No Man's Land (2001) Poster

(I) (2001)

User Reviews

Review this title
171 Reviews
Sort by:
As far as I'm concerned, this may very well be the finest film on the subject of war - or conflict in general - that was ever made
gogoschka-16 January 2014
In the case of this movie, the Oscar was well deserved. The film was nominated in the wrong category, though ('Best Foreign Language Film'). It should have been up for 'Best Picture', 'Best Original Screenplay', 'Best Director - and it should have won all of those. As far as I'm concerned, this may very well be the finest film on the subject of war - or conflict in general - that was ever made. I've never seen anything similar; this film manages to show so many aspects of war, of human nature; it somehow manages to capture the essence of something that is inexplicable. Truly one of a kind and a must-see. And don't think for one second that this is some pretentious drivel or slow art-house fare - this is very much the opposite. 10 out of 10.

Favorite films:

Lesser-known Masterpieces:

Favorite Low-Budget and B-Movies:

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed:
56 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
not a light-hearted chick-flick, but beautiful in every single respect
Evgeni Belin5 March 2005
i hate it when reviews go over the plot in detail. some scenes are there just for the reason of creating ambiance, mood. they might build up a story for the next move by a certain character, etc.

This is why i despise the only review above.

The movie is not a romantic picture you'd take your date out on Feb 14. Well, neither Feb 15, 16, and so on.

On the other hand, it is not "overdone" as Saving Private Ryan. As usual in life, it's got some humor, some drama, some mediocrity, some insanity. I'm not much of a critic, just a normal person, but i totally believed and "lived the movie" with the actors. They played beautifully. All of them. All three were outstanding by my standards ( again, which might be low for a critic )

What i can comment on with more understanding is camera work. 10 out of 10. Nothing extra to distract you from the main line. Even drama is in small doses, not to lose you in your own feelings.

It is not entertainment. It is more of an art. Watch it. Alone. And reflect on it.
104 out of 168 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
IMDb's movie of the day is worth tracking down (NO spoilers)
Neil11 November 2004
I'm glad the IMDb featured this flick as its movie of the day, it is a great film and one which I think a lot of people passed over because it has... (shudder) sub-titles. : ) I am always aghast at some people's reactions to "foreign films" (in other words not Hollywood-produced), much less if it actually requires you to READ the dialogue. If you like war movies (and I am talking about those war movies which have you contemplate the brutality and morality of armed conflict, not those that glorify it... although those can be fun too) then you will... well perhaps "enjoy" is too strong a word as I found parts truly horrifying, not in a "look at the gore" way but in a "man is a terrible beast" way... so let's say "captivate" you with its intensity and what I felt to be an honest assessment of war and this conflict in particular. Greatly acted and a great idea behind the movie, this film gets 10/10 from me, though as I mentioned it is not the same 10/10 a LOTR or Star Wars gets, this movie is not a popcorn muncher but one that will get you thinking and keep you thinking long after the credits finish.
92 out of 148 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
All I can say is: SEE IT NOW!
anton-626 January 2002
I saw this early this morning at the a film festival in Gotemburg.The director was there and all.It´s a very frightening anti-war film that has three main characters two of them are Bosnian´s and one of them is a Serb.They are soldiers but also normal men.And war makes hate.This is a very symbolic film I would call a masterpiece.Those three persons together shows what war is:HELL.

The director Danis Tanovic himself says that it´s of course about just this war but it´s not like if you see this film in ten years you wont understand it.During their time on no man´s land they are civil to each other but the conflict continues and in the end that´s what is most important.The final scene of the film is superb.

A film that will go to film history.Worth to see by everyone.5/5
62 out of 113 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A No-Win Situation
mylimbo7 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Three soldiers one Serb and two Bosnians are caught up in a countryside trench in no man's land between Serbian and Croatian lines, while the UN unwillingly gets involved in the situation because of media pressure.

