Blood Diamond (2006) Poster


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A Hollywood movies tells an African story full of death and violence and presents it with impressive truth.
john_cberry4 December 2006
Because I lived in Sierra Leone, in fact in Kono, the diamond-mining area of the country, for three years, I had to see Blood Diamond as soon as it came out. It is an excellent movie. Although it was not filmed in Sierra Leone, it captures the reality of the country to a remarkable degree. There is a great deal of violence in this movie, but that violence is organic, realistic, fitting to what happened there. They even manage to convey the fact that the people are as astonished by this violence as we are; Sierra Leone used to be one of the safest countries in the world. The movie tells the facts about conflict diamonds quickly and accurately. DiCaprio's performance is impressive, certainly the best by him I've ever seen: he is totally believable as a white African. Jennifer Connelly's role is much smaller but she makes the most of it. Djiman Housou has enormous physical presence as the brave Mende fisherman. This movie just gets so many things right that the few places it departs from reality are entirely forgivable. I would heartily recommend this movie to everyone; it is the best Hollywood movie I've seen in years.
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A great character film with two excellent performances.
A_Roode10 December 2006
Since there is very little in the negative column, let me disperse with it first: 'Blood Diamond' might fairly be accused of 'bleeding heart syndrome' (more on that in a bit), has a few minor pacing issues and seems unsure with how to end. The ending that they chose extends the film too far, seems forced and is tacked on. The more natural ending is on the mountainside -- you'll know what I mean when you see it. Those things said, the positives are much greater and this film showcased two towering performances. Djimon Hounsou is nothing short of incredible and I'd be astonished if he isn't considered at Oscar time. Secondly, although I've had little patience for him before, Leonardo DiCaprio has really impressed me this year. With his performances in 'The Departed' and now 'Blood Diamond,' I think I need to reappraise my own biases against him. I'm becoming a fan.

Some of the early reviews that I read painted 'Blood Diamond' as hysterical left-winger cause-head paradise. They suggest that the conflict diamond situation has been exaggerated and completely distorted. I don't know if that is the case. The film makes a compelling case but I don't base my political and economic decisions on films that I watch. My interest here was to see how characters would respond to adversity and a terrible, horrifyingly dark situation. The political agenda of the film isn't as cloyingly bombastic as I was afraid it might be. This is a film that, while concerned with the political situation in Africa, focuses more on how the obsessive search for a large, rare pink diamond consumes those who get too close to it.

DiCaprio is excellent as a Rhodesian (HIS description) mercenary and arms dealer working in Sierra Leone. Hounsou is a fisherman who gets drawn into the civil war raging around him and discovers a pink diamond that could save -- or destroy -- both he and his family. Jennifer Connelly plays a journalist trying to discover if a huge multi-national diamond company is knowingly in the market for conflict diamonds. Jennifer Connelly seems to get the worst of the dialogue. When told that Americans are in part to blame for conflict diamonds she responds with a line about 'not all girls want a fantasy wedding.' It makes her look naive at best and silly at worst. She generally manages to save the character from either of those fates though and also manages to avoid self-righteousness when dealing with some of the films more morally flexible characters. Hounsou is great and the desperation in his character as he tries to find his family crackles on the screen. He is cagey and understands what he needs to do to survive. His character is not above playing servile if that will keep him alive. And when provoked to violence, the result was absolutely chilling. In much smaller roles are Arnold Vosloo as a mercenary Colonel, Stephen Collins as a diplomat and Michael Sheen as an executive at a diamond company. Excellent performances all around.

Is 'Blood Diamond' judgemental? I think that is the wrong question. The film is a character study both of all the men pursuing the pink diamond and what effect it has on them, but it is also a character study of Africa. Tragic and heartsick, 'Blood Diamond' is drenched with cynicism and defeatism. Why is there misery and exploitation? "TIA," explains DiCaprio to Connelly, "This Is Africa." In contrast to a film like 'Traffic,' 'Blood Diamond' doesn't wallow in hopelessness. Some of the characters might be cynical but the film itself does search for hope. The heart of the picture is the human cost. Characters see the wealth of the diamond and are destroyed by it. The film shares a great deal thematically with a film like 'Treasure of the Sierra Madre.' High praise for a high quality film.
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Another Oscar worthy turn from DiCaprio
Margie243 December 2006
Leonardo DiCaprio has become one of the premiere American actors. With a set of natural instincts that lends a non-showy, believable quality to all of his performances, versatility, and movie star size charisma that fills up the screen and emotionally hooks the viewer into his character and story, it is hard to think of another male American actor (with the exception of Johnny Depp) who is consistently giving an audience its money worth; these two gentleman have taken the reins from Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, as those two Oscar-winning future legends of the silver screen gracefully age into more mature roles.

