5 Days of War (2011) Poster

(2011)

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3/10
Good Idea, Terrible Execution
dkane18014 June 2011
My hopes were high for this movie. The War between Georgia and South Ossetia/Russia in August of 2008 would seem to be a great background to a well-plotted, carefully crafted film that captures all the intrigue of the Caucasus. Since the Caucasus have always been a nest of ethnic divisions, political double-dealing and vicious banditry I would think any decent screenwriter and director could piece together a fairly intense thriller, I was so wrong. 5 Days of War is a twisted train wreck of special effects laden action and blatant propaganda with a parade of terrible acting. This film was disappointing on many levels. About 40 minutes into the film I realized I was watching a $20,000,000 piece of pro-Georgian anti-Russian propaganda. If anyone does a little research on this war they will clearly see that both sides committed illegal acts under international law. Georgia is actually blamed for triggering the war by using heavy artillery on a city unprovoked which killed civilians, Russian Peacekeepers and damaged large tracts of the city. Once the war began some Ossetia militias fighting with the Russians committed acts of ethnic cleansing and were not stopped by the Russian Military or Government. Shame on them and shame on Georgia for bombarding a city. I do not have a dog in this fight, I think that the problems of that part of the world should be answered by the countries and governments of that region. It is obvious that the filmmakers feel that we should clearly be supporting Georgia with their charismatic leader Mikheil Saakashvili played by Andy Garcia who is portrayed as a Georgian Thomas Jefferson or JFK. Why the hell did they use Andy Garcia anyway? This movie does nothing to help the outsider with the complexities of the actual situation. I want to know what the target audience was for the filmmakers. I was insulted by this film. Why would they take such a complex and historical subject and simplify it down to this? Westerners are natural allies of the peace-loving, compassionate Georgians therefore the obvious "Bad Guys" are the Russians and South Ossetians who bring murder, terror and misery upon the progressive Georgians. The world isn't so black and white and even us dimwitted moviegoers can appreciate the intricacies of politics in the Caucasus. The protagonist of this wreck is an unlikeable American journalist (Rupert Friend in a career ending role) who jumps head first into danger because of his troubled past. He is surrounded by a cadre of American/British journalists (Val Kilmer, Kenneth Cranham who are both wasted as ridiculous caricatures) who drink hard, take big risks and are always crying about how nobody cares about what is going on in the world. At all times they are protected and working directly on behalf of a group of saintly Georgian soldiers. They do not even pretend to be impartial and objective. The contrived role of Tatia (Emmanuelle Chriqui) is another low point in a film filled with an excruciating level of inaccuracies, clichés and thoughtless dialogue. Special effects are strong, location looks beautiful but the storyline and fact every major character is played by an American or British actor and not native Georgians/Russians is thoughtless and insulting (insulted again). ONLY WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS FILM IF YOU HAVE TIME TO WASTE AND REALLY WANT TO HAVE YOUR INTELLIGENCE QUESTIONED. A TRAVESTY.
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A Poor Attempt at Propaganda
synogatch30 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This film amounts to little more then a pro-Georgian propaganda flick. The events are intentionally handled in a loose and inaccurate fashion. The sequence of events is scrambled, and many events which did not actually occur are scripted.

The fighting in Gori depicted in graphic detail at the end of the film never took place, Gori was taken by Russian forces without any fighting. Also movement of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and ground troops occurred after the war started, not prior. However, perhaps the greatest lie of the film, is ignoring the initial outbreak of hostilities, which culminated in a Georgian assault on Tshinvali which left close to 2000 Ossetian civilians dead. Total Georgian civilian war dead numbered around 150. This films attempt to portray the suffering of Georgian civilians in graphic detail, while ignoring similar acts perpetrated by the Georgian military completely destroys any value this film has in terms of portraying real historical events. The result is a portrayal of a war that has unclear beginnings, followed by an excessively violent Russian advance, rather different from the historical actual events that unfolded. Particularly noteworthy is the intentional misrepresentation and de-humanization of Russian military personnel, and the the South Ossetian forces that participated in the conflict.
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1/10
Bring back Rambo!
i-sivukha14 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Cold war movie era is back!

The movie has got no relation to the actual events of 08.08.08 and as such must be classed as a propaganda.

But cold war was over 20 years ago and the skills required to make a raunchy propaganda blockbuster sadly have gone away. While watching it I kept on a lookout for Rambo to jump out and start downing Ruski's choppers. And this is my main problem with movie; there was no Rambo! Every propaganda movie should have a Rambo! There was everything but Rambo, e.g. evil Russians killing indiscriminately, angelic good guys, no attempt to give human-like features to the enemy, lame storyline and cheesy acting. There was also no main evil Russian guy with cool one-liners and a strong accent...
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4/10
Disappointing
alfred-pakenham23 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Got this on DVD and was very excited, expecting to see a movie that would shine some light on the complex situation that has developed between Russia and Georgia. The writers had very rich material to work with, the cast and the cover looked absolutely amazing, so one would expect a good flick.

The movie begins with a scene in Iraq which introduces us to the main character. We see Heather Graham, but unfortunately her appearance is surprisingly short (it's actually the thing with this movie, all good actors get very little screen time.) That scene is perhaps the only thing that impressed me in the whole movie, and perhaps the only part I will remember for a long time. Great effects, and cinematography. Unfortunately it goes downhill from that in a blink.