This film is a critical satire of the meaningless of war and on how no one wants to get involved- but actually sit back (the UN) and watch or actually film the carnage (the media). It depicts the bleakness of the war, the UN's involvement and the intruding media presentation of it in black humour and sharp sarcasm, while still the suspense and the humanity of the situation doesn't get discarded- but makes it more fascinating and quite constructive.

The intelligent script and story are very fresh in portraying the madness of war and also building up the tension that never falters, as we see how much the two countries hate each other, with the soldiers continuously blaming each other for the war and the stupidity of the situation that they are in. It was definitely an unpredictable and confronting war story that didn't try to manipulate the circumstances for a change- but actually draws you into the mess.

The thing is at first you don't feel any for sorrow for the soldiers separately, as they are no worse than each other- but then after while we come to know them in detail and see their point of view. The main hatred you feel is towards the UN Leaders, as they sit back, unwilling to budge, while their soldiers sit around wanting to help... you would know what I mean especially at the end of the film, as the ending really does pack a punch and makes you question humanity.

Not only the UN's priorities and methods are questioned- but also the artful and shallow media that see this as good news scoop then actually coming across as caring for the welfare of the soldiers. There's one quote that provides that point from a news reporter that declines to film the bunker and explains that when you've seen one bunker, you've seen them all… which is pretty ironic, well you'll what I mean when you see it.

The performances are impressive and truly absorbing from the three soldiers caught in this mess: Branko Djuric as Ciki, Rene Bitorajac as Nino and Filip Sovagovic as Cera . This film reminded very much of 'Three Kings' in the humour side of things, but also the grief you feel for those involved in the war- but 'No man's land' is far more involving and far less buoyant than 'Three Kings'.

What you get is a solid anti-war film that keeps you gripped to the end and when it finishes, it definitely leaves you pondering.
61 out of 112 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
You started this war!... No, YOU started this war!!
Coventry10 October 2004
First of all, I think it's a shame that this film isn't listed under its Slovenian title 'Nikogarsnja zemlja'. Anyway, what we have here is quite an impressive piece of work. Danis Tanovic wrote and directed a debut that easily is one of the best films since the new Millennium. Seemly without trying, Tanovic succeeds in bringing what so many other directors desperately attempt and fail: namely a satirical attack on the absurdity and uselessness of war! But without losing grip on the suspenseful and credible story, an that's an extra achievement. The story is simple but efficient and stuffed with little ingenious findings and subtle sarcasm. No Man's Land involves three soldiers – two Bosnians and one Serb – trapped in a trench between the two fronts. One of the Bosnians is wounded and lying on a mine that will explode and kill everybody in a range of 50 metres. While he carefully tries not to move an inch, the other two soldiers are bickering about what side actually began the war. There's a group of UN soldiers trying to help them but these people are constantly facing obstacles, intrusive press people and obnoxious superiors that prevent them from saving the trapped soldiers. Tanovic sense of clever dialogue and his courage to openly condemn the situation in his homeland make this one of the most admirable films of the last few decades. I'm really really glad that this No Man's Land won the Academy Award for best foreign language film over that dreadfully over-hyped 'Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain'. One of the best choices the Academy ever made!
74 out of 148 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A unique point of view
Danijela6 January 2003
If this film is anything it is a true bite of reality. It does not preach or provide a drawn out moralizing conclusion. It does not take sides or provide possible solutions to a well-publicized conflict. What it does is that it provides a point of view of a director who has indeed seen it all and has been able to tell a story full of dark humor, satirical and comical, but most of all tragic. It is rare for a director to succeed commercially and/or critically coming from ethnical background that he is without compromising the story that is not easy to tell. Furthermore, this is not a Hollywood commercial product; having an excuse to use the conflict as the background in order to show some exquisite fireworks of shooting, escapades and a whole row of already recognizable clichés. What makes this film worth more that one watch is that it takes human life at its most vulnerable, that it is about communication or lack of thereof, the excellent use of international cast and different languages adding to the confusion of an understanding the conflict that was truly not understood by anyone.
38 out of 72 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Gordon-1111 June 2003
The story was set in the Yugoslavian civil war in the early 90's. One soldier from each side of the battle was trapped between the front lines of the two rivals. They cannot leave the trench because if they do, the army will fire and kill them. To make things worse, there was a third soldier who was placed on a landmine, which would explode when the pressure on the landmine is released (i.e. when he gets up from a lying down position).

