7.3/10
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The War Zone (1999)

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1:29 | Clip
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 | Thriller

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alexander Stuart: "Once my son was diagnosed with cancer, I had this huge amount of pain and anger about how this could happen to the child I loved so much. And I definitely directed that into The War Zone. I wrote it differently than anything I've written. I would rush back to the house while he was in chemotherapy and just write for two hours. I almost felt as if I were channeling it." 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

Featured in At the Movies: The Best Films of 1999 (2000) See more »

User Reviews

 
Darkness in Devon.
27 February 2016 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Tim Roth dons the directing hat for the first time and brings to the screen a shattering tale of incest and child abuse. Alexander Stuart adapts from his own novel and it stars Ray Winstone, Lara Belmont, Freddie Cunliffe and Tilda Swinton. Story is about a family who have moved from London to the Devonshire coast. The son, Tom, is unhappy and feels alienated in the new surroundings, but when he discovers a dark family secret, things become much much worse.

It's an uncomfortable viewing experience at times, making it a film you don't readily recommend, but Roth's approach to the story gives out a powerful message without exploitation or sermonising. The script is deliberately taut and sparse, while the marrying up of the crashing waves and jagged rocks of the locale with the emotional turmoil is a deft piece of directing. The use of newcomers Belmont and Cunliffe add a potent sense of realism to the whole thing, aided no end by an intelligent screenplay that doesn't go for conventionality. Quite simply it's an unforgettable film, a claustrophobic emotional battering ram of celluloid. 9/10


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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

Gross USA:

$254,441

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$254,441
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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