After that brief introduction to the main character we see him going to Georgia (because Val Kilmer in a bathtub told him, duh.) The dialogs are absolutely awful, especially the scene in a pub where the journalists assemble and discuss how to wipe your ass in Tajikistan (or some such), that dialog has contributed nothing to the movie and only made me dislike the characters. Then we see our journalists visiting a wedding, which naturally gets bombed. That episode, no doubt, was inspired by the Afghan wedding that was mistakenly bombed by US number of years back, it made me wonder why the writers decided to use events from Afghanistan in this movie... but much later, my first surprise was that the episode showed four planes firing a rocket on a restaurant in the middle of nowhere. That made no sense whatsoever, completely destroying suspension of disbelief. The movie goes on like this for quite some time with number of events and characters' actions that make little sense, but then the really bizarre episodes begin.

A very interesting moment in the movie is when the Russians are shown for the first time marching forward. Russians are basically portrayed as Orcs, raping and pillaging like there's no tomorrow. While I'm sure there were atrocities committed by both sides (as in any war) such portrayal of one side as plain evil made me wonder whether the movie is just another part of the informational war that has been going on ever since the actual war ended.

I have to say that I barely made it till the end, the movie had plenty of absurd moments past "the Orcs invasion." There's plenty of action, and visual effects, but with ridiculous story to glue them it's not a pleasant thing to watch.

Overall I found this movie disappointing, insulting to my intelligence, and badly written. I would recommend this movie only if you actually like one of the actors, otherwise don't waste you time.
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3/10
A movie that "Joseph Goebbels" would have like
spin66614 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
As a movie about a war that just happen,it of course very interesting. As you can see at many the review and forum comments,the movie's topic a flaming one. The maker of the movie made it sound like a movie base on mainly facts. That was the reason I choose to see this movie.

As I'm nor Russian or Georgian(nor one of their allies), and I live quite far for all this mess,I consider my self quite neutral in this issue.

Sadly,this movie is far from facts,and it's so full of propaganda movie that I couldn't even enjoy it's entertainment value.

'5 Days of August' is suppose to tell us a story about the Russian-Georgian war in 2008,from TV-crews eyes. The conflict it's self isn't that sudden,because the area had a long history full of madness,politics and fighting. Which this movie did try to explorer,but quite poorly. Mainly because it only tell the story on the side of Georgians(view of the war from Georgians side). Russians was made to be the main and the only bad guys(which in some context,they of course were at fault,as they act just like US in Irak. Anyway the main problem been Georgians was not as pure and guiltless as it showed). As story came down to a purelly propaganda movie(Georgian been the true Freedom fighters,and not mass murders of their own peoples or South Ossetians. Which depend on your view on South Ossetians independents)that would have made Goebbels proud of this one. As a history and Document fan,I find this movie as bad as it can be. American's propaganda aren't usually this direct, only the Nazi and communist did this type over the top propaganda junks.

As a simple movie, this one has nothing special. Special effect are poor. Garcia and Kilmer made me want to cry! This two's acting is not at the same level as they should be. As b-level Director goes, Renny Harlin did an OK job. He been a Finn must had something to do with why he was in this movie,because even he is overqualified for this movie. Anyhow Winter war and this one aren't the same. Finland wan't the one starting the war,nor did they bomb their own people as part of their plan to "free" them.

Worst thing about this movie,is that some lazy people might actually believe this movie is about facts.

People with open mind and have the mind to study up on the issue of South Ossetia war/history should see this movie(as a joke about Hollywood style of facts), or Movie students. This is 2011 propaganda movie, that use the same style as Nazi's and communist did.
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1/10
Propaganda? Yeah that fits.
MJohnathen2 April 2012
I could spend an hour writing a detailed play by play of the movie, but it's easier to say that yes... This is in fact a propaganda movie, so much so it uses the actual Georgian Army as "actors" for this film and using only Georgians as sources for the script.

But with that aside, can it be considered a good movie regardless of it's fictional re-writing of history? Sadly this is also no, it has direct to DVD written all over it, If it hadn't been filmed in Georgia, using Georgian soldiers giving it a authentic look it would have nothing standing this movie up.

I'll end this on a quote from Anna Neistat who works for "amnesty international" "This film portrays Russians and Ossetians as barbaric beasts and Georgians as peace angels." I couldn't sum it up any better Anna.
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As the movie admits, truth is the first casualty of war propaganda films ... er, just war
jennyhor200431 July 2011
Directed by Renny Harlin and financed by the Georgian government, this drama is a Russian-bashing screed about the 2008 South Ossetia war and the events leading to it. The movie revolves around the experiences of two news reporters Thomas Anders (Rupert Friend) and Sebastian Ganz (Richard Coyle) who accept an assignment in Tbilisi, Georgia, a year after their previous assignment together in Iraq ended badly: the two men were rescued by a Georgian military unit in that country after their car was ambushed by militants. Anders and Ganz's noses for news (and trouble) get them fired upon while watching a wedding at a rural Georgian inn, avoiding capture while witnessing and filming atrocities by Russian troops who have invaded the country, and ending up as prisoners of a Russian general (Rade Serbedzija). While simultaneously escaping, yet being drawn to, trouble and danger, the reporters pick up a Georgian woman, Tatia (Emmanuelle Chriqui), a guest at the wedding at the inn. Through Tatia and a collective effort to broadcast Ganz's images to the rest of the world while keeping them away from the Russians, Anders finds a new purpose in life and a reason to go on living.

