The Emerald Forest


The Emerald Forest (2003)



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Movie Info

The Emerald Forest is based on a true story, as related by Los Angeles Times correspondent Leonard Greenwood. Powers Boothe stars as Bill Markham, a US engineer working on a dam project in the Amazonian jungles. Bill's young son, Tomme (played by director John Boorman's son Charley Boorman) is kidnapped in the rain forest by a tribe called "The Invisible People" because of their skills at camouflage - a group that has reportedly never experienced contact with Caucasians. The authorities give up the boy for lost, but Bill perseveres in searching for his son, for over 10 years. While fleeing for his life from The Fierce People - enemies of The Invisible People - he's rescued at the last minute by Tomme, now an adoptee of The Invisible People's chief. To Bill's frustration, Tomme initially refuses to join his biological dad and return to civilization, but when The Fierce People swing in and abduct all of the women in the Invisible People tribe, Tomme seeks his dad's help in rescuing them.


Critic Reviews for The Emerald Forest

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (1)

This long, wheezy tribute to the Noble Savage has some pretty scenery, but not much else -- it's not a movie, it's a National Geographic special.

Jan 3, 2018 | Full Review…

Emotionally gripping, visually stunning.

Sep 29, 2006 | Rating: 5/5

Conveys the ancient wisdom of the primitives who relish dream time and have found a way to dignify the different stages of life with meaningful rituals

Aug 18, 2004 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Just as he did with the British countryside in EXCALIBUR, Boorman gives the deep jungles of South America an almost dreamlike, magical quality

Mar 19, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The execution is a little sedate, but the idea sticks with you.

Sep 12, 2002 | Rating: 3/5

John Boorman ought to be ashamed

Aug 21, 2002 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for The Emerald Forest


There was this quiet and more cohesive film from John Boorman long before the mediocre pastiche and box office sensation of "Avatar". Adventure and drama set in the amazonia, following the lines of Ford's "The Searchers" but adding an ecological denounce that does not fall in preachment, but remains powerful. Cinematography is breathtaking.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

This is what happens when the Amazon forest is destroyed

Tom Ericksen
Tom Ericksen

Super Reviewer


Another of John Boorman. His son Charlie Boorman is amazing as the lost son of an architect that is stolen by a hidden Amazon trible. Great movie and great story with amazing graphics and intrigue.

Donna Dawson
Donna Dawson

Super Reviewer

Powerful, beautifully shot eco-thriller from John Boorman examining the cultural impact of the commercial exploitation of the rainforests, as seen through the eyes of a boy adopted by an indigenous tribe. Great performances and intelligent eco-message that rarely feels preachy. Good stuff.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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