In Blood Diamond, it is Mr. DiCaprio's performance that raises this film above it's standard Hollywood fare of a script (although it is a solid script) into something memorable. His performance here as an opportunistic diamond smuggler equals that of the one he gave earlier in the fall as "Billy Costigan" in The Departed, although the two characters couldn't be more different from each other. It may be his best performance yet, and in terms of sheer charisma and memorability it certainly rivals his mega-star making performance as "Jack Dawson" in Titanic.

I liked Blood Diamond a great deal, but do not think it is a great film. A good movie? Yes. Very mainstream and formulaic, but it is raised up quite a bit by DiCaprio's character and his terrific realization of it. If I had read this script beforehand, I never would have thought of Leo for this role- possibly George Clooney or some other star known for "roguish charm," but not Leo. But now, having seen it, I can't imagine anybody else as "Danny Archer;" it is a fully realized, winning performance.

Mr. Hounsou was wonderful as well, and I liked the chemistry between the two men in their scenes together. He was able to make the audience feel the gamut of emotions his character experiences during the course of the movie- pride and hope, fear, outrage, resignation, mistrust, desperation, and determination, and beautifully rises above the somewhat limiting way his role was written.

I thought Ms. Connelly did as good a job as possible in her role as "the idealistic journalist who wants to make a difference." Her part was just a larger version of Joaquin Phoenix's in Hotel Rwanda. As always, I find she brings a certain dignity and intelligence to her performances and does not allow her incredible beauty to overshadow her acting. I thought she and Leo worked wonderfully together, as well, and along with Mr. Hounsou they make an engaging trio you can't help rooting for.

In comparing it to other recent films about Africa, I didn't think this was quite as good as as Hotel Rwanda, but better than The Interpreter, The Constant Gardener, and The Last King of Scotland. I felt an emotional engagement with the characters I didn't experience in the latter three films. I found the script allowed my care for the characters to grow as the story progressed, and was not overly manipulative. At times it veered too much into standard action movie territory, with much violence and many "close calls" but would then be brought back into the realm of compelling human drama by a wonderfully acted, intimate scene.

After reading some early negative comments, I was pleasantly surprised at my response to it. Compelling characters and the skillful use of a truly gripping global issue as the plot line make this a satisfying viewing experience- one that I would happily see again.
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Diamonds, Nerve And Indifference
ccrivelli200528 January 2007
The torturous road of South African diamonds to the greedy fingers of an indifferent world makes this new Edward Zwick movie one of the most powerful Action/Adventure/Dramas to come out of Hollywood in a long time. The perfect balance between entertainment and a thoughtful social commentary helps the center of the story to have a real heart and a palpable respect for us, the audience. All this praise and I still have not mentioned Leonardo Di Caprio or Djimon Hounsou but I'm going to. Di Caprio opens a new door, introducing us to a character who is a first in his already extraordinary career. He startled us as a very young man with "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" before he fell with a serious case of Titanictis. Now, after a three a long and serious Scorsese cures, this spectacular actor makes me believe that we haven't seen anything yet. Remarkable. As remarkable as the soulful Djimon Hounsou who manages to give the film a visible soul. I was moved and yes, I must admit, surprised. Apart from the visual and interpretative prowess of "Blood Diamond" there is a realistic view of a third world country as shattering as the unforgettable one in "City Of God" Don't miss it.
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An action, political adventure at its best!
Nazi_Fighter_David22 August 2007
"Blood Diamond" is the kind of action film that makes you think that 'a moment of love, even in a bad man, can give meaning to a life...'