The romance between Anders and Tatia doesn't make sense: why should the two fall in love simply because chance threw them together and put them in danger together and individually? Any "chemistry" that might exist isn't present and the pair's kiss looks like an after-thought. More believable is Anders's loyalty to Ganz when Ganz is injured in a bomb attack and apparently dying: the two have been in many intense life-and-death situations which few other people can understand and sympathise with. Both men are devoted to seeking the truth behind layers of propagandistic fog though paradoxically this search can make them vulnerable to manipulation by politicians and the military. The plot's emphasis on safeguarding the memory stick that holds Ganz's images and the Russians' attempt to destroy it leaves no room for character development with the result that Anders, Ganz and their fellow journalists end up perpetuating old World War Two stereotypes about Russian soldiers torturing and killing people, raping women and torching farms and properties with flamethrowers. (Such stereotypes admittedly are based on fact: Soviet soldiers did act barbarically towards German civilians in the 1940s, partly as a result of the debased culture in the Soviet armed forces that arose after the purges of high-ranking military officers in the 1930s as ordered by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, a Georgian native - what irony.) As the movie carries on, hackneyed plot twists appear: Tatia's family is riven apart by internal betrayal, Ganz is threatened with torture by the Russian general's sadistic enforcer (Nikko Mousiainen), an attempt to broadcast Ganz's images fails when the reporters are targeted by a Russian helicopter, and Ganz is hurt in the helicopter attack. The enforcer kidnaps Tatia and forces Anders to choose between saving her life and keeping Ganz's film.

The film could have focused more closely on the dilemmas that journalists in war zones face: for one thing, whether the search for truth justifies putting their own lives and the lives of innocents in danger. There are various political and ethical decisions they have to make: how closely should they work with the government or the military? how would such work interfere with their journalist code of ethics? There is a female journalist featured who is embedded with a Georgian army unit and viewers may well wonder what compromises she made to get the story and pictures she wants for her employer. Will the opinions she expresses and the images she shows reflect a definite political agenda? The actors do what they can with the story and give at least a three-dimensional look to their characters. Andy Garcia as Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili gives the best performance, endowing his character with a dignity the real person probably doesn't deserve: before the 2008 war, Saakashvili had been criticised for the use of brutal police force against protesters in an anti-government demonstration, and for declaring a state of emergency and suppressing press freedoms as a result of the protests, in November 2007. Well-known US actors Val Kilmer and Dean Cain do little other than parrot their lines and strut about as reporter and diplomat respectively and fellow US actor Jonathan Schaek as Georgian military officer Captain Avaliani spends his screen time saving Anders and Ganz's hides.

Any saving graces are in the Georgian settings: the cinematography features some lovely shots of a town perched on cliffs overlooking a winding river and of the countryside with its mountains and deep gorges. A church used as a refuge gives the film crew opportunities to photograph pictures of religious icons and the wedding scene featured early in the movie gives a little insight into Georgian customs, traditional dress styles and folk dances. Curiously there are no native Georgian actors in the film's major and minor acting roles; Georgians are present only as extras.

By lapsing into an action-movie rut the film fails to give a near-accurate portrayal of the work news journalists do and the problems they face in unusual and intense situations where disinformation, propaganda and fear replace speech and press freedoms. The film does not do what it claims to do: the source of the film's financing alone puts paid to any pretence of impartiality and regard for truth. The Georgian armed forces are portrayed as decent and heroic, the Russians as cruel, barbaric and even criminal: in truth, both sides were guilty of over-reaction to provocation with Georgia attacking South Ossetia first with heavy firepower and both Georgians and Russians alike committing grave war crimes. The US role in supplying arms and military training to Georgia since the Rose Revolution in 2003 and encouraging a belligerent attitude towards Russia should not go uncondemned either.
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Could have been so much better
sixbells996 August 2011
The open sequence is gut wrenchingly brilliant and raw, leaving you genuinely shocked. But as this scene fades into the next it appears the film changed director to one who watched to much A team and any 1960's World war II film.

For a film that purports to be a vision of real life events the director could not have got it more wrong. We are left with ridiculous battle scenes that are in fact an insult to the real horror of war on civilians. Hind gun ships firing bending missiles, the director loves this and we see these Hinds firing their bendy missiles all through out the film. Andy Garcia does his best Borat impression while the most shocking element of all is how much Val Kilmer has let himself go.

If you want to watch a brutal, raw and realistic film on the horrors of war, watch the first scene and then turn your TV off. If you want to watch some comic book propaganda film then keep on watching. A bad film that at the start hinted on how good it could have been!!
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6/10
Tasteless.
inc-1015 June 2011
Well, all kinds of things went wrong with this movie.

For starters, the opening sequence is awesome. One thing this movie really had was best camera crew ever. Everything feels very intense all the times, very close to the real war footage. Also, all the props, vehicles, uniforms, even explosions look very real. This is the good part.

The mediocre part is main story. It's a mix of Hotel Rwanda and Tears of the Sun, but feels like a bootleg version, a cheap knockoff of those.