This is such a sad story with plenty of extremely touching scenes. It provokes people to think that there are so many ridiculous things that people do to each other during wars. People think that by killing each other the problem can be solved. This is a highly upsetting idea. It also revealed the terrible bureaucracy of some organisations, which gives little regard for human life.

Although it portrayed that the two rival soldiers had a lot of anger and distrust between them, there are times that it showed that they are also human. The two of them talked and found out that there was a girl that they both knew. I think that they were living in the same country, and they were just like any other civilians, just like you and me. They could have been living the same type of life, and suddenly friends became enemies.

In this film there were no large scale battle scenes like in `Saving Private Ryan' or `Gallipoli'. However, this film is just as sad and emotionally provoking like any other outstanding anti-war movie. It tells people the absurdity of war, and how crazy people can be during war. I was very shocked to know that the soldiers in Yugoslavia really put landmines beneath bodies, so that when the bodies are cleared away, the landmine would explode and kill the dead man's friends and relatives. This behaviour is extremely sickening. The inventor of such landmines is also very disgusting. I wonder, how can people create such a sophisticated device, and use it in such a ruthless way to kill? I have always thought that, if these people who invent killing machines go to invent some other machines instead, maybe we would be living in the `future world' portrayed in the film already. Our technology would be more advanced than it is now.

However, nowadays the weapons are getting more complicated, advanced, deadly and destructive every day. It saddens me a lot, because I never understood why a war has to start. The most ironic thing is that, the man who decides to wage a war against another country is always unharmed, because he sits in his office and has a large team of army to protect him. He does not die in the war. But because of his decision, millions of young men have to die.

Though there is such a grave message behind this film, there is also a lighter side to it. There were a lot of scenes which are funny, and all the viewers laughed and clapped for the witty statements. For example, when the two soldiers were trapped in the trench, they were discussing which side did more war crimes. The soldier who got the gun won the argument, and the possession of the gun changed a few times. There was another scene which a soldier searched the pockets of a soldier whom he just killed, and found a picture of a naked man.

Another scene which everyone laughed was that, a soldier asked the soldier lying on the landmine if he was OK. The poor soldier replied 'Of course I am OK, I got shot, and then I was unconscious, and then woke up and found there is a landmine beneath me, and then the whole world is watching me, and then I want to go to toilet, and now I was greeted by rubbish statements from my friend'.

I hope this film would make people understand that wars are completely vile and barbaric, and no one would start a war again.
42 out of 83 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Deeply Disturbing
Lea4 March 2003
This is a deeply disturbing film that everyone should see. It brings home the true insanity of war and the total depravity of the human mind. War is a sick, sick business that doesn't care about the human condition. It boggles my mind that some people think it was funny!! They need to spend a day in a war-torn country because they're too distanced from the horrors -- this is not MASH.
42 out of 83 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the best war films of the past decade
Michael Clough10 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This is a great film & fully deserving of it's best foreign language film. No Man's Land never tries to follow the well-worn path of other films involving enemies both stuck in the same dangerous situation. The two main combatants never become friends during their ordeal (as shown at the end of the film & little trust exist between the two (they are both only interested in their own interests, not the other). Infact the most clear thinking & compassionate of the three soldiers caught in the trench is the one who can't get up because he is lying on a mine that could kill them all.

This film doesn't take sides in the conflict, it's more a human story than a war story, if any side is made to look bad, it's the UN.