The film opens in Sierra Leone, 1999 when Civil war rages for control of the diamond fields…According to devastating reports, these stones are being used with both rebels and government forces to purchase more weapons and finance civil war…

Danny Archer—crazy for diamonds like everybody else—believes this pink gem holds his ticket out of this godforsaken continent… He is a smuggler, a former mercenary and weapons trader from Zimbabwe who bribes all, and supplies arms to both sides… He gets Solomon Vandy—captured by government troops—out of jail only because he overhears that the fisherman might have found a clear massive stone about the size of a bird's egg…

Vandy—forced apart from his family and sent off to work as a slave in the minefields—has hided the enormous 100 carat diamond from his captors and buried it in a secret place within the jungle… His son Dia is taking away by a brainwashing militia called the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) turning him with lies, drugs, and liquor, into a cold-blooded murderer…

Danny makes a deal to help the noble fisherman find his family if Vandy will lead him to the diamond… The majority of the story is their journey across the war torn country…

Leonard DiCaprio is both ruthless and charming as the cynical soldier of fortune who knows an opportunity when it presents itself… But he also is aggressive and selfish willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants… He illustrates the black side of the dirty diamond trade… On his trek to find the stone, Archer's eyes are opened to some enduring values that surpass his own self-profit…

Djimon Hounsou eventually realizes that Danny's connections and money are his only hope… He plays a helpless character totally passionate as the resolving and fiercely determined father desperate to learn the fate of his family…

Connelly is an idealist who wishes to display corruption… She thinks that with Archer's help she can get a unique story line surrounding the civil war but also revealing corporate malfeasance and cover-up behind the diamond trade…

It is also good to mention Arnold Vosloo in the role of Colonel Coetzee, head of the army unit also trying to claim the diamond… He's a great character actor and remains a powerful presence and one of the screen's most efficient scene-stealer…

Nominated for five Oscars, "Blood Diamond" is an action, political adventure at its best!
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Faithful to the Sierra Leone civil war, but just a small part of it, like Hotel Rwanda
forhall8 December 2006
I rate this a ten because I had the privilege of going to Sierra Leone after the war and participate in one of the war crimes trials there at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, created by the Sierra Leone government with the United Nations.

In a bit more than two and a half hours, the writers and directors have to tell the story of the civil war, keep it concise yet true, and tell it through the eyes of a few participants. Because the story line is so true, and the acting, writing, directing, locations, people, and photography are all superior, I must admit prejudice toward such a high rating. My local reviewer gave it a B+.

My exposure to the civil war and only some of the events of this movie were based on reading books, hundreds of witness statements, online material about the war, including the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Report, and listening to over 100 witnesses testify, and my trial was not even those of the RUF and AFRC, the really bad actors of the war, as the movie shows, pulling no punches. The accounts of atrocities are shockingly real. Tens of thousands had hands amputated, people were indiscriminately murdered, women raped or forced to marry, villages were burned, and children were kidnapped and forced to fight the war for both of the rebel factions (RUF and AFRC). Making a child a soldier is a war crime, and this movie artfully shows you why, without saying a word about it.

Sherman said, about our own Civil War, that "War is hell." But, African civil war is far different and atrocious because it inevitably leads to atrocities.

This fine work, with Hotel Rwanda, stands out as a film seriously attempting to explain the atrocities that Africans somehow can do to themselves.
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Another fine piece by director Edward Zwick
forindcine9 December 2006
A few years back I had the pleasure of visiting Antwerp, Belgium, a place many deem "the diamond capital of the world." Never before or since have I been in a location where I was surrounded by so much "bling". Storefronts had so many diamonds on display you would think they should be better kept in some European version of Fort Knox.

The film Blood Diamond puts an entirely new spin on Antwerp, the diamond industry and that pricey stone you might be wearing around your neck, on your ring finger, or in your ears (mine are cubic-Zs). Set in the West African country of Sierra Leone during the 1990s, this historical-adventure-drama covers a time when the country was in turmoil. Warlords, smugglers and the diamond syndicate all play roles in a refugee exodus, and the killing and enslaving of men to work the diamond fields. The title refers to diamonds which are harvested, smuggled and traded to finance the purchase of weapons used in Civil War.

Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) stars as a fisherman who has his family torn apart and instead of being killed, is sent to work mining diamonds where he finds and hides a large stone. Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) a former mercenary, diamond-smuggler, middleman, you-name-it, is looking to score with that stone and exit the business for good. Writer Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly) is tired of writing shallow stories about less than newsworthy events; she is looking for information about major players in the diamond trade. They all come together in a fast paced, adventure packed piece of film-making that is brutal at times but never boring. The film has a pleasant, unanticipated ending, something hard to pull off in a film of this kind.

Director/Producer Edward Zwick is probably the best in Hollywood at taking a big budget feature film with a historical theme and carefully relay a message without lecturing his audience. His earlier works include a story of the first all-black U.S. Civil War company in "Glory" a film, which resulted in Denzel Washington winning his first Oscar. Zwick takes credit for works like The Last Samurai, Shakespeare in Love, Traffic and Courage Under Fire. He is second to no one when it comes to balancing a historical event with action-drama entertainment. Edward Zwick is one of few L.A. directors who still works within the Hollywood establishment yet is able to put out good quality film.

Check out Blood Diamond, your "bling" may never look the same again.
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Blood Brothers
RestlessRust11 December 2006
What does it take to turn someone into a killer? The answer is different for each character involved in this movie. For some it is survival. For others it is the hope of escape from a life of hell. For some it is family. For others it is greed. Caught in the middle of it all are the children who have such little desire to kill for any reason that they must be brainwashed into becoming the instruments of their masters who claim to offer freedom.

Every few years an action movie comes along that has amazing depth. Terminator 2 and The Matrix are such movies, and so is Blood Diamond. It is full of characterizations we've seen before, but it's the interaction that raises this film above the masses. Each character has an agenda that forces him or her to distrust everyone else. The paths that some relationships take to develop trust are believable, while others are equally believable in remaining eternally antagonistic. And through it all is the realization that while some characters may change their methodology and morals, none ever change their dreams. Each character fights for the goal to the bitter end. Such is human nature, and such is the conflict of Blood Diamond, the conflict of Africa. In the end, we are left to wonder if peace can ever be attained in such a world. And somehow we are left believing that maybe it can.
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Blood Diamond is a Bloody Good Time!
guitargurunmu10 December 2006
First I want to say I went into this movie with hopes of it being great but had heard numerous slams against the acting, mostly Leo's accent. Wow were they DEAD WRONG! The movie delivers everything it should have and more. I like going into a movie and being entertained and learning something at the same time, especially at the ridiculous costs of tickets now days. I must say the movie was graphic at times but I think it needed to be in order to get the point across so if you have trouble watching terrible things happen to people including children then I wouldn't recommend this movie. Overall I hope this movie gets some nods when it comes around to Oscar time, Leo deserves a nod for sure whether it be from this movie or from The Departed. So if you don't have a problem with violence and want to learn something and be entertained at the same time then this is the movie you want to see! Kudos to Ed Zwick and everyone involved in making this wonderful film, it was a real treat to watch.
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The Best Movie of 2006
peter-19303 December 2006
I saw this on December 2nd in La Canada, CA @ a Sneak Preview...a week before it opened nationwide. How do I express my utter satisfaction & amazement with this film.

Take Leonardo DiCaprio's best performance over the last 15 years and multiply it by 10. He is mind-blowing. Awarding him an Oscar for Blood Diamond would not be a big enough compliment for the way he aced the role of Danny Archer.

The fabulous & flawless Charles Leavitt script is only enhanced by Ed Zwick's masterful directing job. Djimon Hounsou is perfectly cast and is more-than-believable when he wields a shovel.

And, Jennifer Connelly's understated elegance & expressiveness is captivating.

Put this movie at the top of your list.
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An Undeniably Powerful And Breathtaking Film
CalRhys4 September 2014
An undeniably powerful and breathtaking film from talented director Edward Zwick. 'Blood Diamond' is a beautifully shot war thriller set against the backdrop of the Sierra Leone civil war, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou in their Oscar-nominated roles. By far one of the best war dramas of modern times, 'Blood Diamond' is a powerful testament in the film industry boasting intense and well-executed action scenes and heart-wrenching drama. Zwick's vision truly outpaces his narrative in this compulsive and thought-provoking tale. An exciting and compelling tale, that stand as a great acting showcase for the two leads.
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Makes you cry at the end..... simply mind-blowing
darkstar_14313 November 2012
I have never written a review but this film was so moving that it made me write in its praise....

well the film is awesome especially the cast has done their best job.... Leonardo is o flawless and so natural and so are the other main cast...

