The Killing Fields - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Killing Fields Reviews

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July 20, 2016
Telling an important historical story.
Super Reviewer
July 18, 2016
With the film's gut-wrenching first half devoted to depicting with gritty realism and a beautiful cinematography the takeover of Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge, the second half relies on Ngor's superb performance to show a man in an amazing struggle to escape from hell.
Super Reviewer
½ June 25, 2016
A harrowing tale ruined only by Oldfield's synth score.
½ May 11, 2016
Interesting true story of friendship and survival, set against the backdrop of one of history's most oppressive regimes.

Set against the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia in the 1970s, the true story of New York Times journalist Sydney Schanberg (played by Sam Waterston) and his Cambodian interpreter Dith Pran (Haing S Ngor). They are there in 1973 when Cambodia is a side-theatre of the Vietnam conflict. At this time the Khmer Rouge are on the rise but not a major threat. Then we jump forward to 1975 and the Khmer Rouge have the upper hand and are about to take control of the country. The US, and other countries, are evacuating personnel. Though both of them have an opportunity to leave too, Schanberg and Dith Pran decide to stay to cover what happens next. This will ultimately put Dith Pran's life in grave danger as the Khmer Rouge's reign over Cambodia was one of oppression and genocide.

Interesting, though a bit dry. The movie starts very slowly and takes a very long time to find a second gear. Even when things do start to fall into place and you get to understand where the story is going, things still don't really move at more than a moderate pace.

However, the last 40 minutes or so more than make up for this. We see the extent of the Khmer Rouge's oppression and atrocities, and the movie becomes a powerful, tense story of resourcefulness and survival. Great, emotional ending.

Solid work by Sam Waterston as Sydney Schanberg. Haing S Ngor, a Cambodian doctor and refugee with no previous acting experience, gives a great performance as Dith Pran and well deserved his Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

The cast also includes John Malkovich (in only his second feature film), Julian Sands (third feature film) and Craig T Nelson, all of which give fine performances.
May 6, 2016
84%
Saw this on 6/5/16
The thrilling BGM always ensures that the viewer is glued to the screen and in its first half, it tells the shocking realism of war with fine cinematography and set pieces. In the second half, its about survival. The film may not always connect emotionally the way you want it to.
April 14, 2016
The best movie made on any genre ever ? Yes it has all the ingredients to be in helm !
March 27, 2016
An interesting movie that will reach out to many movie watchers in one aspect or another. Great for discussion.
½ February 14, 2016
Good movie and story
½ January 10, 2016
A compelling human story.
September 16, 2015
Short of being a documentary it tells of a true story of a reporter feelings of deserting his friend in Nam when America pulls out in a hurry and leaves a true patriot behind. Really loved the story of the hardships the young man endured.
August 23, 2015
This film made me so angry. Men with their weapons who think that they rule the world. The parallels between Asia 50 years ago and the Middle East were obvious. When will the love of power be less important than the love of humanity?
July 11, 2015
Unflinchingly gut-wrenching and spine-chilling, this war drama about a band of journalists covering the story of Cambodia falling prey to the terrifying reign of Khmer Rouge is unsettling to watch and lingers long in our memories like a ghost.
June 14, 2015
There's something terribly smug about a film which tells the story of genocide and tyranny through a Western perspective. More oppressive than the film's politically motivated self-seriousness is its white liberal guilt. In telling the story of Pol Pot's regime through the eyes of an American reporter, director Roland Jaffe has fashioned a narrative that is as dishonest as it is cursory. The factors driving the Khmer Rouge takeover are entirely grazed over, and the images of warfare and desolation feel like photos in a TIME magazine--exotic suffering as filtered through a Western lens. The over-indulgent score is a symphony of synthesized cacophony which tells the audience how to feel (unsuccessfully) instead of letting them feel for themselves. At once fragmented and overly manipulative, The Killing Fields tells the story of Pol Pot's totalitarian regime as you would read about it in the New York Times while sipping a cup of coffee.
½ June 11, 2015
I loved the structure; it starts out like Welcome to Sarajevo, with heroic white journalists running around trying to save the world, and then the situation devolves to an absurd degree, and it switches to a grim, utterly compelling march for survival, almost completely devoid of English or translated dialogue. It's also visually ballsy, with some iconic magic-hour photography (the scene from the poster is stunning) and scenes with massive crowds of extras crammed into single frames. What happened to Roland Joffé?
½ June 10, 2015
Compelling and well-told.
½ May 21, 2015
A moving film that'll leave your heart broken with the shocking impact it has on offer; the scenery and events will leave leave people in sadness and tears, the film direction by Roland Joffe is impressive and well-executed, and there are realistic performances throughout the film, especially from the debuting (and late) Haing S. Ngor. This is a film that you absolutely must not miss out on.
April 26, 2015
A very powerful and scary film. It's surreal how the journalists go about their business while surrounded by a war zone. The coffee shop scene definitely stands out in an explosive way. The movie speaks volumes about how Americans saw the world back then and how we take our freedom and peace for granted. The journalists seem to be there only as journalists. They seem indifferent to everything besides getting a perfect picture. They act so carefree it gives you the idea that nothing bad will happen to them, and nothing does happen to them. Instead the movie brilliantly follows Dith. It isn't about Americans in a war torn country, it's about the people who live there. Dith is such a polite and helpful guy it's really heartbreaking to see what he goes through. In most survival movies the struggles get to you because you imagine yourself in the survivors situation, but in The Killing Fields you care for the character because you see him as a real person and not just someone to identify with. It isn't an easy movie to sit through, but it's a very rewarding experience. The movie succeeds because it draws on your compassion and not just your instincts of self-preservation.
January 20, 2015
I want to see this movie I seen parts of it on TELUS but I heard it is really good I did not know there was a remake of this but I heard the remake was little okay
john malkovich is in it I love him he is a okay actor
½ January 20, 2015
Harrowing war drama focussed on those caught in the middle, when a country tears itself apart.
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