Iraq in Fragments - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Iraq in Fragments Reviews

Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 8, 2007
The film is both gritty and lyrical, showing how tanks share the Baghdad streets with donkeys as well as the quiet beauty of the Kurdish countryside.
| Original Score: B
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
February 24, 2007
Because [director] Longley uses a technique that forgoes interviews and voiceover commentary in favour of observation and revealing juxtapositions, his movie puts you both in the chaos and just above it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
February 23, 2007
Stands up as a classic war documentary, in its unusual poetic form and by its extraordinary access to the lives of ordinary Iraqis.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
February 23, 2007
Iraq in Fragments sometimes feels random, but it is a well-crafted, thoughtful study of the dueling divisiveness and hope that will define the region long after foreign troops leave.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
February 22, 2007
James Longley's devastating documentary Iraq in Fragments has neither narration nor obvious political ax to grind, but it manages to tell us something about Iraq that we aren't getting or can't get from standard news coverage.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Mark Holcomb
Time Out
February 17, 2007
By turns tender and shocking, Iraq in Fragments strikes a rare balance between impromptu fluidity and feature-film narrative control, in the process resisting both partisanship and predigested points of view.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/6
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 15, 2007
The struggles [documentary filmmaker James Longley] recorded in his dazzling Iraq in Fragments aren't battlefield conflicts, but the personal, religious and political efforts of Iraqi citizens to reassemble their shattered lives.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Marta Barber
Miami Herald
February 9, 2007
In addition to the interesting camera work, the documentary's undeniable appeal comes in how close Longley gets to the characters, who are all male. They speak openly of the past, the U.S. forces, the uncertain future.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ben Walters
Time Out
January 16, 2007
There's something of a period quality to this beautifully photographed documentary snapshot of Iraq in transition.
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Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
January 11, 2007
Longley's access to public and private developments in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq is often stunning.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
November 29, 2006
The frequently gorgeous footage, culled from some 300 hours shot over a two-year period, provides ample compensation for any narrative.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 17, 2006
A documentary of stunning immediacy and marvelous images...
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
November 16, 2006
This visually sumptuous movie richly deserves the cinematography, editing and directing prizes it carried off at Sundance last January.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
November 16, 2006
... this one demands to be seen.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle
November 10, 2006
[Director] Longley shows a poetic, almost elegiacal artistry. After two years, he might not understand the Iraqi people fully, but they have won his heart and mind.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
November 10, 2006
Visually arresting and deeply disheartening, James Longley's impressionistic documentary explores the pain of a shattered country by homing in on a few tiny shards.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
November 10, 2006
Documentary filmmaker James Longley (Gaza Strip) has a flair for cinematography and editing and a poetic sensibility that informs both these talents.
Full Review | Original Score: 3-4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 10, 2006
James Longley's Iraq in Fragments is a visually stunning documentary that looks at that country through the eyes of its own people -- a novel enough approach at a time when everyone else has had their say.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
November 9, 2006
A vivid, poetic evocation of life in post-invasion Iraq that works both as impressionistic collage and candid portraiture.
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
November 9, 2006
Of all the documentaries to come out of the current war, Iraq in Fragments is the least violent and perhaps the most disquieting.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Noel Murray
AV Club
November 9, 2006
The first third is so intense -- a masterpiece in miniature, really -- that audiences may not have much emotion left for the rest.
| Original Score: A-
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
November 9, 2006
A remarkable example of the conjunction of a burningly topical and newsworthy subject with a brilliant filmmaker.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
November 8, 2006
It's head and shoulders above the rest in its clarity, intimacy and poetry, and it illustrates the dreadful predicament America has created in Iraq, which drove so many angry people to the polls on Tuesday.
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
November 8, 2006
The film is unusual among Iraq documentaries for its impressionistic, frequently gorgeous cinematography and for its structure: It's split into thirds, one about a Sunni (the boy), one about a Shiite mob, and one about the quiet Kurds up north.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 8, 2006
James Longley's haunting, oblique film, Iraq in Fragments, presents a collage of images, sounds and characters in an intimate, partial portrait of an unraveling nation.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
November 8, 2006
Working with vérité patience and no scripted narration, Longley looks and listens, with nonjudgmental sensitivity, as Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish Iraqis explain their colliding, intractable, invaded worlds, and their rising frustrations.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Nathan Lee
Village Voice
November 7, 2006
When the war is long gone, this deft construction will persist in relevance, if not for what it says about the mess we once made, then as a model of canny cinematic construction.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 6, 2006
In the end, the movie is more than the sum of its fragments. The montages are intense, the images ravishing. The movie is tactile. When you finally feel this place, you understand just how little you understand.
Top Critic
Robert Koehler
Variety
January 23, 2006
Brings back nothing journalistically substantial from the war front.