If you like moving film then this sure will make you cry.... It is one of those films that definitely make you cry like Saving private Ryan, gladiator,ip man, up pixar......

All in all great film, greater acting, one of Leonardo's best and absolutely a must watch.
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Great movie
yasirkhan-1538824 July 2020
This is another movie much better than what the critics gave it. It is a fresh breath of air from cinema now a days and it was wonderful performances from the main actors.
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Not made to entertain
wtsimpsonsrule30 December 2006
Users keep using the word "entertain" in discussing this film, and I don't understand it simply because this movie was not meant to "entertain." Unlike many movies these days, it is meant to inform. Another claim I've read: "If you can get past the violence, it is a great film." Well here's a thought: you're not supposed to "get past" the violence. It is presented in such a way that makes us grateful for every second of our stupid American lives. If you want to be entertained, see Casino Royale. If you want to change the way you think about your own life, then see Blood Diamond. It will make you feel grateful for the life you live, and make your heart start pumping for the right reason. Blood Diamond will make you want to get involved in any organization that supports peacekeeping for conflicts like Sierra Leone.
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This is my all time favourite. Period
entropy_less27 August 2020
I almost watch this every month or two on Netflix...
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I didn't buy a diamond, after researching the facts.
eve-taylor-15 January 2007
I watched this film the day before me and my fiancé were going to go an choose an engagement ring! I am so glad I did, whilst watching it, was increasingly concerned about the subject matter, and logged on to get some facts.

Essentially, no one can guarantee that a diamond is 'conflict free' even now, with the Kimberly process in place. Diamonds can be smuggled to the countries that are signed up to the process. Figures range from 0.2% to 5% of diamonds sold are blood diamonds, so I didn't want to take any chances, whatever the percentage, (and how can anyone really know?) My fiancé bought me a simple, beautiful Burmese sapphire ring without diamonds instead (note. it is preferable not to buy sapphires from Bhutan).

I can see that the diamond trade are worried about this film and are back-tracking like crazy - trying to be top of internet searches so that we will support the diamond trade, but until it is 100% tight, I will not be buying diamonds.

The film asks that you insist the diamonds you buy are conflict free, and but there are no guarantee's. When buying the Sapphire, we insisted that the shop supported the Kimberly process in any case, even though we were not buying them - as it is a step todays limiting 'conflict' diamonds.

I am glad this intelligent, dramatic film has raised the profile of the trade in blood diamonds, so that the 70 year marketing campaign by the diamond trade, trying to get us to buy that 'special' diamond engagement ring is shown for what it is.

Not every girl does want a diamond (or blood) on her hand.

Thanks for reading.
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giuliociacchini18 November 2020
That is some film. It touches different themes, but the non sense violence and suffering is the core of it. Di caprio si exceptional the dialogues are beautiful and the war scenes realistic. It will make you breathless till the end
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T.I.A.---------- This Is Africa
bkoganbing1 July 2009
One of the best films of the new century so far, Blood Diamond is both great action entertainment and a searing indictment of the exploitation of the African continent even years after the imperial European powers left their colonial possessions to fend for themselves. Africa, a continent wealthy in mineral resources with its peoples reduced to poverty at the mercy of tribal rivalries now armed with the automatic weapons of the former imperialists.

By the title you guess that what people are after are diamonds which is a trade to be sure that has its international regulations. It also has people willing to skirt and ignore those regulations in pursuit of the almighty profit. The brokers be they in London, New York, or Amsterdam pay plenty of money under the table for the gems which then finance various 'revolutionary' groups who have this game going with the governments. They don't really want to take power as Leonardo DiCaprio explains to journalist Jennifer Connelly because then they'd have to govern the country. Better just to keep the revolution going, get bought off until the rulers get rich enough and just go into exile and the revolutionaries are stuck with it. No Nelson Mandelas among this crowd. And the poor as typified by fisherman Djimon Hounsou suffer.

