Welcome to Sarajevo - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Welcome to Sarajevo Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 14, 2014
To get the story, they'll risk everything.

Good Film! What "Welcome To Sarajevo" did was open my eyes and help me realize how fortunate I am. Sarajevo was a peaceful, metropolitan city not unlike many cities in North America. But it is no longer. It's almost too easy to clear your mind of the strife going on in other parts of the world. Sometimes we feel guilty for being so fortunate. Sometimes we feel horror at the news reports of inhuman atrocities. And most times we shut out the reality of it as it is rarely affecting us in a personal way.

This gripping tale of war-torn Sarajevo is told through the eyes of British reporters. It will probably shock, jar and depress you, but it will most certainly increase your sense of global awareness, and instill a better appreciation of the liberties that most of us have taken for granted. Images from concentration camps hauntingly mimic those from fifty years ago.

This film is based on an amazing true story of one man's personal involvement and promise to rescue one refugee child and the great lengths to which he must go to deliver her from a war zone.

I caught this film in its limited theatrical run following its inclusion in the 1997 Toronto Film Festival. I exited the theater with my wife in a staggering awe-struck state. No one could fully communicate what it would be like to live in a war zone, but this film gives you a potent taste without pulling any punches.

What this means is that most people will likely find it difficult to recommend this film to friends. It's not an uplifting tale, but it is an extremely important one, and I feel privileged and fortunate for having seen it.

Journalist Floyd from US, Michael Henderson from UK and their teams meet the beginning of Bosnian war in Sarajevo. During their reports they find an orphanage run by devoted Mrs. Savic near the front line. Henderson gets so involved in kids' problems that he decides to take on the children, Emira, illegally back to England. He is assisted by American aid worker Nina.
July 3, 2014
"Don't look to the West to solve your problems." So says a political leader about stopping the ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia. But what if the world hadn't stopped Hitler from doing the same thing? This film is ultimately an indictment of all those who can see this carnage and just turn away. And it is also the story of one man who could not--even though what he alone could do is help get one bus load of children out and provide love and a home for one child himself. If everyone had done so much, or could do so for similar situations now, what a better place the world would be.
½ August 29, 2013
Suffers a bit from the "Mighty Whitey" hero cliché, but it's otherwise pretty great, especially in the third act.
April 26, 2013
good movie. truthful, which makes it painful and makes you feel sad. and its just one of places where such things happen. and its even sadder that world dont care!
Super Reviewer
April 2, 2013
Disturbing film documenting the death and destruction of a nation torn apart by religious differences. Some very disturbing scenes of babies and children caught in the midst of the killing, and insanity. The actual footage used in this movie is really difficult to view, but needed to be shown. The newspeople covering the stories in these war torn countries are very brave (or crazy?) people. Kudos to them.....
Super Reviewer
December 31, 2012
Winterbottom's Yugo docudrama is powerful and sheds a light on a very real crisis that continued to unfold at the time that the film was made. The chaos of the movie reflects the chaos of Sarajevo.
½ November 9, 2012
The atrocities in Sarajevo are not an easy or popular subject to take on but serve as the perfect backdrop for Winterbottom who seems more focused in exposing the disgusting side of journalism in a world that is now so used to watching shit hit the fan for entertainment. I just wish it were compulsory viewing for media vultures...
Super Reviewer
August 6, 2012
Journalists cover the war in Sarajevo.
Michael Winterbottom's film has its heart in the right place. Attempting to expose the violence and atrocities of war and their effects on children is admirable, but what's missing is a clear, central story arc; the film finds it about forty-five minutes into the film, but it's too late. What is more, the film is a combination of news footage and live action shots; this works, but Winterbottom over-uses the trick.
Overall, I found it hard to dislike Welcome to Sarajevo, but I must admit that the story flounders.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2012
Welcome to Sarajevo features an effective blend of fact and fiction, incorporating actual archival footage. It has a number of good performances, combined with energetic direction and an often heartbreaking, but authentic, view of war. It does suffer, however, from its loose narrative structure which makes the film feel a bit unfocused. I would have preferred to have seen a more meditative look at the conflict, including the political complexities. Because of the structure, we never really get emotionally involved with most of the major characters, and are left to wonder what exactly the film is trying to say. Overall the film gives much needed attention to a forgotten conflict, and does just enough right to make it worth a watch.

3/5 Stars
April 19, 2012
Scattershot but well-intentioned. Despite a story designed to tug the heart strings, it still manages to feel far removed from the horrors suffered by Sarajevans during the siege, overall packing less of an emotional punch than you'd expect.
½ February 17, 2012
Very good film about the Bosnian war. Such a sad situation that was and what a disgrace that our country did not help stop it right from the get go; guess there was not enough oil there.
Having been to Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia this movie was that much more meaningful to me.
January 2, 2012
Putin prea melodramatic
½ January 1, 2012
A brilliant film that takes you behind the scenes in a war zone in such a vivid way you almost forget it's a movie not a documentary. Well worth seeing.
December 14, 2011
If you haven't seen this movie, you need to.
October 20, 2011
The irony of war, along with black hawk down, it is one of the best portrayals of the ugliness that war is.
Also kickass music.
October 13, 2011
Harrelson and Tomei are superb, and the intercutting use of real footage and staged dramatics is a powerful and upsetting tool. Easily one of Winterbottom's more satisfying efforts.
October 8, 2011
Fair attempt to tell a mainstream story about a war that was ignored by the world until it was too late.
October 2, 2011
Gripping true life story that reminds you that muslims are victimized in this world too.
½ August 30, 2011
Better than the poster, but still a bit of a confused mess.
½ July 29, 2011
Excellent use of real footage from the war shown in the film.
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