengaging; and it doesn't help that the story is a mess to begin with. This film has an awesome, quite effective hook, if you want to call it that, because hooks usually make you interested in what's going to happen next. No, the film is totally devoid of intrigue, but its compellingness is diluted by storytelling that's lacking in resonance, not just because the messy camerawork heavily damages our intimacy with the scenario, but because the storytelling is a big mess. Now, I always complain about mystery-thrillers not slowing down enough to collect themselves, but really, that problem can be found in any fast-pace film with substance, as we can clearly see here. However, it's even worse here, because this film actually does have slow spots, but the film is moving and progressing way too fast, that even the slow spots are with a tone of such hypertension, that the self-collection is ultimately rendered ineffective. You have to pay extra, super attenion to this film, because the level of engagement is so up and down, and story development is so bumpy, that after a while, the film becomes convoluted, yet, even then, I couldn't tell you why, because this film should be totally predictable, given the cliches. Now, the genericism isn't as bad at the consensus would lead you to believe, but there's still enough of it to keep you from getting refreshed, only exacerbating the lack of investment. There's still enough quality and substance value in the story that it could never even fall to mediocre, but it could come close to it; yet with all of my complaints, this film is far from mediocre, and while it can never be genuinely good, it's still got enough of the goods to keep it going through and through. As I said, the film is too fast-pace, and that certainly isn't helped by the awesome score, which is so well-orchestrated, to slick and so entertaining, that it only makes the pacing faster, but boy, it certainly keeps you awake, almost as much as the solid action sequences. Now, this isn't stellar warfare, partially because you've little investment the story that the action is progressing, but once you're caught in the heat of the battle, you can't look away. Granted, you might just be tense during the action, because the filmming is so messy that you're struggling to figure out what in the world's happening, but eitherway, you're wondering what crazy stuff is gonna go down next, especially during that awesome final battle at the climax. Still, there's no getting around a lack of substance behind the action, but it's not like the action is devoid of it, because no matter how messy the film is, there's always some degree of invetment to have, if, for nothing else, then Matt Damon, who's quite the presence. Now, he's not quite Jason Bourne, where if you hand him a bomb to disarm, he'd probably swallow the bomb and disarm it with his rib cage, so that if it does go off, everyone around Bourne will be safe from the blast, at the cost of Bourne's dignity, because it would probably only make him gassy. Man, I've got to stop making these jokes and actually watch more than just snippets of the "Bourne" films, so I actually have some idea of what in the world I'm talking about; but then again, that bomb disarming joke wouldn't make any sense if I was talking about Jason Statham, because there's no way that bomb wouldn't be scared to the point of being disarmed if the Stathman were to glance at it. Well, eitherway, Damon isn't on that level, but he's still pretty hardcore in this film, having a strong, authoritative presence, yet with a down-to-earth charisma that keeps you drawn to his character, even at his lowest, making him one of the key reasons why this film hangs in there. They say "Every bit of war is a battle"... or at least that's why I think that's say, but if that is what they say, then they're not kidding, because even the films about modern war are messy and familiar, particularly this one, which is overly fast in its progression that it's level of substance takes a heavy blow; but the film always catches back its wind, thanks to the solid action and strong leading presence of Matt Damon, ultimately leaving "Green Zone" to stand as a generally entertaining warfare thriller. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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