Chance and happenstance throw Hounsou in jail with Leonardo DiCaprio, a mercenary. Hounsou found and buried a large diamond the size of a bird's egg. DiCaprio learns of it when they're in jail together and the two make an alliance of convenience when there is a rebel attack and they're freed from prison. The bulk of the story concerns the two of them trying to retrieve that diamond to get out of Africa and on to a more settled life in Europe and/or America.

DiCaprio and Hounsou were nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively. In different categories to be sure so they would not kill each other off in the voting. Sad to say neither of them won and that is a pity because I think they both deserved it.

Hounsou is best known as the slave leader Cinque who overtook the crew of the Amistad in that film and he also got an Oscar nomination for that film. As for Leonardo DiCaprio, for me this is the best film he's been in so far in his career. His character is absolutely flawless.

DiCaprio is from Rhodesia and lest one thing that whites did not suffer in the changing sub Saharan Africa of the last half of the last century when he tells his story to Jennifer Connelly, you will graphically realize why DiCaprio is the hard case he is. After about five or six generations of settlers there, DiCaprio felt Africa was his home as well. You will empathize with that point of view after that scene.

Blood Diamond got Oscar nominations for Sound and for Film Editing. Sadly it did not win anything that year. And it is beyond belief it was not considered for Best Picture.

There's enough action to satisfy those fans, but the real essence of Blood Diamond is the story it tells both of an exploited Africa and of the alliance/friendship of DiCaprio and Hounsou. Don't miss this one at all.
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Not as Hard as Nails...
Xstal30 October 2020
... which is a shame, because if Danny Archer had been anything other than a weak and soft 'Rhodesian' with a dodgy accent I think the film would have been a bit more grounded in reality, that role needed the toughest of the tough to survive in those conditions and poor young Leonardo just didn't cut the mustard. That said, the rest of the tale was sufficient to leave you under no illusion of the events that took place in this part of Africa, the death and destruction as a result and the greed and corruption on other continents that ultimately caused it.
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This movie will make you check a jewelery store and wonder if someone was killed over a diamond you've had your eyes on
Smells_Like_Cheese4 May 2007
I just saw Blood Diamond and I didn't know what to expect, because when I saw the trailer, it just didn't look that exciting to me. I wasn't even sure what this was about, but after the Oscar nods it got and a fantastic review from my friend, I figured that I should check it out. I have to say that this film just broke my heart, it was so good, but so depressing. I never realized how brutal it was to go through these diamond mines, and men turning against their own brothers so quickly, it was so incredibly horrifying to watch and just utterly heart wrenching. But it was so well done and presented, the actors were just incredible and touched my heart, their stories were so uncomfortable and aching to witness, but just so inspirational.

In Africa there is a huge civil war going on, the RUFF's are fighting to keep their diamonds and not hand them over to the government, even if it means destroying villages of their own kind and making men into slaves and turning young boys into brutal killing soldiers. Danny Archer has come to get a priceless diamond that a slave, Solomon, has hidden, Danny promises to help get Solomon's family back if Solomon gets the diamond and gives it to him. Solomon's heart breaks even further when he discovers that his son has been taken hostage to become a soldier and has been brainwashed to turn against his own father, but Danny's mind is only set on that diamond and will do whatever he can to get it.

I loved Danny's character, Leonardo did such a fantastic job, Danny's heart was so cold in the beginning, but he did such a noble thing for Solomon and his son, but I won't give away what he did, this is a movie you have to see. It's a movie that will keep you thinking after it's finished, I can tell you one thing, I will never look at diamonds the same way again, this movie got under my skin, I think it will for you too.

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A must watch
Gordon-1114 October 2013
This film tells the story of two young men who are involved in the diamond trade, one willingly and the other one reluctantly.

"Blood Diamond"is a tough film to watch. There are many scenes portraying monstrous atrocities that are so disturbing. I can hardly believe that in some countries the political situation it's do unstable that people just drive around with machine guns, killing innocent citizens whenever they want to. The country and the economy cannot develop under those circumstances. It's horrifyingly sad to see such things happening, and it's even more sad to see such crimes against humanity is fuelled by people's demand for diamonds. Diamonds have such a noble image that no one could even imagine how dark the origin of the gem is.

