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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I didn't have much of a clue about what this film was about when i
watched it - other than is starred the iconic Samuel L Jackson and
Carrie Ann Moss - and it was a 'Hollywood' film.
Only this Isn't a 'Hollywood' film. Unlike the usual formulaic production line fare that Hollywood usually cranks out - THIS film stands apart. It doesn't follow the same formula which so many do to get bums on seats. There isn't even a romantic sub-plot. (Which i found VERY refreshing!) Simply put this film attempts to explore moral boundaries ... Our own just as much as those of our on-screen protagonists. Unlike many people that watch this film I didn't come away feeling id been exposed to some 'liberal' or 'NWO' propaganda. Those reviewers seem to be suffering from a 21st century dose of 'reds under the beds' ...
The setting of the film could be ANYWHERE - the fact that its in America with a Muslim 'villain' is merely a reflection of its intended audience and social environment. The point of the film is: Is torture justifiable? How do you balance the morality of torture against its real world 'benefits'... ? The premise is: A man has planted nuclear bombs in 3 American cities. He is in custody and the US security services need to extract the locations of the bombs within 72 hours. So they begin to torture the man.
So how far do you go? Can you trust the information revealed? Who is 'good' and who is 'evil'? I don't want to spoil the film so will say there are many more variables which are featured ...
Some people have complained about the 'gore'. Personally i didn't find it 'gorey'. Especially with the likes of the SAW films out there! There are some sequences which involve 'blood' etc but these are well executed, brief and far from gratuitous. Much of the torture off camera as its the moral implications which are there to make you feel uncomfortable - not the visual ones.
This isn't a traditionally 'enjoyable' or 'entertaining' film. However i was captivated from the opening scene and was intrigued throughout. Its well acted, well scripted and well considered.
Its a shame that many people will not take away what they could and should from this film - but that is a reflection of then - not a reflection of Unthinkable!
Carrie-Anne Moss represents the average citizen watching this movie,
having a facade of superior human rights beliefs (that we tend to have
in western countries) that gradually get whittled away as the situation
in the movie get more desperate.
How far are we really willing to go to save millions of people? When the entire country is at stake, how far is the US really willing to go with dealing with terrorists? We can claim our governments are moral and upholding human rights, but at the end of the day, the government can do whatever it wants. It doesn't need your approval, and it will do what it believes is required for self-preservation. This movie flaunts that idea.
Unthinkable has excellent mind-play and dialogue that really gets you thinking and challenges what we really believe about human rights.
Watched it last night and was really impressed. This is the sort of
film that gets you thinking about your own moral grounds... how far
would you have gone in order to save 1000s of lives. The story is
simple, realistic and very current which makes it really efficient. I
do believe this sort of threat by a single/small independent group of
terrorists getting hold of a dirty bomb is the one we should all be
loosing sleep over.
It does require a fairly strong stomach and will get some people uneasy with some of the torture scenes but this is exactly the purpose of the film.
The acting by the lead roles is superb - both Jackson and Moss are playing at the top of their game. While the storyline is not likely to be politically popular and therefore I will be surprised if we'll see many awards headed up this film's way. Still, hats off for memorable roles for both of them.
I don't think that everybody can watch this film, I doubt my wife could sit through all of it without some serious cringing. The subject of the film however is important enough to suggest that anyone who can tolerate strong violence on the screen should make time to watch the film. While enjoyable it probably not a good word to describe this film, it is surely memorable and impressive.
How much do we value our freedom? When faced with exceptional
circumstances, how far will we go to ascertain the truth, to secure
safety? To ensure national security? "Unthinkable" is a problematic
movie, in that it gives no clear answers. The premise may be slightly
extreme, if we consider what H (Samuel L. Jackson) gets up to, but then
again, with some rationalizing we easily reach the conclusion that we
simply don't know just how far America has gone in the legal torture
We do not intend to point the finger at America in particular. This applies to any and everyone. Faced with extenuating circumstances, what would we do? Make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen. "Unthinkable" is a very current, undebatably intense uneasy ride down a steep, winding and twisting tunnel.
In the end we are left with nothing. It is up to us to decide what is our moral charter.