Credit must be given to the Bosnian film industry on their handling of such a horrific part of their recent history in such a strong non-judgmental way. No Man's Land & another Bosnian co-production, Saviour, both stand as two of the best films on the subject of war made in the past decade. Both films avoid making statements on how was right or wrong in the Yugoslav conflicts that rampaged throughout the 1990's but show the hatred & division they have caused throughout the region. 9/10
32 out of 63 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
No man's land is a great film
levijatana21 June 2005
So much I have read, so much has been written about this academy award movie, but it's still somewhere in the dark. Any why is that?

Probably because it doesn't fit in the usual concept of a movie today. And that is: watch it, be amused and by tomorrow forget about it. Living in Croatia and understanding the war horror that occurred in former Yugoslavia isn't the only reason why I mark this film with a high grade. This film isn't just about tragedy in the Balcans. It's actually about human nature.

Although people that don't understand our language(s) might miss something that puts this movie in a special kind of humorous mood, the general concept always remains the same. It's a film about humanity. It's shows us how EVERY war is absurd, with only losers involved. Special feature of this movie is objectiveness...there is no usual bad guy-good guy classification..there are no pathetic tones we see everyday in a common war movie. the only thing present here is the reality of innocent people who were pushed to kill each other.

Remarkable! 9/10
28 out of 56 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
"no, no mines here" -spoiler-
kapv5 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
this is a great movie of a great director. Dani's tanovic shows a tragedy which is beyond the question: who started the war. its about the psychology of people who changed their mind because of brainwashing war and propaganda. but the simple similarities of the main characters ciki(branko djuric) and nino(Rene bitorajac) show a light , even a positive view on people who used to know each other (they had the same girl.).this movie is closely taken on one set: the trench. and is not a movie which is hard thrilling. its war stupidity and the only people who could help (the u.n.-soldiers) are not allowed to , because of rules and law. the world sees the stupidity of war on TV which is shown by katrin cartlidge (jane Livingston) (to see in: eat the rich, from hell) . makes a good figure. but the real anti-hero is the system, which doesn't allows the forces to help. Bosnians and Serbs act in this movie , mixed and also the other ethnicity (branko djuric is Serb and acts a Muslim! he did a great job movie, very passioned , romantic but hard till the end). the Serbian general is acted by a Bosnian, so its a multi-ethnic movie which is directed very lovely and sensibly because it doesn't care who started war. the spot is on the situation and what the people were and actually are. the tragic situation that the Bosnian soldier lies on a mine is nice directed. the fact that the UN-troops cant help in the end s sad and something to think about. i think this movie was edited very nice, it has heart, something to think about. excellent movie, thumbs up.
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Grim, powerful war movie
Red-12517 March 2002
No Man's Land is a powerful, compelling film about the futility of war. The three major protagonists, two Bosnians and a Serb, are thrown together in a terrible situation, out of which it will be difficult to escape unscathed.

In addition to the warring factions, outside influences enter the picture in the form of a TV news reporter, and members of the UN forces in the region.

All three principals are excellent actors. In a supporting role, Katrin Cartlidge, as the TV reporter, is outstanding.

The portrayal of the British colonel who commands the UN troops is over-the-top. Other than that, I believe the script is excellent. This multinational production worked for me on both dramatic and historical grounds. A must see movie--not visually bloody, but haunting and saddening by what occurs, and what is implied.
13 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Stunning... Leaves You Breathless.
atish16 March 2006
This is a movie of a rare sort. Do yourself a favor and don't watch any previews (I saw one preview that made it out to be a comedy). It is a harsh look at the reality, the humanity, and the thoughtlessness of so many wars we carry out in our world today. It truly left me breathless in jaw-dropping awe. It makes you see conflict, any conflict, in a whole new light. It also teaches a lesson that there is always more than one side to any story, and we must listen to all sides before putting any lives in danger. An important piece for any person of any culture of any age. There is no question in my mind that this deserves a perfect "10."
15 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Watchable despite many flaws.
This movie plays like a primary school lesson on ethnic strife in Bosnia. Parts of it could have been named "Bosnian War for Dummies".