The film is well made, the script is engaging and the pacing is tight. We see the two leads depending on each other to get what they wanted, and the ultimate sacrifice they have to make is shocking. "Blood Diamond" is a must watch for anyone with a heart.
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Absolutely Amazing Movie
fishingforbasses13 September 2008
This is seriously one of my favorite movies. Every actor in this movie played their part PERFECTLY. I've watched this movie like 5 times now in the past four months. I got it off of Utorrent, But I am getting a copy for my birthday. Lots of action, great storyline, stunning ending. All the perfect things you could put into a movie - in this one movie. I would recommend this movie to absolutely anyone.I have NO IDEA why it got so many bad reviews. Apparently, movie critics these days couldn't see a great movie if they were sitting on their butts watching it XD Watch it you won't be disappointed!!! Everyone that I've watched this movie with were obsessed with it.
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Strong film despite the problems with merging a real horror with a traditional Hollywood narrative
bob the moo1 October 2007
Separated from his family by rebels, fisherman Solomon is forced to work in the bloody diamond mines, locating diamonds that the rebels use to fund their war against the government. Danny Archer is a former mercenary who now smuggles diamonds out of the conflict zone into neighbouring Liberia so that they can be documented as legal. Maddy Bowen is a journalist, in the area to make a difference by exposing such illegal activity and the suffering it produces. When Solomon finds and hides a large diamond, Danny and Maddy both get involved in his life and on a journey into the horror of the illegal diamond trade.

I wasn't sure how to approach this film because it is so clearly a "message" film on a topical issue and Hollywood doesn't always have the best track record on this. However on the other hand it has been voted very highly on IMDb (one of the best 250 films ever made apparently) and generally well received by critics. Watching it you can see the duality at work within the production because on one hand it is trying to make sure we understand just how much suffering and death is associated with and supported by this trade but then it also needs to deliver a film to entertain the masses in order to get this message through. The meshing of these two aims is not always very successful but generally the approach works to a point. At some points it is quite shocking to see the casual treatment of life, the creation of child soldiers etc but then at other times it is more of an action movie, with Danny dodging bullets while women and children are hit. The story requires a plot and this doesn't really explore the reality of the trade so much as use it as a backdrop for a simple story where good prevails. Again I know this is a necessary part of getting the message to a mass audience, but it is hard to see where "good" is in this story.

So really I found myself wanting a much harder ride from the film – I genuinely wanted to feel angry and shocked by it but the approach maybe minimised that for me. This aside, the film is actually pretty good and it works well as a dramatic narrative within the setting of the diamond trade.

Zwick can do "epic" and indeed this is just what he does. OK, perhaps he is also responsible for some of the reality and horror being sucked out of it in the meantime, but you cannot really have an issue with his direction when it comes to the sweep of the film and specifically some of the bigger action shots. His cast are roundly good as well. DiCaprio does well with the accent, even if it takes a second or two to get used to. I liked that he never seemed to be undergoing a significant "realisation" as the film went on – he was better than that and he knew his character. Hounsou is better and does dominate the film thanks mainly to the "better" material handed to him; he is convincing and drew me into his character. Connelly doesn't do anything wrong but is only so-so, again due to her character's place in the script. Support from Sheen, Vosloo, and others is roundly solid.

Overall then a strong film despite the problems with merging a real horror with a traditional Hollywood narrative.
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The Constant Gardener dumbed down to jungle adventure level
Flagrant-Baronessa29 January 2007
There is quiet intensity and explosive intensity. I was going to say that 'Blood Diamond' makes no pretense about subscribing to the latter, but the fact is that it does. On the one hand, it treats heavy, salient issues like diamond trade and the trafficking of child-soldiers in Africa, even including a few lines of warning in the credits, but on the other hand it is structured and executed like a generic adventure treasure hunt. It cannot decide what it wants to be, and regrettably botches through both paths.