And then there's the bad part. Just after awesome intro, you get "treated" with shots of Tbilisi, with landmarks, people smiling, and god forbid, trancey music in the background. It looked like a commercial for some travel agency, with only "Visit Georgia" message missing from the scene and was most tasteless thing I've ever seen in a film. I live in similar post-soviet country and I do understand the mentality in desperate desire to explain your culture to the world to get less looked as some remote hellhole, but this is outright tasteless and maybe Georgia hasn't come to this yet.

The script had generally no direction. Awesome war scene here, some corpses there, cameramen and photography director knew what to do... But director didn't. First, that simple shot with church and bloody river from 'Tears of the Sun' gives 10 times stronger emotion than whole pile of bodies shown in '5 days of August'. Even though latter tries sooo hard to portray Russians as savages.

Second, despite awesome camera and props, fighting had no point in this movie. You see soldiers shooting stuff and each other, but it's unclear why or what's their plan. I don't think any people who had any idea about how soldiers and military works were on the set. Mi-24 choppers shooting random buildings with rockets? And here I thought that every pilot is given orders and targets to waste expensive munitions on... Also, MI-24 sports a deadly cannon, but it's used only once, missing everything, and soldiers act as chopper had blind men for pilot and gunner, not taking cover. Tanks constantly missing targets and not using machine guns? Taking down a chopper with a single LAW rocket? SU-bombers taking down a restaurant residing in basically nowhere? This all felt very bizarre and pointless.

I could go on, but there's no need. Let's just say that this movie is very average, has some good moments, lots of unmemorable moments, and some outright stupid ones. So pick it up from bargain bin, but don't expect too much.

6 stars I give are for 2 reasons: Awesome camera work (it felt like live action at places) and the fact that despite being incredibly dumb, this movie IS entertaining... and that's good, even if it's for all wrong reasons.

...as for amount of propaganda, this movie is 100% okay, considering what comes from Moscow. Sure it's all bloated and overrated but this is how we rock in those former USSR satellite countries. Even 50 of such movies can't counter a single evening news show from random Russian TV-channel. For westerners, you just have to accept that rules are different, but watching all those Normandy landings in every Hollywood movie and video game, maybe not as much as you might think.
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5/10
An Entertaining Propaganda Piece
deltagreen-225 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This film is certainly an enigma. Do you rate it for its acting and action sequences, or for the historical accuracy of the conflict it pertains to? Covering the former, the acting here is fairly top-notch by all involved, and the action scenes are where this film excels. Since individuals involved with the Georgian government assisted in bankrolling the film, they also got full backing from the Georgian Army, so if you are an eclectic "tread-head" you will be pleased to see the actual equipment used by both sides in the conflict, including Mi-24D Hind's, Su-25 Frogfoot's, T-72's w/ERA of various makes, BTR-60's & 70's, BMP-2's, you name it. This does much to lend an air of credibility when viewing. For the normal viewer this may not matter much, but the action scenes are well (sometimes too well) choreographed.

Now as for the film's handling of its source material (the 2008 Georgia- Russia war over South Ossetia and Abkhazia), make no mistake about it, this is a textbook example of propaganda film. The Russian and South Ossetian militia are portrayed as savage and merciless killers executing and gunning down everyone in sight, while the brave Georgian soldiers are Hollywood Navy SEALS incarnate. Some of the more obvious propaganda shots do tend to take away from the film a bit (people getting gunned down in classic slow motion), but all in all, if you realize what you are watching....

