Lebanon (Levanon) (2010)



Critic Consensus: A powerful and personal account of war on the front line, writer-director Samuel Maoz takes the viewer inside an Israeli tank to deliver an exhausting, original film.

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Movie Info

The First Lebanon War - June, 1982. A lone tank is dispatched to search a hostile town that has already been bombarded by the Israeli Air Force. What seems to be a simple mission gradually spins out of control. Shmuel the gunner, Assi the commander, Herzl the loader and Yigal the driver are the tank's crew, four 20-something boys who have never fought in a war and are now operating a killing machine. Though trying to remain brave, the boys are pushed to their mental limits as they struggle to survive in a situation they cannot contain, and try not to lose their humanity in the chaos of war. Writer-director Samuel Maoz's raw and visceral film is based on his own experiences as a twenty year old novice soldier serving in the Israeli army during the 1982 Lebanon war. Using his own vivid recollections to bring us inside an Israeli tank during the first 24 hours of the invasion, Maoz restricts the film's action entirely to the tank's interior and shows us the outside world only-as the four young soldiers themselves see it-through the lens of a periscopic gun sight. The cathartic process of writing and directing LEBANON allowed Maoz to finally free himself of the events that he had experienced twenty-five years earlier.-- (C) Sony Pictures Classics
R (for disturbing bloody war violence, language including sexual references, and some nudity.)
Art House & International , Drama
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Yoav Donat
as Shmulik
Itay Tiran
as Assi
Oshri Cohen
as Hertzel
Reymond Amsallem
as Lebanese Mother
Ashraf Barhom
as Phalangist Member
Reymonde Amsellem
as Lebanese Mother
Dudu Tassa
as Syrian Captive
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Lebanon (Levanon)

All Critics (101) | Top Critics (24)

We can smell the sweat, urine and diesel fuel in Lebanon. We can taste the exhaust, the metallic tang of explosive fumes from a shell ejected from the cannon.

October 20, 2010
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Although Lebanon is to be congratulated for its bold visual strategy and strong antiwar stance, the film becomes claustrophobic after a while. When one of the characters finally emerges from the tank, you may find yourself as relieved as he is.

Full Review… | September 23, 2010
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

There's a bit too much of the tight close-up of sweat- and soot-stained faces trembling with emotion and doubt, but there's no mistaking or escaping this movie's powerful impact.

Full Review… | September 22, 2010
Top Critic

A filmmaking challenge that a cynic might dismiss as "Das Tank" if it didn't offer a scalding moral challenge in the bargain.

Full Review… | September 9, 2010
Boston Globe
Top Critic

It is a grisly experience, and one of the greatest war films I have ever seen.

Full Review… | September 2, 2010
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

The limited perspective of the world outside, combined with the claustrophobic, clammy interior of the rumbling tank, immediately generate a tremendous tension, and the film wastes no time in ratcheting up the stress.

Full Review… | September 2, 2010
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Lebanon (Levanon)

A suffocating and complex war movie shot entirely in a tank to depict the personal impact of a conflict and centered on four Israeli soldiers within the vehicle moving across an invaded land - isolated from the chaos outside but able to see everything through the gun-sight.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Lebanon is a rehashed addition to the 'War is Hell' genre. It offers nothing new and fails to engage as a large proportion of its audience will be muttering 'I've seen it all before' to themselves.

Jack Hawkins
Jack Hawkins

Super Reviewer

'Lebanon'. A gritty and visceral look at the war in the 1980s, geniusely directed purely from the viewpoint of a group of soldiers inside one tank, with their scope / viewfinder being the only link to the outside world.


Super Reviewer

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