Set against the backdrop of civil war and chaos in 1990's Sierra Leone, Blood Diamond follows Rhodesian mercenary (oooh, scary!) Danny Archer (Leonardo Dicaprio), Mende fisherman Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) and American journalist Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly) on a quest to find a rare pink diamond that Solomon first found when he was forced to work in the diamond fields. It intertwines bouts of blood-soaked encounters with child-soldiers, one of which is Solomon's own son that has been taken from him, and with emotional blackmail it cues us in to feel for the miserable conditions in Africa and the venality with which things are run.

The problem is that every slightly serious scene—every moment—is interrupted by some loud explosion, gun violence or shouting and sometimes all three. This is irritating in the film and it suggests two things: the script is unbearably lazy and sees action galore as a plot device and way to avoid writing the end of 'difficult' scenes with conversation or character development or 'Blood Diamond' tells us that we should not take it seriously and just treat it as any run-of-the-mill action-adventure. The problem with this is that it lacks the charm and sparkle in the eye of 'Indiana Jones', and Dicaprio is much too moody and unlikeable as a protagonist.

I have not yet seen many of the Oscar nominated actors' performances, but Leonardo Dicaprio's interpretation of the hard-boiled mercenary is the least deserving so far. It baffles me that such an action-oriented adventure with such a testosterone-fuelled lead could snag nominations with the drama-favouring academy, and I suspect this is solely because of its hazy political core. In comparison, Dicaprio is like Daniel Craig in Casino Royale but without the serious, emotional scenes. Apparently his South African accent is fairly in-tune, according to South Africans, but it seems uneven, exaggerated and varying in pronunciation to me.

None of the other performances are noteworthy either. Djimon Hounsou, shouting does not a good performance make. Jennifer Connelly warms up slightly in her role, shifting from her usual emotionally numb and somber state to being a little smilier, but here she is at the mercy of an underwritten character and there are not many ways in which she can go. The supporting cast for 'Blood Diamond' may be rather one-dimensional caricatures of evil corporate white men and black hard-edged guerilla leaders with berets, but they serve their respective functions rather aptly, especially Michael Sheen's brief appearance. The only issue I have here is that African people speak broken English to each other. Even if they're from the same family.

In the end, 'Blood Diamond' snags the 6 out of 10 from me. The cinematography is gorgeous with a screen that is awash with dramatic colours and shots, the action is fast-paced and exciting and the atmosphere is admirably gritty and visceral in the deep jungles of Africa. It features a ridiculous, two-faced mix between heavy-handed politics á la Constant Gardener and adrenaline-pumping action á la... any action film. It should in all theory be possible to join these two sides, and 'Blood Diamond' possesses all the necessary ingredients to do so, but no blender in which to stir it.

6 out of 10
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Sadly, it is the reality in Africa that turned into an excellent movie
johanrndrs30 March 2021
I had the opportunity because of my profession to visit most of the African countries while traveling for more than 15years.

Africa is the most beautiful continent on earth but there are still many conflicts going on, even today.

I met dozens of child soldiers, not in the company of warlords but in special centra where they learn to be social and a child again. The longer they have a "soldier" the harder it is to make them feel "normal" again. Some of the children are lost forever. For most children it takes years to be integrated in society again.

That is something what is not highlighted in the movie but everything else is, even in 2021, still the situation a many countries.

That and the fact that the script and actors are magnificent, deserves a 9,5 score.

Non of the films I have seen about Africa tell the real story. Making an acceptable, entertaining movie for everyone about the horror and abuse in Africa is a masterpiece. Engaging the right actors and the truth makes this movie one of my favorites. On top of it, since 2006, nothing has changed therefore the movie is as accurate today as it was in 2006.

I really love Africa fore it's beauty and wildlife and I stopped helping out the wounded, physically and mentally injured people a year ago but I will still be 80% of the time in Africa (Having a Belgian nationality). My hart and home however will always be in Africa. Luckily there are plenty of peaceful areas to have adventures or live as close to nature to fill a couple of Lifetimes.

Therefore you must see this movie to be aware of the reality in too many countries. Documentaries or movies about the beauty and wildlife you can find plenty. Visiting it is a must but 99,9% of the visitors are not aware of the horror. I do not recommend it to see it "life" and therefore also this movie is a "must see"
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