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No Man's Land
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Reviews & Ratings for
No Man's Land More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:


Author: David R. Secondino ( from Rochester, WI
24 February 2002

This is a very captivating film. Well acted, well written, well paced and beautifully shot. The film lays bare the farce of "peacekeeping" forces, sent into a war zone without permission to actually fight back. This is a must see. 9/10

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Movie and Insight into the war. Song in the end is a lullaby.

Author: jasam from West Palm Beach, FL
11 February 2002

This is the best insight into the Bosnian conflict ever pictured in a movie. For everyone with any interest and knowledge of the war, this movie will sum up the whole conflict. It hits the international community and bureaucracy for its inaction and half measures. The final scene is the final word on UN involvement and its effectiveness. The absurdity of the whole conflict is main theme of the movie.

joaodelauraaurora in his review remarks that the conflict of the two characters is sometimes "childish" and "not up to the hatred and grievances that oppose the two nations." That is not a flaw in the movie, that is how things really are. In Bosnia Serbs and Bosnians and Croats were friends, neighbors, and even relatives. The reason the director chose to have the characters conflict be "childish" is to show that the ancient hatreds that have been talked about by the politicians of the world are in fact not that deep and not that bitter as the extremists and nationalist would have you believe. The reviewer also thinks that the UN bureaucracy is the villain in the movie, and yes this is true, but this does not deviate from the real true story of the war. The UN was brought into Bosnia to show the world cares, but they did nothing but create an excuse for not lifting the arms embargo (also mentioned briefly in the movie) on the Bosnian government. The UN distributed aid, but the Serb forces would often take at least half as a "tariff". The media he says also plays a villain, but I think the view of the media is balanced. It shows the media bringing the worlds attention to the war and the inaction of the UN, but it also shows the personal interest involved.

In conclusion, if you want a balanced well rounded view of the Bosnian conflict this is the movie for you. If you want to pretend that the worlds leaders truly tried to do anything for Bosnia, or if you want a simple answer (even if its not totally true) to the cause of the war (ancient hatreds) then avoid this movie. The truth about the conflict is in this movie, definitely go see it. P.S. Reviewers that mentioned a conflict between Croats and Serbs in this movie are also incorrect, there are no Croats portrayed in this movie. Also the song at the end of the movie has not subtitles, so the audience if they do not speak Serbo-Croatian/Bosnian will not realize that its a lullaby (song to put kids to sleep).

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Without any doubt the best screenplay (Cannes 2001)

Author: Michiel Nieuwenhuijse from Amsterdam
23 January 2002

What a great movie! So realistic, so well produced! Winner Special Jury Prize : Best Screenplay and well deserved!! I can recommend this movie for everybody! Michiel

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:


Author: Almir Tucakovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First, I just want to say to all that this is not Serbo-Croatian move.

This is Bosnian movie and language that is used in this movie is Bosnian, just to know.

For movie, i just can say "amzing", you must see it.

This is not a 100% true story of Bosnian reality, but it says something.

In this movie you can see a bit of comedy, drama, an tragedy.

Danis won 42 first places in different world movie competition, and at the end He won Oscar.

This is first Oscar for Bosnia, and for whole north-east Europe.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Good satire on war that still also shows the horrors of war.

Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
5 August 2004

Many people can't see further pass the dramatic elements of this movie but the movie is more then that. In a clever way it is a satire of the whole '93 war situation and modern war in general.

Still there are some dramatic elements like you would expect from a war movie. It still manages to show the horror of war and the pointlessness of the whole situation.

It perfectly shows the involvement of both the Serbians and the Bosnians that are not really caring about the faith of the soldiers trapped in the trench in the middle of no man's land, while all they do in the trench is arguing about who's to blame for starting the war in the first place which takes a lot of pressure and tension with it. It also shows the involvement of the UNPROFOR soldiers and the hungry press and the power the press can have in a war situation these days. All is shown in a satirical way and basically it just tells the story of the whole war and the parties involved in 98 minutes.

Not sure about it deserving of winning the Oscar for best foreign film but still an enjoyable light war drama.


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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Great Movie

Author: DielensA from Mechelen, Belgium
28 November 2003

A story about two soldiers in a trench between enemy lines during the Bosnian war. I was amazed to discover that not only is the film beautiful to look at, it was shot by the Belgian photographer Walther Vanden Ende, but also contains some strong characters to divert us from the lack of action. The screenplay for the film is overwhelming and establishing several conflicts in a confined space early in the film. And it uses the conflicts to drive forward a collection of other subplots at different locations. Great movie!

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Grim but Excellent Farce

Author: Tony from Sydney
29 April 2002

This is the way war movies should be made. No heroes, except perhaps the unfortunate Marchand, who risks death and his career to try to save the three fighters caught between Bosnian and Serbian front lines against overwhelming odds.

No Man's Land shows the absurdity of war very skilfully. It is full of irony and pathos. What struck me was the fact that the warring parties communicated more effectively with each other than the UNPROFOR did with anyone.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Absurdist Anti-War Piece

Author: Rebecca from United States
17 December 2002

Eastern European writers seem to have a gift for the absurd; Checkov, Kafka, and others used this element in their works. This movie uses the same elements to discuss the absurdity of war. The plot revolves around three men. One is a Serb soldier, two are Bosnians. One of the men is lying on top of a "bouncing mine" that will kill everyone within a hundred yards if he moves. The three of them are trapped in a trench between enemy lines. The film is beautifully done, tragic, sad, and... funny. The humor of the situation is portrayed through the two soldiers arguing over who started the war and the attempts of UN officers to rectify the situation and get the men out of the trench. Some people might be put off by the subtitles; the movie is in three different languages, but well worth the time.

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Not that masterwork

Author: vincent_brems from Bonn, Germany
11 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.

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Effective, if flawed, war film.

Author: Aidan McGuinness from Dublin, Ireland
30 June 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I checked out this movie based on its Best Foreign Film Oscar win. Having seen it I personally would have given it to Amelie, but what we have is a (relatively) hard hitting war drama set around the Bosnia-Serbia conflict.

The premise is pretty simple. A Bosnian and Serbian soldier are trapped between enemy lines, in no man's land. A third soldier, wounded, lies atop a mine unable to move for fear of triggering it. The balance of power is held by the man who has the gun – with the balance shifting intermittently as the story progresses. Thankfully this doesn't become an `Enemy Mine' scenario where the two end up hugging – instead it takes the more admirable, and less pontificating, approach of highlighting the hatreds embedded between the two sides that cannot be merely overcome by a few hours of conversation. The characters are actually quite clearly normal men – they even know people in common – but their irrational hatred of the other side is inexplicable and obviously meant to be so.

Unfortunately some of the dialog is a bit hammy. The screenplay suffers from being slightly clichéd and, while not taking the obvious route, the final resolution is still somewhat easily foreseen (although, to be fair, the inevitability is what helps make it effective). The actors help matters by imbuing their characters with emotions ranging from desperation, to hatred, all passed off without ever descending into melodrama. Director Tanovic shows an effective hand here, with camera work that never interferes with the storyline and yet brings across the quiet, and the loud, moments with enough passion to help the viewer emote with the scene.

`No Man's Land' is another, in a line of movies, that shows the horror-of-war. Thankfully it does this with the harder and more visceral of emotions rather than Hollywood sentimentality. It's let down a bit by a somewhat weak script, but the direction and acting lend enough conviction to the movie to make it worth a view. 6.8/10.

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