Restrepo

2010

Restrepo

Critics Consensus

Forsaking narrative structure for pure visceral power, Restrepo plunges viewers into the experiences of soldiers on the front lines of the Afghan War.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 115

88%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,493
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Movie Info

It is fairly extraordinary that this film exists. The level of access attained by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger over their 15-month period embedded with the Second Platoon, Battle Company, 173rd Airborne Brigade allows for an incredibly unvarnished account -- including footage of deaths both civilian and military. It's perhaps the most intimate and unflinching examination yet of the processes of modern warfare -- and an exhilarating, heartrending, profoundly moving film in its own right.

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News & Interviews for Restrepo

Critic Reviews for Restrepo

All Critics (115) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (111) | Rotten (4)

  • Restrepo does well to show the hell of war and the destruction it will bring upon the lives of so many young men.

    October 24, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • It's been a long time since journalists have shown combat so close up; it's possible that it has never been shot so intimately. There's nothing prurient or exploitative or glorifying or even editorial about it. The camera is there. We are there.

    August 29, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The unnerving thousand-yard-stare of McDonaugh is impressively disturbing, but the constant anxious smile of Cortez carries a haunting emotional impact.

    December 14, 2017 | Full Review…

    David Cairns

    MUBI
    Top Critic
  • Junger and Hetherington developed a deep sense of connection with these young men... The connection is what gives this film such power. This is war. There's no political viewpoint, no narration... you're just there with the soldiers.

    November 16, 2017 | Full Review…
  • No one in Restrepo analyzes the war in Afghanistan in political terms or even describes it in terms of goals larger than the day-to-day mission. And yet, simply by bearing witness, the movie is a call to action.

    March 16, 2015 | Full Review…

    Amy Taubin

    Artforum
    Top Critic
  • its most emotionally raw moments are indicative of their military subjects' exceptional comfort level with their observers ( ... ) the arid yet woody outcroppings high above the valley are an intriguing new terrain

    November 13, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Restrepo

  • Dec 10, 2013
    Solid documentary describing one of the lesser-known hardships of the Afghan War. Worth seeing.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 21, 2013
    War documentaries aren't all that new, since news reels have been played in the beginning of penny shows at the start of the twenties, but this is so obtuse and discomforting. It's of this time, it revolves around people that are close to our hearts, and more horrifying they have been there for a long time. Journalist Sebastian Junger and filmmaking partner Tim Hetherington spent years shadowing a platoon in the infamous Korengal Valley, one of the most dangerous places in any war zone. Surrounded by the enemy at all times, the men go through a spectrum of attacks and retribution just to seize this bit of territory from Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and possibly kill the men who killed their own. Their squad leader, barely distinguishable from his young squadron, tries to find common ground with the local sages, but time and again cultural barriers turn the tides, including the death of a cow in their fencing. The platoon early on loses a medic named Restrepo, who they name their Observational Point after. Building the OP in itself is difficult thanks to the frequent firefights that come with the cursing of broken down soldiers. More than one time the soldiers are seen in the outpost firing at some unseen entity, cursing and cajoling their fellow soldiers into action. They do joke around quite a bit as well, and turn to one another for comfort through humor at the worst of times but most of the time it's all grief, travesty, and horror. At one point in the film a solider is cut down by gunfire and a fellow soldier cries out in horror for a long while as the others try to get him to keep fighting. Their leader bucks them up, and turns the unseen forces around them into an enemy based on the hatred the soldiers feel at losing their friends. It becomes an unending cycle, and by the end you're happy that they have gotten out, as unnerving and traumatic as it was for them. Very well put together, edited, and composed, this is a true look at the state of Afghanistan's relations with US soldiers and the situation there. This is more about relations than the horrors of war, which are all the more impactful thanks to soldier's interviews with the directors afterwards. It's just a riveting watch, for anyone out there limiting themselves on the debate of the war.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 01, 2012
    Restrepo is a visceral, powerful documentary on the war in Afghanistan, but I found it to be way over-hyped. It wasn't as powerful or as war-like as I expected it to be, but that put aside, I felt that the film did a good job of documenting the terror, and the camaraderie that these people felt. Beautifully shot, well edited, insightful and exciting, Restrepo is one of the better war documentaries.
    Raymond W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 07, 2012
    sad that Hetherington was killed in Libya last year... in Restrepo, he does an amazing job experiencing and capturing the intense reality of actual soldiers stationed in the Korengal Valley, a place that provides little-to-no natural protection from one's enemies.
    Lily L Super Reviewer

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