So, take it for what it is, a very loose patriotic Georgian "interpretation" of the 2008 war. If you are decidedly pro-Russian, the film will likely make you fume. If you are decidedly pro-Georgian, it will likely elicit a few cheers. If like me you are simply aware of the historical facts of the conflict but have no dog in the fight, you can just sit back and enjoy a fairly good film covering subject matter mainstream Hollywood would never bother with. Just do yourself a favor, read up on the conflict before or after viewing so you at least have a balanced view....
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Old circus horse can not be taught new tricks.
levelclearer13 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The author made a try to persuade us of the documentary nature of his movie while he failed even to abide by the rules of the political thriller genre. Old circus horse can not be taught new tricks. When you go to film a "based on comics" flick don't say you have produced a documentary. When you watch the picture you feel it almost physically how a Rambo mold invisibly haunts the movie and you want to exclaim: "Stop that trash, release the Rambo, and let us at least have some fun.". Still fun is enclosed: war time love story is intervowen with the plot which will give food for an excellent computer game. This movie really rocks sending authentic messages which however unfortunately have nothing to deal with the things the author tries to show on the screen. The first one is - money is everything. The second one - we want to see it this way no matter what it really was. The third one - action motion pictures with bad and good guys are candies which are much sweeter than real life. Just imagine an army consisting of sadists. An army of sadists. Every soldier in this army is a sadist. A sadist army is opposed by the army of saints. This is how the Russian and Georgian armies are portrayed in "5 days of august". OK. We will try hard not to remember about the US soldiers deeds in Abu-Graib prison in Iraq. We will try hard to erase from our memory Vietnamese villages burnt out with napalm, forests defoliated with agent orange, children without skin, tortured Vietnamese partisans, etc. Even if Senator McCain will try not to let us forget it very quickly. Sure we will forget about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Forever. And of course we will not make any generalizations from a single case. Agreed we understand that any army can have a number of people with hidden sadistic inclinations, which remain sleeping until they break out in crucial war situations. But that normally is a sad, tragic exclusion rather than a rule that characterizes the entire army. The movie authors so sincerely neglect this simple truth that the movie therefore lacks only one thing - those comics style "Pow" and "Bang" subtitles when Russian rockets hit a Georgian wedding. BTW, it's a very strange way of living out a guilt complex. Actually it was an Afghani wedding and an American helicopter, and the country was Afghanistan, not Georgia. US chopper crew took Afghani wedding for Al-Kaeda warriors. Sad. But it's war, it's people's factor. The answer is given in the titles before the movie - there stands in black and white: Based on the actual events. On the actual events torn from time, place, and nationality and dressed up in the Russian army uniform. The American helicopter cracking down on Afghani wedding transforms into Russian helicopter destroying Georgian wedding. Dr. Goebbels smokes nervously in the corner. Violating the primary human right for objective information this cinematic work becomes highly cynical with regard to real life. I think it would be a deed of honesty if movie producers openly classify their work as "fairy tale" or "sci-fi", recognizing that they have honestly fulfilled Georgian government order for creating of a national myth, a legend, which has nothing to do with reality and truth. Russians say "Fairy tale is a lie, but there is a hint in it, a lesson for a good guy". OK, let Georgian good guys learn to hate Russia from Hollywood made fairy-tales, and let's see whether these lessons will do them good in a historical perspective. As always Hollywood shows very nice and expensive visual effects. Especially when you realize that they were made for Georgian money and every blast of propane gas is paid from the pocket of the Georgian tax payer. Still visual effects is the best investment of money in all this work. I'm not surprised that Hollywood produces something like "5 days of august". They have a hand in it. There are people who would pay for such kind of music. They say we were here when it happened and we know well how it happened and what really happened here we know very well too, but we hope that Hollywood stars would help the Georgian point of view on the conflict to become dominant in the world. Why not ? But. Politicians may play games, but people are getting brainwashed, left living in the illusionary world where many things that take place in the real world simply don't exist. For example, you will never know about Orthodox Church temple where people of Tskhinval were hiding from Georgian raid burnt with all who were inside. Burnt by Georgian soldiers. You will never know about Georgian soldier yelling "yoo-hoo" and filming with his mobile phone camera as he worked his machine gun over the civilian houses. You will never know about a pregnant woman who was running for the Temple and was shot halfway by Georgian soldiers. You will never know about 80 year old eminent Georgian film maker, a live classic of Georgian cinema, who had to escape to Russia from Saakashvili's prosecution, just because he is too eminent and he doesn't agree with all russophobia of Georgian regime. You will never know that Russian troops and fleet started moving only when Georgians shelled and rocketed civilians of Tskhinval. You will never know about demolition of the monument to Russian and Georgian soldiers fighting shoulder to shoulder against Hitler. All this was left outside the camera still in order not to deviate from the emotional tune. Emotions ! Message ! Pathos ! The three whales of this tale. The most gruesome thing about this movie is that author violates even the basic rules of the political thriller and overwrites the history. What makes him do this, I do not know, may be he watched too many early Nazi movies. "Divide it by 16" as Russians say.
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2/10
The 8 minute movie
jalexoid16 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The ideas behind the story and the movie seem very noble - to bring to attention the horrors of war. For that we have story, eyewitnesses, victims, high press coverage and it all happened in recent history. However, something that was an ideal setting for a humanist drama is corrupted by many flaws.

Cinematography is frankly very bad. It's on par with home movies. There is little feel to the pictures you see and they do not deliver the feelings that are behind the script. Unless you lived though that particular horror, this movie will not spark any passionate feelings. It's literally like watching a documentary of wildlife. In short, the picture lacks any feel to it.

Direction was ordinary at best. A few emotion filled moments were apparent, yet the cinematography failures just wiped it off the face of the picture.

Quite a lot of CG, yet it's not an action movie. It just kills any underlying messages. Though the CG was very good by itself.

The story is over-politicized. Though I don't think that there is anything wrong to portray a single side of a conflict, I do have a lot of issues when that side is very political. It has very clear tendencies, that result in some strange plot "twists". Some make sense, some don't. Like in all stories the politics just covers up the human side. It's no wonder that the story has tendencies, since quite a lot of Georgians worked on the movie. Sometimes such composition of crew results in a highly emotional and expressive movie. Yet this time those personal connections are lost along the way, giving way to the political aspect of the story.

The Georgians that were close to the conflict will feel emotional towards the movie and will relate in some way. People that were far away will not see through the political veil and fail to relate to hardships and suffering of ordinary people.
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5/10
It could be a nice flick
zipacna-72-70983815 June 2011
but a primitive story is too much of one-sided pro-Georgian propaganda.

Good Georgians, bad Russians and nothing in the middle.

Well, AFAIK Georgian government sponsored production so it wasn't for free.

Don't try to learn the history of the conflict after that.

Cold War is back. Seems like Rembo from the 80s but lacks Silvester to save the day.

On the other hand it doesn't look like a typical B-movie it could be considering it's screenplay.

Director's work is good, acting is not too bad. Special effects is nice too excluding cheap gasoline explosions.

Worth watching anyway.
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2/10
Good action in some places. Horrible idea. Overall: WASTED TIME!
belydym21 August 2011
Liked the action in some parts, quite realistic.

