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The War Zone (1999)

R | | Drama | 11 June 1999 (Italy)
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An alienated teenager, saddened that he has moved away from London, must find a way to deal with a dark family secret.

Director:

Tim Roth

Writers:

Alexander Stuart (novel), Alexander Stuart (screenplay)
9 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kate Ashfield ... Lucy
Annabelle Apsion ... Nurse
Lara Belmont ... Jessie
Freddie Cunliffe Freddie Cunliffe ... Tom
Colin Farrell ... Nick (as Colin J Farrell)
Aisling O'Sullivan Aisling O'Sullivan ... Carol
Tilda Swinton ... Mum
Megan Thorp Megan Thorp ... Baby Alice
Kim Wall ... Barman
Ray Winstone ... Dad
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Storyline

Suddenly, the moody 15-year-old, Tom, and his 18-year-old sister, Jessie, find themselves relocated from the hustle and bustle of urban London to the sullen silence of wind-swept rural Devon, at a little but neat cottage in the middle of nowhere. Dad is caring and kind, and very much in love with mum who has just given birth; however, an accidental glimpse of a disturbing and well-hidden secret in the family will bring Tom face-to-face with shock, denial, and ultimately, rage. What mystery could be so appalling that threatens to bring everyone in the family to their knees? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When the worst of men hides in a family with no history.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, some involving molestation, and for nudity, language and a scene of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Atlanta Films | Official site

Country:

Italy | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 June 1999 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Tim Roth's The War Zone See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,335, 12 December 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$254,441, 6 June 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At a public screening of this movie during the 1999 Toronto International Film Festival, one viewer was so upset and devastated that he rose to his feet and shouted that he couldn't take any more, then headed for the exit, intending to pull the fire alarm. Director Tim Roth, who was in attendance, intercepted him at the door, and it took 20 minutes of intense conversation to calm the man down. See more »

Quotes

Tom: I saw you.
Jessie: Saw me what?
Tom: In the bath...
Jessie: Yeah?
Tom: What were you doing?
Jessie: What do you think? I got in and he got out.
Tom: That's not what I saw.
Jessie: Well, that's all it was.
Tom: Where were you?
Jessie: It's a pretty weird thing you're suggesting if you're saying what I think you're saying. I haven't told you to f@ck off or anything, which I probably should've. Nothing happened, OK? I'd tell you.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #2.1 (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
If Bergman did an abuse movie, it might look like this.
7 October 2005 | by noraleeSee all my reviews

I went to see Tim Roth's directorial debut "War Zone" to get insight into a deeply talented actor, much as that's a reason to see Sean Penn-directed movies.

"War Zone" is a cross between "Once Were Warriors," the visceral NZ movie on domestic violence, and "Wuthering Heights."

It's visually stunning, painterly, as the dysfunctional family is set in almost Edward Hopper-still life isolation on the moors, surrounded only by the elements--lots of rain, sea and relentless wind--with the characters mostly silent you sure hear that howling wind instead of conversation-- with an occasional human being staring them down.

While the family's close-knit physical intimacy was realized in an almost 17th century way of togetherness, I'm not sure the abuse was, as I thought most incest more pedophiliac than this. So the universality of any message is lost, other than the lesson that family members are love-tropic and take it any way they can get it with some fine lines dividing functional from dysfunctional.

If Bergman did an abuse movie, it might look like this. Excellent acting all around, though as usual some working-class Brit accents can be hard to decipher by an American. (originally written 12/31/1999)


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