It's made with uninformed and generally disinterested Western audience in mind and it's as if Tanovic is saying: "Look, I know it's a drag to go out and look for serious material on ethnic groups you've barely heard of, fighting over a godforsaken piece of land you probably can't pick out on the map, so here's a condensed & simplified version that will make you think you now understand what went on in Bosnia during the early 1990s."

With his way too broad a brush he attempts many things. Among them:

  • touching on the seeds of conflict between Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Muslims (who now days prefer to be called Bosniacks and in this movie are referred to as Bosnians),

  • explaining the role of international community through UN's UNPROFOR contingent,

  • conveying the hopelessness and chaos of war, etc, etc.. .

With some of them he's more successful than with others. For example, in the beginning, chaos and confusion of an armed conflict are quite vividly and successfully laid out. In so many other war flicks soldiers shout orders, move troops on a whim and generally look firmly in control at every moment. Well, here, most aren't really sure what to do. They doubt their decisions and seem to re-evaluate their involvement in this mess with every new gruesome event. This definitely rings more true. Civil wars certainly don't come with rulebooks and how-to guides.

Other parts of the movie, however, can be viewed as personal political statements. I didn't exactly expect Tanovic, himself a Muslim and a soldier in the Bosnian Muslim Army during the war, to entirely stay clear of this, but even so, I thought he'd concentrate more on human stories and less on scoring points for his side. As it is, he portrays Serbs pretty cartoonishly and same goes for the portrayal of UNPROFOR and Western media. Dialogues invloving these 3 groups are so weak and one-dimensional they literally sound like something out of 'Full House' or other "lets state the obvious since our audience is too stupid" sitcoms.

Also, there's a whole lot of second layer, cheap and childish propaganda that's probably going to go unnoticed by most Western eyes, but it's most definitely present. Men on Serbian lines (played by Slovene extras) are shown as overweight, greasy, hateful, English-language-illiterate boorish pigs who seem to communicate through backslaps and inarticulate grunts, whereas Muslims are clean-cut, cheerful, fashionably retro polyglots who fight a war in 'Rolling Stones' T-shirt and Chuck Taylor All-Stars while quiping about global issues. No doubt who the beauty and who the beast is in Tanovic's eyes.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in a scene when Muslim soldier picks through pockets of a dead Serb troop whom he had just killed. Camera zooms in to show us that he found a photo of a naked guy striking a sexy pose in dead Serb's wallet! At first I thought there might be a payoff to this later on, but it never happened which left me wondering as to what exactly was Tanovic trying to say/imply? Since Serbs are implicitly presented as bad guys, I suppose he's delivering the final insult, which in his world means - showing their gayness!?

Still, most of Tanovic's wrath is saved for international community and its military arm - UNPROFOR. His thinly veiled position seems to be that the international community should have taken the Muslim side in Bosnia by helping them (not only in humanitarian aid, but in arms, too) fight the other two, better equipped sides (Croats were in this civil war as well, though the movie makes no mention of them).

That is definitely a first - an "anti-war" movie that advocates more armed involvement.

Tanovic again lets his emotions get the better of him and goes way over the top by portraying most of the official foreign element in Bosnia somewhere in the range between incompetent, clueless retards and amoral (bordering on sinister) worms.

I mention all this due to the fact that this film is being marketed as another "Catch-22" - supposedly showing all of the absurdity and senslesness of war. And while it does that in certain part, it is also much more of a soapbox for Tanovic to air his, obviously subjective, views on a conflict he took an active part in.

"No Man's Land" possesses certain redeemable value but tries to be too many things at the same time, many of which ultimately dilute and diminish its anti-war message.

Srdjan Dragojevic's "Pretty Village, Pretty Flame" did a better job at this since Dragojevic didn't take part in the actual fighting, but was close enough to feel its gruesome effects. That meant his movie wasn't burdened and hindered by heavy personal baggage, which is something that can't be said for Tanovic.
15 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Depiction Of The Ineffective U.N.
ccthemovieman-12 July 2006
This Serbo-Croatian film (with English subtitles) was a somewhat interesting story of a couple of soldiers on opposite sides in the Bosnian war who wind up in the same trench (hence, "No Man's Land") and the United Nations officials who try to rescue them. (Have you noticed how the UN "tries" but rarely succeeds in anything?)

