7.4/10
8,974
128 user 93 critic

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:
Annabelle Apsion ... Nurse
Kate Ashfield ... Lucy
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

Ray Winstone and Tilda Swinton's characters are only referred to as mum and dad. This was a deliberate choice by Tim Roth so they would only be known as parents and not be referenced in any other context. 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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Alternate Versions

The R-rated US version has four minutes of footage, mostly involving incestuous acts, removed. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Disturbingly Realistic, Incredible Acting, Sad.
2 October 2000 | by ebert_jrSee all my reviews

Whew. At a loss for words. You really feel like your gut has been ripped out after watching this truly sad story. Lara Belmont definitely deserves some kind of award for this; her role of Jessie, the sexually abused daughter is amazing. I didn't know who to feel sorry for most, Jessie, her brother, or the mother.

The love between brother and sister through this dilemma is tear jerking. Rarely has a movie caught such realism in the expression of utter despair and hopelessness. My desire to reach through the screen and strangle the father was outweighed only by my desire to hug the daughter, and root for the brother. It's hard to believe this actually happens for real, but unfortunately the reality is, it does. I think part of the "penalty" for such a horrible thing as incest and child abuse is to watch "The War Zone".

The cinematography is outstanding and serves as almost a beautiful counterbalance to the main story's theme. I guess it takes some of the best scenery in the world to help balance _that_ out.

This film easily gets a 10, and deserves every bit of it.


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