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Green Zone (2010)

 -  Action | Drama | Thriller  -  12 March 2010 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 94,437 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 251 user | 262 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

Discovering covert and faulty intelligence causes a U.S. Army officer to go rogue as he hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction in an unstable region.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Al Rawi Bodyguard (as Faical Attougui)
Aymen Hamdouchi ...
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...
...
Michael J. Dwyer ...
Met-D (as Michael Dwyer)
Edouard H.R. Gluck ...
Brian Siefkes ...
...
Abdul Henderson ...
Paul Karsko ...
Robert Miller ...
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Storyline

Following the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller and his men are charged with finding the so-called weapons of mass destruction, whose existence justified American involvement, according to the Pentagon and their man in Baghdad, Poundstone. Veteran CIA operative Marty tells Miller that there are no weapons, it is a deception to allow the Americans to take over the country and install a puppet leader. Also suspicious of Poundstone is Wall Street Journal reporter Lawrie Dayne, who lets slip to Miller that Poundstone told her he had secret talks in Jordan with an important Iraqi, code-named Magellan, who told him about the weapons, though it now seems likely Magellan's true information was to the contrary. So begins a hunt for the truth. Who's playing whom? Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller is done following orders

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

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Release Date:

12 March 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Imperial Life in the Emerald City  »

Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,087,368 (UK) (12 March 2010)

Gross:

$35,024,475 (USA) (30 April 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Paul Greengrass began his career shooting documentaries in war zones. See more »

Goofs

Miller wears Casio G-Shock watch model number AWG-591MS-1A wristwatch (Which was later authenticated by Universal and won as a prize in a competition). This watch was first released in 2007 and clearly could not have existed in 2003-2004. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Al Rawi Bodyguard: [air raid sirens] Leave that! Space is limited!
Al Rawi Bodyguard: [explosions beginning] Hurry up! Hurry! We must leave now!
Al Rawi Bodyguard: [chaos in the hallways] Downstairs everyone!
Al Rawi Bodyguard: General...
General Al Rawi: [no response]
Al Rawi Bodyguard: General Al Rawi, sir. We must leave now.
Al Rawi Bodyguard: Ayad, get in the car. I'm right behind you.
[leaving the building]
Al Rawi Bodyguard: Seyyed, send the men to the safe houses.
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Aboun Salehoun
Written by Youssef El Mejjad, Pat Jabbar
Performed by Amira Saqati
Courtesy of Barraka El Farnatshi Prod.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
'Bourne' goes political
14 March 2010 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

In 'Green Zone,' the 'Bourne' action blockbuster team (led by Paul Greengrass and his star Matt Damon) goes to Iraq, or rather to a facsimile staged in Spain and Morocco, switching from a super-assassin's identity crisis to contemporary political and military history.

It seemed like this might be the great Iraq movie Americans haven't had, a blockbuster as exciting and real-feeling as Bigelow's Oscar-winning 'Hurt Locker,' but with real political context. 'Locker' is a superb battlefield action movie but it doesn't delve into the larger issues -- and, lacking a big name star, hasn't been seen by very many people, at least for a movie that won the Oscar for Best Picture. More analytical and contextual Iraq war movies like 'Lions for Lambs,' 'In the Valley of Eli,' 'The Messenger' or 'Rendition,' on the other hand, have been too small, anemic, and downbeat to be big box office. If anybody could turn this around and make an Iraq film that's both exciting and a think piece, the 'Bourne' guys could, right? Unfortunately, no, though the 'Bourne' team's involvement means 'Green Zone' will substantially outperform 'Hurt Locker' at the box office, and they have made an action movie that's boldly political, however deeply flawed. Let's bear in mind that the 'Bourne' movies are smart, but they're fantasy. Dealing with historical events is is a different kind of project.