Well worth your while. 8/10
Wow... this is one of the best films I have ever seen hands-down,
regardless the low ratings many other reviewers have given it thus far.
While the premise of the movie is a bit far-fetched, the film itself is superb and has an excellent cast, great acting and a good script. Overall, the film is very realistic and thought-provoking.
While I completely understand why many assert that this is 137 minutes of pro-torture propaganda (like the hit TV series "24"), I completely disagree. I feel that more than anything, it shines a spotlight on the human condition. It captivates the viewer and forces us to question how far we are willing to go to save lives, and whether or not we are willing to sacrifice our vary humanity to do so. At what point are we willing to do the "unthinkable" and thereby give up some of the things that truly make us human?
Warning, this film is extremely graphic and at times hard to bear and while it is not for the faint-hearted, I still encourage every mature adult to watch it. I do not believe the extreme violence has been added for shock value or entertainment, but rather to shake the hell out of the audience in order to make them reflect upon their humanity and what it means to be human.
Also, while I do believe that having yet another film depicting the bad guy/terrorist as a Muslim does have the potential of perpetuating certain negative stereotypes about Islam and Muslims, I feel that the "bad guy" could have just as easily been from any another religious tradition or political ideology and I did not consider it to be offensive or deliberately anti-Muslim and I say this as a Muslim myself.
I was thoroughly engaged till the very end and was left absolutely speechless, staring at the screen. This was only the second time that has happened in my life and I am still absorbing and contemplating what I witnessed.
FINAL RATING: 9/10 hands down. A must watch film for every mature human being. But, I'd advise you to save the snacks until AFTER the credits roll.
The title of this movie could also serve as it's 1-word review. It is
well worth watching if you are serious about films. But it very strong
stuff that poses some serious questions about a subject that I don't
like to think about; torture in the pursuit saving lives.
Samuel L. Jackson plays a shadowy U.S. Government operative who will go to any lengths to get info from a terrorist & his plot to blow up millions of people on our home soil. Michael Sheen (who memorably played David Frost in "Frost/Nixon") is that terrorist. Carrie-Anne Moss is an FBI agent caught in the middle of their deadly cat & mouse.
The movie's biggest strength is that we believe that Jackson's "H" is capable of doing ANYTHING to save innocent lives including the "unthinkable". Jackson, in words & action, really sells the role. This is some the best work he has ever done. Sheen shows why he is one of the most sought after actors today. Moss is strong as the movie's moral center -- a center that shows some very serious signs of disintegrating.
The tension is non-stop. The script is often heavy-handed, but for good reason. The direction is crisp & the editing sharp.
How this went straight to video echoes the question why last year's best picture Oscar winner got such poor distribution.
BE WARNED: the numerous torture scenes are very tough to take. They almost cross over into torture-porn (which I hate). I'm sure --I hope-- the filmmakers had plenty of debate about how far to take the violence. My usual disgust with such scenes was balanced by the way they drive home the debate of a very troubling issue.
I'm not ready to see this movie again anytime soon but I'm glad I saw it once.
Although many viewers are thinking this film is offending Muslims, I personally do not agree with them.Michael Sheen was playing very well and he did a good job -as always- here. Samuel L. Jackson was very "deep" in this movie and his acting was excellent.The film grabs you and takes you to it's world. You are constantly thinking how the characters are going to behave and what choices they are going o make, at the same time you can't keep yourself from thinking "What would I do in that situation?' and so on. The ending was shocking but it could have been made slightly better(trying not to give any spoilers). The only cause that should keep someone from not watching this film would be mild gore and some torture scenes.
What can I say? I'd heard nothing about this film until I had a look at
some reviews on here, sounded like something which might be my cup of
tea and had a decent cast......what a good film.
I have no idea why people have watched this and called it propaganda - it's a film! Granted, the subject matter is realistic and presents a scenario which could have already happened or could happen in the future. The film is very clever for this reason as it makes you ask yourself (or whoever you are viewing with) lots of questions. What would you deem as moral/acceptable? How far would you go to save the lives of thousands? Should we be governed by laws when dealing with people who have none?
