Lebanon (Levanon)


Lebanon (Levanon)

Critics 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.



Total Count: 107


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,584
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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

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Critic Reviews for Lebanon (Levanon)

All Critics (107) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (96) | Rotten (11)

  • Lebanon certainly qualifies as one of the best films about modern warfare with its unflinching depiction of the trade-off between duty and humanity.

    Dec 1, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Oct 20, 2010 | Rating: 3/4
  • 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.

    Sep 24, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Sep 22, 2010 | Full Review…
  • A filmmaking challenge that a cynic might dismiss as "Das Tank" if it didn't offer a scalding moral challenge in the bargain.

    Sep 9, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • It is a grisly experience, and one of the greatest war films I have ever seen.

    Sep 2, 2010 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Lebanon (Levanon)

  • Aug 02, 2014
    das boot in a tank, ultra-realistic. four twenty year old recruits in close confines. well acted. glad Samuel maoz finally wrote the script
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Mar 10, 2013
    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 H Super Reviewer
  • Sep 09, 2011
    You can almost smell and feel the heavy clunks of being inside that tank. A politicly relevant film, told extremely well thanks to the director's experiences on the war. It's fantastic you never feel safe inside that tank...
    Francisco G Super Reviewer
  • Jun 24, 2011
    Fantastic movie, just out of this world. There's not a lot I can really say that will accurately describe the experience and everything you get from this movie, you'll just have to see it for yourself and make your own assessment of it. Plus, I'm sure people on this website have done a better job at reviewing the movie so read their stuff. But again, just an excellent movie, not to be missed.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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