However, the whole idea of the movie is too plain "Georgians are good, and Russians are bad"... Smells like cheaply paid propaganda movie. Nowdays only mind limited folks can think that Russia started the war. Whatever they say... Georgian president gave the order to slaughter "his own people" on the night before Olympic games started:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8281990.stm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_South_Ossetia_war

Watch the classics "Saving Private Ryan", "Tears of the sun", "We were soldiers"...

P.S.: the scene with wedding is well described here http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/jul/02/afghanistan.lukeharding
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1/10
A 113 minute long insult
mjaitner25 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
There are a lot of flicks out there, a lot of historical movies that get details wrong, wrongly used uniforms, movies that fail to tell the whole story just to fit the 2 hrs on screen format. But I have never seen such a deliberate mistreatment of actual history. This movie is a 113- minute long insult to everyone portrayed in it - the population of South Ossetia, Russians, Georgians, the militaries of both countries, the EU, the NATO and the viewer. Even the Georgian government falls victim to the horrendous plot. Unlike advertised, the plot is not based on actual events but almost solely on the writer's fantasy, not his common sense. The events portrayed in the movie have never taken place, could not have taken place. So be warned, the educational value of this flick equals 0.

While in the beginning of the movie the viewer was given the impression that this was an attempt to show the Georgian side of the story, at it's end I had to wonder if they were actually making fun of everyone in it. Andy Garcia's part is so badly written.

The individual acting isn't all that bad, but even the mandatory love story fails totally because there is no connection between the actors whatsoever. This disconnect also has a fatal effect on photography, which in itself is decent but very bland together with the soulless acting.

Other than that the movie features a lot of explosions, a Rambo-like figure and piles of bodies. And is surprisingly, if you strip it from the wrongful historical connection and omit Andy Garcia's parts, quite entertaining.
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10/10
propaganda? Seriously?
luka_jmuxa11 February 2017
I'm not very good at English and sorry for many grammar mistakes. WEll, some people saying that this movie is propaganda and captured by anti-Russian federation but, I'm from Georgia from that little country. first of all south Osettia was Georgian territory until Russians took it. this movie is based on a true story u want how i know that? because i was there. i saw how they was killing our just normal people putting bombs in villages and killing people without any reason. and as u think Andy Garcia is not playing his role well. because Mikhail Saakashvili(ex.president of Georgia) was not that good he ordered and sent our boys to start the war he lied them that Russians attacked first and we started war but we didn't knew that. it was very hard moment for every Georgian people Russians started putting bombs into city Gori. and they reporters said in TV that they was arriving in Tbilisi. as u know Tbilisi is capital of Georgia. and other France and other country's helped us they're presidents came to Georgia and Russia stopped the war. it was longest 5 days of my life. and this movie is based on true story. that reporter is real too i met him in Gori and every details are correct. this movie is not anti-Russian or propaganda. if u want to see movie about war on based true story watch this and i think 5.6 is lower IMDb rating for this movie . :)
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2/10
An awful war film in need of a script rewrite.
dvc515915 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This was really, truly wasted potential. The film had an interesting idea going for it - a war which was unfortunately overshadowed by other events, and told from the other side, which was a daring move.

Unfortunately, all I got were some unintentional guffaws and groans.

The moment the characters start speaking the film loses its credibility and it goes south from there.

The acting is bad. Rupert Friend may have given good performances in his past films such as "Pride and Prejudice" and "Young Victoria" but here he looked lost. Emmanuelle Chriqui is horrible. She can act in romantic comedies, but is totally miscast in her role here. She wasn't even trying in the dramatic scenes. Val Kilmer, Heather Graham, Dean Cain and Andy Garcia pop up to scavenge what's left of their careers. Rade Serbedzija looks mean again. The only performances which are good are from Richard Coyle and Jonathan Schaech.

Did I mention the screenplay was absolutely atrocious? There were cheesy lines and moments from left to right. Not one scene felt genuinely gripping, and many scenes felt like they were tacked on. Now I'm not one to say anything about politics but from what I've heard this film is propaganda. Given the poor quality of the acting and writing I'd doubt anyone on both sides of the war will appreciate this movie - it may even be very offensive to some on both the Russian and Georgian sides.

There's even cheesier music to go along with everything. Trevor Rabin may be good for action movies but is totally out of his league here. His music timing is out and his score becomes aggressively annoying. The editing is too rushed at times, making some scenes feel very forced.

There are good things, though. The cinematography is good, and since the DP was a real-life war cameraman, it shows in the movie with its wide sweeping shots of the enemy tanks and the shaky-cam fury of the battles. The sound effects, especially the explosions and the shooting sequences, are startlingly realistic.

The ugliest aspect of the film? How director Renny Harlin shaped this film to be. Normally I admire Harlin's films, but that was pure action films like "Cliffhanger" and "The Long Kiss Goodnight". Harlin fumbled with this movie. He chooses not to focus on the (already inept) drama and instead turn his attention to the action/war sequences. This is where it gets ugly. Harlin shoots the violence as if he's right at home at Hollywood, with its large fiery explosions and spinning cars and exploding blood squibs all over the place (nice job of doing this without CGI for many scenes though, Renny). Harlin is great at action sequences and big action films. And it is indeed a big movie - for a US$20 million film there were many military vehicles such as tanks and helicopters used for filming alongside the explosions. But it is strictly out of place in a war movie, and Harlin makes it feel more like a video game. Think Michael Bay's "Pearl Harbor" and John Woo's "Windtalkers". Now another action film director has made a bad war movie. This should never happen again, and I now fear for Rob Cohen's Korean War "epic" due next year.