The film is a bit talky but there is some action and every time it borders on starting to bore it switches gears to keep the viewer's interest.....all the way to up to finding out what happens at the end. Saying that, I wouldn't recommend buying this, but it's worth a rental. One look is enough. I am glad it points out what I mentioned before: how sadly ineffective the United Nations is, a real farce of an organization which is a shame.

The movie isn't all Serbs and Muslims speaking in their tongue. There is English spoken, mainly by a British TV reporter, and there is some French by the UN personnel. In all, a curiosity piece of sorts.
15 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A portray of a war
jacostaj21 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This is a great movie, which pictures in a sinthetic way what the Balcan's conflict was: a group of not-so-innocent-but-not-guilty-at-all people trapped between interests that go beyond their understanding... and they die from it.

The way the problem is presented is very fresh, even when the one-on-one situation is not new in the film history. The situation has been presented in an island -"Hell in the Pacific"-, and in a lone planet -"Enemy Mine"- among other films: the two opposite-sided warriors that have to overcome common troubles to survive. In this film the island/planet is a trench in the middle of a warfield somewhere in the Balcans in which, because of the stupidity of their superiors, both soldiers get trapped.

Now, the interesting side of this story is that the characters are at shooting distance of both enemy armies, and therefore at risk of dying from friendly or enemy fire. As a further complication, the believed-dead friend of one of the soldiers has been booby-trapped with a mine by the other's friend, who is shot dead early in the movie. They cannot run, for they will be shot by the other army, and the soldier lying over the mine cannot move, or it will blow appart.

The situation develops fast into a major international matter, with the not-so-fortunate intervention of the UN soldiers and, off course the international press. How can it get worst? How can it get better? The film mirrors the "well intended" actions that a Worldwide peace organization with an internal ego-war, lack of credibility, and quite unclear agenda did in the Balcan's conflict. It presents the misguided reasons by which hate led to fraticide, in which nobody remembers the origin of the conflict, but the consequences are written in blood in the papers. And also portrays the roll of the media not only as wintnesses, but also as beholders of the Public Opinion.

The story goes on with very wise and satiric, even comic dialogs inserted among very serious situations, which lead the public lightly but reflexively into the tense and very likely ending.

A great film, which with a very low budget and a very inteligent and documented script, puts itself among the best war films of all times. Only thing I hope is that the story was not based on a real-life situation, which would be by far more terrifiyng that most fiction endings in film history.
6 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Only just short of great
Apollo-1412 March 2007
Once in a great while you walk into a theatre with low expectations and you leave pleasantly surprised. "No Man's Land" was like that for me.

Superbly written and directed, "No Man's Land" deals with a complicated subject with stinging humor and great moments of drama. My only reservation is with the character that spends the length of the movie lying on his back on a mine. I can't help but think that this movie would be a masterpiece if only the writer/director had made an effort to make him more sympathetic. As it is, I didn't feel very sorry for him. Still, a well-deserved Oscar nomination for Tanevic and yet another fine product of the former Yugoslav school of cinema.
6 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not deserving it's reputation
Gabriel Negrusa8 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This movie has the same rating as Underground by Emir Kusturica and i expected it to be at least half as good, but in reality it's not even remotely close to that masterpiece. But some people praise it as a realistic take on war, maybe the most realistic ever. Well, if you want realistic take on war watch The Hurt Locker. No Man's Land is basically the Hollywood version of that. Even the first Rambo is more realistic and deeper in some ways. Why? Many thing happening in the movie make no sense, for example Ciki looks like a calm guy, he didn't lose his judgement when he was struck by a tank projectile, no he just went to search for a cigar to smoke. But after being saved, he makes the dumb decision of threatening a whole army with a pistol, what was he thinking? That action did not fit the character of Ciki we saw earlier. This is just a sign of amateurish plot design. And the french UN sergeant, he defied his superiors and risked his life just for a mission he didn't even knew what was about until he got there.

