The War Within Reviews

  • Nov 11, 2016

    interesting indy drama

    interesting indy drama

  • Apr 25, 2013

    Great insight into the mind of a terrorist. A fabulously non-preachy political film.

    Great insight into the mind of a terrorist. A fabulously non-preachy political film.

  • Mar 16, 2012

    Ayad Akhtar is entirely believable and a marvelous actor. Saw the film on DVD from Netflix and well worth the time. Gives the viewer much to reflect upon.

    Ayad Akhtar is entirely believable and a marvelous actor. Saw the film on DVD from Netflix and well worth the time. Gives the viewer much to reflect upon.

  • Jun 27, 2011

    While most modern family dramas are concerned with dynamics and generational gaps and most films on terrorism are punched up into action films, this one crosspollinates with astounding effects. The conceit is simple: what if a Pakistani man who feels he is pushed to join the ranks of a terrorist cell confronts a moral dilemma when he reconnects with an old friend in the United States? In the film's first act, the protagonist is on a bus waiting to be dropped off at Grand Central Station carrying a bomb as part of a plan to demolish major landmarks across New York. At the last minute, the plan is foiled, and he is one of two who escapes capture, so he seeks refuge with an old friend and his family. You may be able to predict much of the riffing in the film's middle, particularly when he encounters those who would dissuade or enhance his wavering beliefs, but thankfully the film stays away from the expected by avoiding rampant, unjust persecution of foreigners by United States government. What really puts this film over the top is the blase way in which terrorism is displayed. The protagonist never comes across as a madman, and even as he is seen tampering with bombs, he never feels unsympathetic. Better yet, the film's climax is up for grabs until the final minute. This should appeal to a variety of interested parties, but more than anything, those looking for a good drama that is different from everything else need look no further.

    While most modern family dramas are concerned with dynamics and generational gaps and most films on terrorism are punched up into action films, this one crosspollinates with astounding effects. The conceit is simple: what if a Pakistani man who feels he is pushed to join the ranks of a terrorist cell confronts a moral dilemma when he reconnects with an old friend in the United States? In the film's first act, the protagonist is on a bus waiting to be dropped off at Grand Central Station carrying a bomb as part of a plan to demolish major landmarks across New York. At the last minute, the plan is foiled, and he is one of two who escapes capture, so he seeks refuge with an old friend and his family. You may be able to predict much of the riffing in the film's middle, particularly when he encounters those who would dissuade or enhance his wavering beliefs, but thankfully the film stays away from the expected by avoiding rampant, unjust persecution of foreigners by United States government. What really puts this film over the top is the blase way in which terrorism is displayed. The protagonist never comes across as a madman, and even as he is seen tampering with bombs, he never feels unsympathetic. Better yet, the film's climax is up for grabs until the final minute. This should appeal to a variety of interested parties, but more than anything, those looking for a good drama that is different from everything else need look no further.

  • Apr 27, 2011

    This was an exceptional movie- it displays human potential to the fullest, delving into the mind of a man who was 'softened' during his rendition. The choices he makes, and the moralities he fabricates leading to a very climatic ending. Would watch it again, given the chance.

    This was an exceptional movie- it displays human potential to the fullest, delving into the mind of a man who was 'softened' during his rendition. The choices he makes, and the moralities he fabricates leading to a very climatic ending. Would watch it again, given the chance.

  • Apr 26, 2011

    Watched in class, very slow and not very interesting

    Watched in class, very slow and not very interesting

  • Jan 10, 2011

    This movie is just not very good. The plot is mildly interesting at best. The acting is mediocre. And it appears as though the budget was somewhere in the ballpark of 30 bucks.

    This movie is just not very good. The plot is mildly interesting at best. The acting is mediocre. And it appears as though the budget was somewhere in the ballpark of 30 bucks.

  • Apr 26, 2010

    A decent attempt to explore the motivations of a Pakistani terrorist who wants to blow up Grand Central Station in NYC. Director Joseph Castelo could have made this a bit more thrilling and exciting since there is a final defining event as the plot progresses. Perhaps I have watched too much 24 !

    A decent attempt to explore the motivations of a Pakistani terrorist who wants to blow up Grand Central Station in NYC. Director Joseph Castelo could have made this a bit more thrilling and exciting since there is a final defining event as the plot progresses. Perhaps I have watched too much 24 !

  • Jan 29, 2010

    i found this movie to be a bit of a mixed bag. good acting and an interesting angle on the terrrorism issue were plusses. however, i never felt totally emotionally involved with the story despite the gravity of the subject matter. perhaps the characters needed more fleshing out....also on a technical note, the movie is in english with spanish subtitles only. some of the dialogue was incomprehensible and english subtitles would have helped immensely.

    i found this movie to be a bit of a mixed bag. good acting and an interesting angle on the terrrorism issue were plusses. however, i never felt totally emotionally involved with the story despite the gravity of the subject matter. perhaps the characters needed more fleshing out....also on a technical note, the movie is in english with spanish subtitles only. some of the dialogue was incomprehensible and english subtitles would have helped immensely.

  • Pedro P Super Reviewer
    Apr 13, 2009

    It does a fairly good job of laying out the basic political motives behind Islamic terrorism. Unfortunately, as a drama, it has its narrative peak in the middle and quickly runs out of story afterward. The film couldn't be more topical, but in the end it feels schematic, and you sense that the filmmakers are trying too hard to be even-handed.

    It does a fairly good job of laying out the basic political motives behind Islamic terrorism. Unfortunately, as a drama, it has its narrative peak in the middle and quickly runs out of story afterward. The film couldn't be more topical, but in the end it feels schematic, and you sense that the filmmakers are trying too hard to be even-handed.