Anyway....I'm not entering the debate but, for the fact this film gets you thinking and asking questions, it's a cleverly scripted film. It's also a tense and thrilling ride as you watch the events play out.
The cast all do a fine job with their parts and the direction is very good. Yes the film has some brutal scenes but it's all part and parcel to draw you in.
It's not often nowadays that you watch a film and have to think afterwards to fully appreciate the fact that you've just been entertained and watched something good....and that's what 'Unthinkable' manages to do.
Regardless of what film genre you're in to, this is definitely worth a look if you appreciate good cinema.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I think a majority of people who saw this film were so blinded by the
mass ideas and events behind it, that they totally missed the point.
Why would a united states centered - black ops center interrogator -
film, even bother having the so called terrorist state the following:
:Warning Spoiler's below stop reading if you do not want to be spoiled!: "53? A number your people kill every day" and "I choose to meet my oppressors to their face"
This film wasn't condoning torture, in fact it was asking us a question:
"When do we stop being human beings? While yes the person named "younger" was technically a murderer, in this film he was not the bad guy. He took lives, but as he clearly stated, >he< says he's just in what he did as though trying to prove a point. That as a nation today we are so scared of what "may" happen, we give up not only our own rights, but the rights of others, and allow things like "torture" to happen. Yes it is sad, and a horrible thing to take lives, but what younger reminds us...."who are the real monsters?" If you add up the total deaths caused by younger its unknown. 53 to start out with and a potential "10 million, based off of shaky evidence, that they could never prove he had "nuclear weapons" not even at the end. C4 yes. bombs yes, but still no proof of nuclear. I think younger more or less decided what he was doing was more revolutionary, than terror-like. As he repeatedly stated how much he loved his country, and he's an American citizen. While "H" played a bad role here, we can not forget that "H" said he himself was like a prisoner here, his acts were encouraged every step of the way, and when they weren't, all he had to do was wait, and then he was asked for again to do, what he was just told to stop.
In my honest opinion this movie is asking us to take a long, good, hard look at our values. And realize that under a moment of pressure they really don't mean a g** **** thing. That's the problem with not just America, but the entire world today. It's a wake up call. All younger wanted was peace. He asked that US stop funding puppet regimes (fake terrorist) and pull forces out of Muslim Nations. There was nothing wrong with what he asked for. It was what he did about it that was wrong. I am in no way supporting terrorism or its acts, BUT IN THIS MOVIE, the real terrorist is the guy who tries to shoot "H" at the end for not continuing the torture. In "H's" twisted mind, he was just doing his job. Younger was just trying to gain peace (ironically through the threat of destruction), and Brody finally breaking down decided to end it all when "H" said "if you can do it, than anyone can".
Brody is still human, "H" is neutral, and everyone else there who wanted to continue were the real monsters.
Don't agree? Fine, I'm not asking you to, remember I apparently still live in a free country. ;)
9 out of 10, because i don't like torture, or killing people. But the movie had a meaning.
I had not really heard much about this film, and It's likely that it's not going to be at the next "grammys" or "Oscar" awards. But It should be. This In my opinion is one of the most thought provoking films I have seen in years. Without giving away anything, for the hopefully millions who will buy this gem on DVD real soon, I will just state that Samuel L. Jackson is as great in this as ANY film I have ever seen him in. But I really feel it is the story and not just the actors portrayals that does' it. As many other reviewers here have already posted about the storyline, not much to be said about that. I would just like to say that Our government is to be APPLAUDED for not somehow killing this film out've the gate. Also that any film makers in this day and age can still let you walk away with more than a thimble full of thoughts and feelings is to be greatly admired. I would like to add to the entire cast's credit, that all the acting was extremely credible. My only quip with the entire film was the ending, which left me almost screaming at the screen. I have seen almost every horror film that exist's .... This is the real horror of our time , I would strongly urge only the most Stout of heart to actually view this. And only the intelligent. Kids need to be old enough to understand world events if they see it. Again this is one thought provoking film that DOES'NOT insult any ones views, Muslim or any other god fearing person. Or any other atheist like myself. It merely shows what extents the "human race" can reach when called upon in an extraordinary situation. 9/10 which could have easily been 10/10 had the ending not slapped me around a bit ...
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