The focus of 'Green Zone' is on the early stages of the 2003 US Iraq invasion. The writer, Brian Helgelund ('L.A. Confidential,' 'Mystic River') is trying to get across the information in Rajiv Chandrasekaran's non-fiction 'Imperial Life in the Emerald City' while telling an action tale that follows an investigating tough guy played by Damon. As described in the documentary 'No End in Sight,' the US authorities made a number of crucial mistakes in the run-up to the war and how the occupation was run. Helgelund gets all this across, but the result is a mash-up that lacks credibility or logic.

First US mistake: the key pretext for the invasion, Saddam Hussein's possession of "weapons of mass destruction" (or "WMD's"), proved illusory; no such weapons were found in locations where an Iraqi "credible source" said they were hidden. Matt Damon plays Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller, who heads a squad charged with checking out places where US "intel" says there are WMD's stored. He points out the intel is bad, and soon finds out his opinion is not wanted by the higher ups, represented by Poundstone (Greg Kinnear), a Bush official who arrives with Ahmed Zubaidi (Raad Rawi) -- a stand-in for the actual Ahmad Chalabi, the US puppet the Bush administration foolishly thought could be put in to head a new government (another mistake). 'Green Zone' shows in a scene how spectacularly this fails.

Second, the allied forces did not prevent widespread looting or maintain the infrastructure. Chaos reigned in Baghdad and eventually the rest of Iraq and the invaders lost the "hearts and minds" of Iraqis, who were enraged at being deprived of safety, food, water, and a steady power supply. This is when Donald Rumsfeld uttered his line "Stuff happens." There's no Rumsfeld stand-in here, but the line "democracy is messy" occurs.

Third, the provisional authority chose to dismantle the entire Iraqi administrative structure, including all Baath Party members in government and the Iraqi army. With the second and third mistakes the US lost its credibility and made a vast number of unnecessary enemies, and the way was paved for chaos and civil war in the country.

After Chief Miller comes up with "doughnuts" at every supposed WMD location and becomes convinced the intel is no good in spite of being told at briefings it's pure gold, he becomes a cowboy and sets out on a zigzagged path of his own. He's supported by a high-ranking CIA officer with profound in-country experience named Martin Brown (Brendan Gleeson), who knows the WMD locations are fake and sees a cover-up. Amazing how Miller encounters both Poundstone and Brown right away in the occupation's "safe" "Green Zone" palace HQ. In fact Miller has magical access. He also runs into a Wall Street Journal correspondent called Lawrie Dayne (Amy Ryan), who turns out to have touted the government's dubious WMD stories (received from Ahmad Chalabi) in widely read articles, and she's discovering that she was duped but trying to cover it up. Dayne is a stand-in for the Times's Judith Miller.

By this point it's obvious the screenplay is as schematic and implausible as 'The Hurt Locker's' is specific and real. Hence it's not surprising Chief Miler runs into "Freddy" (Khalid Abdalla) -- an Iraqi trying to guide any Americans he can find to a meeting of Baath leaders and cohorts held by a big Iraqi general, Al Rawi (Yigal Naor, an Israeli who specializes in playing Arab officials in American movies). Miller now turns into a rogue soldier, with Poundstone ordering him reassigned to his unit and Poundstone's more cooperative military operatives out to get him. Miller forgets about looking for WMD's and is now trying to "save lives" by tracking down Al Rawi, which involves sneaking into a prison with Freddy and a million dollars from his CIA ally, Brown.

This is where things get really exciting, with everybody chasing everybody else, and Greengrass and his dp Barry Akroyd (who incidentally did the photography for 'Hurt Locker,' as well as Greengrass' 'United 93') fully up to speed in the action sequences. 'Green Zone' is consistently good on that level, but that success is undermined by the overall implausibility. Helgelund is obviously interweaving themes from a book about US mismanagement and aloofness from reality in Baghdad with chases and shoot-outs staged to give his action hero work to do. Will this movie change anybody's perception of the Iraq war? Probably people who go just for the action will look on the political stuff as decoration, as it usually is. But you never know. . .


70 of 123 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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War for oil....REALLY? graeshadowe-24-676603
Green Zone vs. Hurt Locker naresh-j
Good movie, but just ruined by the crap camerawork. craigmoore-3
Ahead of its time dazfiddy
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