As a tragedy it was hard to feel bad for any of the main characters, they are not very sympathetic, and they don't show enough of their personality to make you care for them. If a situation like this was real maybe i would, but then again you hear stuff like this on TV often, and it's about innocent civilians. I only felt bad for the UN soldiers that wasted their time trying to save 2 people that didn't want their help.

It's not a that bad movie, but almost everything it shows has been done better somewhere else.
8 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
This Won An Oscar ?
Theo Robertson11 August 2004
Having written a script in 1996 called SOLITUDE set in Bosnia in the early 1990s I`ve been interested in seeing how the Balkans conflict is featured in movies and I was really looking forward to seeing NO MANS LAND a multi national production that became the first movie featuring the Balkans conflict to win an Oscar . However I was very disappointed in it

The movie gets of to a fairly effective opening and features some excellent cinematography as night turns into morning . There`s also a scene early in the movie that steals directly from PLATOON with a hardened veteran going through a raw recruits kit saying " You don`t need that , dump this ..." so my hopes were built up that this was going to be a compelling piece of cinema but when the movie concentrates on the story proper of having two men ( Or three depending how you look at it ) in a trench it doesn`t really go anywhere , instead it just concentrates on insults like :

" You started this war you Serb pig "

" No you started this war you Muslim dog "

There`s little information on the history of the Bosnian civil war to be gathered from from these exchanges , there`s little drama to these exchanges and to be blunt when watching NO MANS LAND it doesn`t actually feel like you`re experiencing cinema since you could easily adapt this screenplay for the stage with very little modification .

Another thing was I couldn`t believe in the characters as anything more than litery devices , Simon Callow`s caricture as a UN Protection Force officer especially bordered on the offensive with the only performance and role that anyway resembled a real person being the late Katrin Cartlidge as Jane Livingstone , a journalist who seems to be implicitly based on The Guardian`s Maggie O`Kane

NO MANS LAND isn`t the worst movie to have used the Balkans conflict as a backdrop , that unwanted accolade must surely go to BEHIND ENEMY LINES but it`s far from being the best either , in my humble opinion PRETTY VILLAGE , PRETTY FLAME is the clear winner
11 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Greatest Bosnian Picture
m_poslek4 August 2004
"No Man's Land" is the whole truth about the Serb aggression over Bosnia and Herzegovina and the responsibility of the United Nations. It shows the war from it's truthfully side.The movie is made in a typical Bosnian way that always includes comedy. I would describe the picture as a true story rather than just drama or comedy. The only disadvantage is that you can't understand some parts of "No Man's Land" if you don't speak Bosnian. There are some expressions that cannot be translated into English. Here are the pictures those to tell you the story. Tanovic works with symbols, like the very last picture of the movie, where you see this Bosnian soldier lying on a land mine not being able to either move or stay there. This is the way Bosnia looks today after the war. It is still a "No Man's Land".

It is a funny way to understand the ironic war in Bosnia. It can be compared to "Life Is Beautiful" (Benigni).
10 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Good journeyman war satire slightly over-touted with some plotholes.
George Parker10 April 2002
"No Man's Land" is a satirical representation of the futility of the Bosnian/Serb conflict which uses one incident, a living man in a trench booby-trapped with a land mine, to show how the people involved, from foot soldiers to media to UN peace-keepeers to the chain of command, all fail to succeed when hatreds run deep. In other words, the film shows what a freakin "clusterf**k" the war was. Somewhat over touted, this journeyman flick which wanders in the void between comedy and drama will be most enjoyed by those into war flicks.
7 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not that masterwork
vincent_brems11 April 2005
The film is telling the dramatic story of three soldiers (one Serb and two Bosnians) caught between two front-lines during the Yugoslavian war. Some UN troop try to free them but their very bureaucratic hierarchy prevents them of doing so and they require the help of a British journalist.

