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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.

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

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A social worker in New York takes an active role in saving children from dangerous situations at home.

Director: Tim Roth
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Lucy
... Nurse
... Jessie
Freddie Cunliffe ... Tom
... Nick (as Colin J Farrell)
Aisling O'Sullivan ... Carol
... Mum
Megan Thorp ... Baby Alice
... Barman
... 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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Atlanta Films | Official site

Country:

|

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Release Date:

11 June 1999 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Tim Roth's The War Zone  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tim Roth was so apprehensive at the film's debut at Sundance, he and Ray Winstone did tequila shots in the projectionist's booth to calm their nerves. 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

 
Beautiful, troubling, superbly acted
4 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

Probably the worst thing about Tim Roth's audacious directorial debut is its title: 'The War Zone' conjures images of something rather noisier, and less subtle, than this film about aberrant sexuality within a family unit. Roth is brave enough to show love among the hate, and to assign a limited degree of complicit guilt to the apparent victim: the film gains greatly from both of these decisions. He also has interesting visual ideas: the film is full of lonely, widescreen images in which the central subjects appear almost lost; and homely Devon has never looked wilder and less civilised than it does here, depicted in winter and at night. Roth also gets great performances from all his cast: in what is essentially a four-hander, Tilda Swinton is good in a limited part, Ray Winstone shows (not for the first time) that he has talents beyond those required for his customary hard-man roles, but it's the young actors who are most outstanding: Freddie Cunliffe as the troubled boy who discovers dark secrets, and especially the beautiful, opaque Laura Belmont who is simply tremendous as his sexually aware, not-as-cool-as-she-seems sister. At time the soundtrack seems a bit generic, and I'm not entirely convinced by the open ending, but this is still a better film than many directors make in their careers. On the strength of this movie, Roth should enjoy a long career behind the camera.


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