The fact that this was "inspired by a true story" and even had the gall to insert interview clips of the survivors of the war at the end makes it all the more insulting and appalling. However in a cruel and dark sense some may find this an unintentional comedy. Given the cheesy script and acting I can't blame them. I'm sorry Renny, I'm sure you had the right intentions, but better luck next time. This is one of the year's worst films.

"5 Days of August" - renamed "5 Days of War" in the United States - was released here in Malaysia under the title "City on Fire". Why the Malaysian film board chose the same title as the superior Chow Yun- Fat/Ringo Lam Hong Kong Action classic is beyond me. It's worse than when they found the word "Hellboy" to be offensive and renamed it "Super Sapiens". Yeesh.

Overall rating: 24/100
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10/10
A piece of history needed to be seen.
WayGoneBy6 June 2011
This film is not a Hollywood portrayal of this war with the purpose of demeaning Russia and exalting Georgia. It is a meaningful story of the plight of Georgia to be independent and free of any dictatorship of any kind. Renney's directorship is brilliant in that he does not color it to be pro-anyone. The history of Georgia and Russia and all of the events leading up to this war would be more than one screenplay could cover. Georgia's fight is heartwarming for it is always great to see 'the little guy put up a good fight'!! Val Kilmer and Andy Garcia are as good as they get. There is the role of the Georgian officer played by an American actor, Johnathon Schaech, who does a fantastic job of portraying a man who leads his men victoriously. Schaech shocks you a bit when he actually speaks Georgian and from what I understand does it extremely well. A film worth your $$ and time.
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3/10
Prefers to sugarcoat, not to inform
StevePulaski19 June 2012
5 Days of War is a film not out to give an accurate depiction of the 2008 Russo-Georgia War, but to gloss over any implications and make its own biased, fictitious version of it. War is a touchy subject to conduct a film on, but thankfully, many war films have been exceptionally well done and stellar in quality. This is the first one I've come across that is poor in quality.

It's so rare to see a war film robbed of all character development, emotional elements, plot, coherency, and facts. Yet, 5 Days of War shows us that it is possible and that when done in such poor quality it can further cement an event into a sea of puzzlement. The United States of America wasn't up to date come time of the Russo-Georgia War in August of 2008, and Bush had decided to leave the country out of it. A smart move if you ask me. The US was already starting to get hit with one of the most deadly recessions of all time and, already fighting two wars, it was a good plan to let two other countries just settle out the differences by themselves. So, to release a film in America about the war was actually not a bad idea. The problem? Because our knowledge on it is so limited we could easily be persuaded the wrong way. And that is what 5 Days of War appears to be doing. Persuading people the wrong way.

Georgia and Russia both committed several atrocities in the time of the war. The film makes it look like Georgia was minding its own business and the big, bad Russians just decided to blow the hell out of everything Georgian. Georgia actually helped to trigger the Russians into fighting back in the war. That part is almost wholly absent.

The film revolves around Thomas Anders (Friend), a reporter who was rescued upon visiting Iraq with colleagues after being gunned down in their car. A year later, he gets word that conflict is brewing in Georgia, so heads out to cover the story. Anders meets a young Georgia woman named Tatia (Chriqui) and another reporter named Sebastian (Coyle) where they must learn to survive during the war.

It seems 5 Days of War is less concerned with actuality and being an informative piece of work, and instead tries to be a gritty action film. Going into this expecting a nice, expansive retelling of events leading up to the war, I was presented with typical war schlock with loud, unnecessary gunfire and over-exaggerated acting all around. This is also one of the first war films I've ever seen that was void of all things emotional. It was moot in the field of playing with your tear-ducts, mainly because you don't know the characters well enough to form any sort of opinion about them. There is a scene where one of the main characters is shot off of the back of a moving truck. Her friends and companions are clearly shocked and sobbing uncontrollably. We as audience members are staring blankly wishing a tear or two would form. Alas, nothing but utter silence followed by increasing restlessness and dreariness.

At the very end, the film goes sentimental and right before the end credits we see many people who've lost relatives in the five day war between the feuding countries holding pictures of their loved ones and honoring them respectably. Even in this field emotion doesn't ring, but we do feel sort of uneasy. Think about it; you watch an empty, mundane war film that is absent of emotional elements only to be tested for tears one more time before the credits role showing people who have lost their loved ones in the same event. The whole act sounds contrived and almost unforgivable.

Starring: Andy García, Val Kilmer, Richard Coyle, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Rupert Friend, Johnathon Schaech, Dean Cain, Rade Šerbedžija, Antje Traue, and Heather Graham. Directed by: Renny Harlin.
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8/10
gripping, moving, heartbreaking, shocking. Uncomfortable realism
adamm200927 June 2011
This is a gritty, realistic, shocking movie which reminds us of the sometimes terrible world we live in. Its depiction of the lives brave reporters live on the front line in war torn countries is pretty accurate I would say. They risk everything to get the truth out to the rest of the world who are not even interested most of the time, preferring to report on more trivial stories. As I write this brief review, 63 % of reviewers have given this a score of 6/10 and over, 40 % giving 10/10. This is in my mind what it deserves. The fact that over 20 % have given this film 1/10 is offensive and ridiculous. I would suggest the people who have given this film 1/10 are either Russian, vacuous soap opera watchers or fans of the likes of Justin Bieber, Paris Hilton and anything else remotely trashy and fake. This is gripping and dramatic and well worth a look.
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5/10
amazing action and effects,....horribly executed film
devastationfilms112 April 2012
the only reason i am giving this film a 5 is mainly due to the action. The action was incredibly choreographed and excellent special effects. Great Cinematography.

Now, the story, plot, acting, writing, historical accuracy,.....all crap. it was horribly inaccurate and biased toward the Georgians, who actually started the war. it was basically a big fat Georgian propaganda film. both sides committed atrocities in this horrible 5 day war. it wasn't good guy vs bad guy, it was bad guy vs bad guy. If the writers and Director had done any research, they'd know all of this.

next, the story, plot, and writing. the story is just badly planned out, and doesn't really show any background,....mainly due to the fact that this is a huge propaganda Georgia film. The plot was plain and predictable. So, that really made me not enjoy this film. The writing was pretty p_i_s_s_ poor. No background story, the lines were stiff and just not emotional at all.

acting was bad, but not horrendous. I have seen much much worse.

all in all, this movie could have been one amazing work of art and story telling, but they got too focused on the money, which they obviously failed miserably at: $12,000,000 budget, only got $60,000 in the box office. So yeah, overall just a good one time watch when you are ridiculously bored out of your mind
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9/10
Is it or isn't it?
Cedric_Catsuits30 August 2013
This film appears to have attracted a lot of negative publicity, mainly from pro-Russia and pro-US parties. I have no idea how accurate it is, but given what I know of how powerful countries operate I have no reason to doubt that much of this is based on fact. Wars that don't benefit western economies rarely attract support or even attention, and it is interesting that this one also coincided with the Beijing Olympics - pure coincidence? I think not. What better way to cover up atrocities than carry them out when the world is looking the other way.

As a piece of film making it is faultless, however, and deserves a much higher average score. If you like films such as The Bang Bang Club and The Hunting Party then this should be right up your street. The plot and characters are good, well acted and directed, with plenty of action. If I have a gripe it's down to the lack of subtitles when people are speaking Russian or Georgian - why do film makers do this? If the characters have something to say and it's important to the story, then tell us what they're saying!

So it's a good film and if it's in any way true then a lot of powerful people ought to be ashamed. At the very least it's a film that makes you want to find out more about the atrocities happening in the world today.
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8/10
A very Enjoyable Film.
nightingaleron16 June 2011
I watched this film last night and we most certainly enjoyed it.The film holds your interest from start to end which is what we like in all films. The film does not say it is a documentary, nor does it say it is based on any true events. After reading some of the other reviews it is obvious that this film is sparking up quite a lot of controversy with some taking it very personal. I think the actors did a splendid job and by people giving this a vote of 1 out of 10 (also one of them admitting that they never watched the whole thing)is only going to promote the movie further as it will intrigue people to see what all the fuss is about. Many movies have been made about many wars and we all know that most likely none of them portrayed the exact true events. Go into this film with an open mind and just enjoy a good action packed film along with a good story and good footage.Andy Garcia played the part well and also remember that actors are given their roles to act and are simply actors. Now , after reading the reviews you just have to see this film don't you.
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8/10
Pleasant to see different point of view
jimmitomato1 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I ve been highly demotivated to watch the movie after so many poor ratings. However, i gave it a try and it was really worth it, considering the low budget and the complex conflict which the crew wanted to describe. (you have to keep in mind, that another war movies (black hawk down, or Pearl Harbour had thousand times better access to funds, actors, crew etc.. )

I ve also noticed many complaints, that the movie is biased towards one side of the war conflict. One have to understand the complexity of the problem and all events that happened before the conflict and the policy, which is set by Russia nowadays.. (am Master student of International Relations/Diplomacy). What happened there, is just a direct response to it. And there are many states which face the same issues today: Trying to break away from Russian influence, however still being on the watch of the policy makers in Moscow. (Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia..etc. )

The film lost 2 stars due to exaggerated heroism and the director's need to describe the Russian soldiers as criminals. Which was not true, as the most of the crimes were committed by (paid) unlawful combatants (paid private armies and soldiers coming from different parts of Kaukaz) Overally good camera, well captured unspoiled scenery of Georgia's nature and countryside, well fitted reall and fictional facts in one overall story.
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10/10
Great move that makes me cry at the END
Sosojana2 July 2011
This is one of the best "Based True story" movie i ever saw.

I read the reviews of some guys here that are negative ones without any explanation. Telling that this is propaganda and stuff like that is a lie. Thats whats happened, the People in crowed are REAL people in the film that survived the war, The WEDDING SEEN was based on True Story and reporters dies in this war.

Andy Garcia was Awesome in his role. He just Looked like Michael Saakachvili. Russian occupied 20% of Georgia and this territories are under Russian control this days. Peace keepers with tanks and M16 ?

This movie just shows the true to the world what happened 3 years ago. I am from Israel and have no interest to protect Georgians or Russians but this war Russian is Occupant and thats what NATO sad either. No propaganda i didn't see in this movie other then Based on true story.

Great Actors, Awesome Action and emotional movie. Recommend to watch it.
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