The plot is very credible and shows perfectly the absurdity and cruelty of war and the influence of the TV press on the battlefield.

But I would not qualify this film as a masterpiece. I found the acting not that convincing. Watch Kirk Douglas in Paths of Glory! Moreover the story is quite melodramatic. Some effects (in particular the UN colonel and his sexy secretary) are not really welcome (the director should have chosen between the MASH style or the documentary style and not oscillated between both). I really felt the whole was too long and not deserving such eulogistic comments as you can read on IMDb.

This film can be compared with the BBC TV series Warriors (1999). I really believe Warriors was very much superior. The pace was faster. The acting was better. The plot was more credible and more informative. Of course this was only a TV series and the quality of the film direction cannot be compared but, all in all, Warriors touched me much deeper.
6 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Very easy way out.
jtur8830 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
(SPOILER) I hate movies in which the solution is so obvious to any member of the audience, but the whole thing plods on as it is a difficult problem, and even remains unresolved at the end. All one had to do was slide his hand under the guys body, locate the mine, and put his hand over the plunger so it doesn't detonate. It might be necessary to remove a couple of those small rocks. Then the body could get up and walk away while the plunger was held down, and the mine could then be jammed into the framework of the structure in such a way that would hold the plunger down. Tie a long cord to the mine, get a safe distance away, and jerk it out of the tight spot, allowing it to detonate harmlessly. It took me about two minutes to figure that out, and it embarrasses me that it took that long except that I was distracted by the other inanities of the film, which were numerous, including the keystone cops failure to secure other weapons lying around. Yet the whole picture revolves around everybody, including a famous German mine disposal expert, being baffled by this simple conundrum. Furthermore, there is no way on earth that the last guy to leave the scene would have done so, with a living person simply abandoned to his fate. Sorry, just a horribly, horribly contrived movie.
10 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Universe of an Insane War, Showed in a Trench in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Claudio Carvalho6 April 2004
In a trench in Bosnia-Herzegovina, two Serbs are looking for Bosnian soldiers. They find one of them apparently dead, and one of the Serbs puts a fragmentation mine under his body. Ciki (Branko Djuric), another Bosnian soldier hidden in the trench, shoots at them. In the end, the apparently dead Bosnian soldier Cera (Filip Sovagovic) is indeed alive with a mine under his body, and Bosnian Ciki and the Serb Nino (Rene Bitorajac) are hurt and equally armed in an even situation. They decide to ask for help in a very peculiar way. The French UN soldier Marchand (Georges Siatidis) tries to help the men and disobeys his superiors order, using the journalist Jane Livingstone (Katrin Cartlidge) as a kind of scapegoat in a very uncommon situation. In the end, a circus is armed in the trench and nothing is resolved. Yesterday, I saw this excellent movie for the third time. In a surrealistic situation, the director Danis Tanovic offers the universe of this insane war using a few characters. It is very metaphoric and has a kind of black humor. We have two Bosnians and two Serbs, one of them having the sick idea of mining a dead body. The rage among the three survivors alternates with some dialogs about a common friend and who initiated the war. Indeed, they do not clearly know why they are fighting against each other, and the other soldiers are unable to identify who is who without wearing uniforms. The ridiculous, bureaucratic and hypocrite role of the UN in this war is explicitly demonstrated. Maybe this is the unique film that really touches the wound relative to the performance of UN in this war. The idealist soldier is unable to help whom needs and feels very frustrated when the situation is ended. The journalists trying to obtain a matter, but not taking care in investigating `the trench' a little further after achieving their objectives. `No Man's Land' is another excellent movie about the Bosnian war, inclusive an Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 2001, and highly recommended for any audience. If the reader likes this theme, I would like to suggest the excellent `Harrison's Flowers', `Vukovar', `Pretty Village, Pretty Flame', `Shot Through the Heart', `Welcome to Sarajevo' and `Savior'. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): `Terra de Ninguém' (`No Man's Land')
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews