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The Kingdom
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The Kingdom More at IMDbPro »

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Kaboom!

3/10
Author: Joseph Sylvers from United States
12 June 2008

I will now attempt to re-create my experience watching the kingdom for your reading pleasure.

Kaboooom"..."You terrorist sons of bitches"...."bang bang bang"..."I'm Jamie Foxx and I'm here to save you"...."Not all arab want blow self up"...."Bang bang bang"..."NOOOOO!"...."we need backup"..."Jeremy Piven fast talking comic relief"..."Im Jennifer Garner and I'm here to save you, but I'm nervous"..."bang bang bang"..."Well that's over but maybe, just maybe violence only begets more violence in some kind of viscous cycle...oh well let's go home...THE END.

The cinematography did look nice though. Some entertaining action sequences. Meh.

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Great talent wasted on a terrible movie.

2/10
Author: fred-stein from United States
18 February 2008

This movie is a typical action thriller. It has the classic shoot-em-up where the bad guys fire thousands of rounds at the good guys (whom they also out-number) and of course the good guys win.

It's more bitterly ironic because the actors are all great and play interesting, nuanced characters.

I can't help feeling that the producers/directors,writers?? felt the need to offend people in the middle east. Why? Were they trying to show how insensitive and unprepared the FBI was, or were they trying to show that we Americans can be as insensitive as we wish, because 'we're right, and we're going to win'?

This is Rambo in the desert.

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A pat, Hollywood look at a complex issue

5/10
Author: keiichi73 from United States
29 September 2007

With a storyline ripped straight from today's headlines and a pair of sensational and brutal action sequences bookending the film, The Kingdom should by all accounts be a winner. And for part of the film, it is. Director Peter Berg deals with the touchy issue of US and Saudi relations in a manner that manages to avoid manipulation for the most part (except for some cloying dialogue and one or two sequences that ring false). It's kind of strange to think of a movie dealing with such issues as a popcorn movie, but that's really what it is at the end.

FBI Special Agent Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx) wants permission to fly to Saudi Arabia and perform his own investigation when some terrorists bomb an American compound during the middle of a softball game. The fact that two fellow Agents were killed in the blast make it all the more personal. His request is initially rejected, but Ronald knows who to talk to, and he eventually is given permission for a five day secret mission that will be closely scrutinized every step of the way. His team on the investigation includes Janet Mayes (Jennifer Garner), Grant Sykes (Chris Cooper), and Adam Leavitt (comic actor Jason Bateman in a rare dramatic role). When they arrive, they find that their progress is hindered almost every step of the way by Saudi authorities. Their only ally is a military Colonel named Al-Ghazi (Ashraf Barhous), whom Ronald bonds with during his time overseas. When the team is finally allowed to do some real investigating work, they quickly uncover the clues that could lead them right to the terrorist group before the group's next attack can become a reality.

Despite being nearly two hours in length, The Kingdom races full speed ahead with its story, seldom stopping for character development or concentrating on the situation at hand. This is both its best and worst feature. On one hand, the movie does keep a good pace for part of its running time. The movie opens quite literally with a bang as the initial attack on the American residential compound is brutal and shocking, not shying away from images of children being fired upon. Even the opening credits, which chronicles and displays a timeline of American and Saudi relations, is compelling and immediately grabs our attention. Those expecting a thoughtful and thorough look at international relations are likely to be disappointed, however. The movie sidesteps its own tough questions, and resorts either to the American investigation team being frustrated over the lack of cooperation they are receiving, or to brutal and bloody gunfights that are shot and edited with the speed and accuracy of an action film. This is a movie where the heroes can stumble upon the right clues that lead them to the right answers within a day or two, and those answers lead them right to the enemy. The last half hour of the film is an extended action sequence as the Fleury and his team find themselves trying to rescue an ally, and blowing away anything that gets in their sights. The movie's final scene tries to make up for this with a sequence that is supposed to be chilling and make us wonder if the "heroes" are any different from the "villains", but it comes across as being heavy handed and somewhat forced.

To be honest, I actually found myself not minding the action-heavy last half. It's actually a welcome relief after the lengthy mid section where not much of interest happens. The Americans find themselves stopped at just about every turn whenever they try to investigate or even question anyone. What this amounts to is a lot of time where the characters are faced with roadblocks, and forced to go back to their bunker in frustration. This part of the film drags even more when you consider that we learn very little if anything about these characters. Aside from the fact that Ronald Fleury has a son back home, we don't really learn much about the man. Janet, Grant, and Adam are given even less to do, and simply seem to be killing time until their individual big scenes. A closer look into these characters could have made this part of the film more tolerable to sit through. The movie at least looks good throughout, and was obviously made with great care. The sun-baked cinematography gives the film a blistering look that puts us in the action with the cast. And the music score by composer Danny Elfman is surprisingly subtle at times, and does not play up the melodrama or hit us over the head with emotion.

The Kingdom is a strange film indeed. It seems to want to be an important movie that has something to say, but at its heart, it's a revenge movie where guns never run out of ammo, and the heroes can fly in and save the day in a short amount of time. I admired the film in parts for what it was. The violence is brutal without being glorified, and the movie at least never talks down to us, probably because it doesn't have time to. This is not a bad movie, just not quite the movie I was hoping for considering the theme of the film and the cast involved. The Kingdom is a mostly safe, sanitized package designed to appeal to the Hollywood crowd.

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining but predictable

Author: Harry T. Yung (harry_tk_yung@yahoo.com) from Hong Kong
28 September 2007

"The Kingdom" starts quite cleverly, utilizing the opening credits to show in parallel the history of the Saudi Arabia "Kingdom" from shortly after the turn of the 20th century, through its oil-based prosperity to 911.

A standard Hollywood fare, this movie is not expected to offer the depth of "Paradise Now" (2005) in examining the other side. Case in point is the standard cross-culture hostility-turned-empathy routine, with the empathy based on the foreigner's appreciation of American culture – the Hulk and the Six Million Dollar Man. And why not, as it targets first and foremost the US market. At the end, a mother asks her little child what his terrorist grandfather told him with his dying breath after shot by "the enemy". "Don't worry child, we'll kill them all", comes the little boy's answer. (All such dialogue in sub-titles). Maybe half of the general American audience's reaction would be "oh God, why do they hate us so much, we have to take a hard look" while the other half would say "to hell with it, let's kill them all first". I said "half" for simplicity and have no idea of the actual statistics.

I need to get the above paragraph out of the way so that there is no false expectations of this movie – a good one, entertaining albeit predictable. The story is basically about a FBI investigation team's five days in Riyadh after a suicide bombing at a Western housing compound that kills over a hundred people. Well paced and crafted with mounting tension, the movie is an excursion down the trail of predictability. There is the hostility elements who do not even want any American on their soil, let alone assist them in the investigation. To balance this, there is also an "enlightened" exotic person in power, this time a prince. There are cultural and political clashes. The latter is actually interestingly depicted. While in the US, the conflict is portrayed in verbal exchange between the Attorney General and the FBI chief, in Saudi Arabia it gets down to soldiers slapping each other.

Finally, in the last 30 minutes, the audience gets the all-hell-break-loose action sequence which is well shot with effective use, but not over-use, of hand-held cameras. The action is mainly in bullets but there is also rocket launchers although one kind of wonder if it is really necessary to use a rocket to shoot down (and unsuccessfully) a single person. I would also wish to see more of Jennifer Gardner in "action-action" rather than just shooting guns, remembering some of her beautiful moves in "Daredevil" (2003).

The cast has been put together as effectively as the FBI team they represent – Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner and Jason Bate – all playing their roles quite professionally. Deserving special mention is Ali Suliman who plays the sergeant who receives and helps them in Riyadh. He put up an exceptional performance in "Paradise now" mentioned above, as one of the suicide bombers in that film. While the role in "The kingdom" is less challenging, he gave it the same professional care.

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7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

imbecility

2/10
Author: battlefield1944 from China
20 December 2007

The movie is full of American superiority complex. it always on a shinning peaceful day ,American eidolon take their wonderful life,just like 50',then boom.darksides stealthily come,kill all civilians.hero leads all his warriors fight back.

The same story in many American movies .When i see the beginning of this movie,i thought it may talk something special.until to the last act,it become a horse opera.

I think this movie even worse than other same genres film.But in IMDb ,its score 7.3 and more than 15000s voted.That make me feel sad.just because Jamie said "i 'll kill them all" like the terrorist.so the terrorists have humanity,like us American then over.

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8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

One of those movies which make you stop watching

Author: Bo Schreurs from Netherlands
26 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've seen the trailer of this movie, and that made me watch it. It seems that nowadays the trailer of a movie shows the best part of the movie, and when you really watch the entire movie it is crap. This surely is true for this one. Although it starts out pretty good. In Saudi Arabia, terrorist bomb American employees. Many are killed. This was the best part of the movie, because it made you feel sorry for the victims, and you hope that the terrorists will have to pay for this. What comes after this is complete crap. The plot is what kills this movie. It is completely unbelievable. The FBI wants to investigate the bombing. Why is not clear. Although the US government does not want to send Americans to Saudi Arabia, this is made perfectly clear, 4 FBI agents still manage to do it, it seems there is no law for them. As soon as they arrive in S.A. they treat the Arabs like idiots. The insult them, they do not obey their instructions, they run the show. To insult them even more, on of the FBI agents is a woman. In the Arab world that is not normal. If you know that, why do such a thing. Probably to dislike those Arab fools a little bit more. And then the thing that made me quit watching this 'movie'. The FBI agents are completely indestructible. You can hit them with fists several times, and you see no bruises at all. You watch them survives bomb attacks and shattering glass, without a blood stain. The Arabs are worse than Imperial Storm Troopers, because the can't even hit them with a single bullet, grenades or RPG's! While The FBI people just have to look at them, and they drop like flies... After watching *that* part of the movie, I gave up, and didn't wait until the end of it. Afterwards I learned from a friend that where trained Arab veterans failed, a 17 year old kid managed to shoot an agent..! It made me feel good about not waiting until the end. To bad one can not give a movie null stars. This movie deserved it. Terrorism, Americans, Arabs, Royalty, Oil, Guns, this movie had so much potential but somehow they managed to finish it off. Do yourself a favor and skip this one.

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10 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Ho-Hum

1/10
Author: Robin Cook from USA
30 December 2007

If you begin watching this movie with the notion already set in your mind that there really aren't terrorists at all like how the governments want us to believe there are, then this movie takes on another ho-humdrum of more political propaganda for the unenlightened viewers. The first half hour or so of this movie was typical style television droll of cop-type-status-people-posturing-banterings, and then the cast is finally on the plane and off to Saudi Arabia. The director must have seen me ready to leave my chair from boredom, so they finally put the cast on the plane. From there the film got interesting, but the acting and lines were forced and hesitant. The Prince was lame, the terrorists were lame and, well, so was this movie. The last half of the movie I guess you could say was entertaining but after struggling with being in my chair waiting for anything of interest to appear I left the viewing with a complete feeling of frustration. The concept of an FBI investigation in Saudi Arabia was a good notion for a storyline for a movie, but this movie just wasn't it. I fail to see why there are so many reviews here praising this hyped up movie. If ya gotta see it and sold by all the hype, then see it, but there are better movies out there.

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10 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Worst movie for ages

1/10
Author: dori79 from Germany
6 November 2007

This is the worst movie I have seen for ages!!! A patriotic American story with awful and low brain dialogs and a plot which is not exciting at all missing highlights all the way through the movie. It is not clear what the movie wants to transmit to the audience: good Americans finding the truth? Americans and Saudis being responsible for the conflicts? Patriotism at its best which even brought me some laughs... although the topic is not funny at all. Sad though as the conflict is omnipresent and provides substantial content for a movie. Additionally the handy-cam way of producing the movie was annoying and stressful. Always shaking pictures and unclear images is not what I understand of being up-to-date quality film making.

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11 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

So So At Best

3/10
Author: Scoval71 from New York, NY
29 September 2007

The movie is sort of entertaining....to a point. I felt Jamie Foxx is terribly miscast here---terribly--he is extremely unrealistic in this role and sticks out like a sore thumb. Actually, I felt the acting as a whole was lousy---Janie Foxx, number one, and Jennifer Garner, a close second, whose lips are so plumped up and out of proportion, it is beyond ridiculous. A lot of the movie has profanity where it is, apparently, appropriate, or is profanity ever appropriate, I think not. There is violence personified and a rather, at times, confusing plot. Wait until it comes on TV; it won't be long. I see nothing so wonderful about this movie; possibly the actor named Asraf Barhoun is kind of sexy.

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13 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Worth a look at , but has its flaws!

7/10
Author: shadowman123 from United Kingdom
22 October 2007

From the trailers The Kingdom seemed like a movie which was a typical good Americans vs Bad Muslim terrorist style movie , and having said that although I am against Hollywood exploiting this angel to make bucks I thought I would give it shot anyway as I don't mind a action movie. The Kingdom tells the story of an attack on an American housing compound base in The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia and the FBI team sent afterwards to investigate the matter and apprehend the suspect. Its seems like a cross from the opening a bit like Syrianna meets CSI which was okay because it kind of became a thinking person's movie as to who done this?

However problems start of very early in this movie right after the start when the investigation gets under way , as we see it moving at a slow pace and never really heating up to the point where they should . This might be in the name of diplomacy but having seen the recent behaviour of the United States I can comfortably say that diplomacy is the last thing on their mind ! Another thing was that whenever something was a point of interest for the audience , it was only half explained and then cut to another scene straight away which to be honest made it feel messy although you understand that the FBI team is in Saudi Arabia we are reminded but when did that ever bother the U.S. unless their oil supply was to be directly cut off !

Having said that , we did get to see some good acting from Jamie Foxx who really was a good commanding figure as well as Jennifer Garner who did take part in the action. The locations were brilliant as it really did feel that they were in The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia and the attitude from the Saudi Police Force and National Gurad was good if not slightly over done ! The action sequences were all good if not a little toooo Hollywood Style over the top and the I felt the terrorist were a little too clichéd with their rants of Allah-o-Akbar and the way they work. Another good points was that it kept to the point of the movie of tracking a killer and not going as far as exploring the elements behind Islamic fundamentalism which I felt was best left alone.

To conclude The Kingdom could of been one of the best movies in the summer but it seemed just like a really long and badly put together version of 24 ! It had serious potential but it is hampered down by a slow pace that drags on longer than it should do and a script that needed serious refining to it. It seems that the FBI managed to find clues very easily when the film needed to move on and complain about their treatment from the Saudi's when it needed to expand on something. It also changes gears from a CSI type murder mystery to a typical action movie which just makes it feel rushed , sloppy and somewhat chaotic really. I'm not saying it was a complete waste of time but it just felt a little to basic which to me was a disappointment. Just wait for it to hit your local rental shop.

THE KINGDOM : 7.8 OUT 10

THIS FALL LEAVE YOUR WORLD BEHIND , AND ENTER THE KINGDOM!

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