A Private War (2018) Poster


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I'm split in half between acting and the story.
pavlemc9527 January 2019
If I was to rate this movie based on acting alone, Pike takes it to at least an Oscar nominee. BUT (it is a really big but) I simply cannot ignore everything else. This is real war propaganda, I mean it is strange how the movie speaks about the horrors of war yet only one side contributes to the horror and makes you want to celebrate the same war that the 'good' side is waging. Being informed about the wars in most of the countries and even living in one that was invaded by Nato... i just simply cant help getting sick of watching movies like this.

I mean she is with soldiers in that building that got hit and yet claims on live tv how there is no military target in that area?????? wtf.
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Yet another piece of expensive western propaganda.
siddharth-mody26 January 2019
My review will comment only on the politics of this film.

Like most Hollywood films, this film fails to establish any context and chooses to only portray one side of the war. They simply failed to establish a balanced view, war is complex and all sides commit atrocities. This film choses to highlight only western propaganda talking points. Nor does it take any effort to establish causality of the war.

I find it hard to digest if no duality is fairly presented, there is no attempt to establish the covert efforts of foreign influence that escalated the conflict to its current predicament. The film expertly exploits human emotion to sell its propaganda.

A simple case in point is to compare the state of the middle east before and after the American led interventions.
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Rosamund Pike delivers a fantastic performance
kingsgrl201017 November 2018
A very different role for Rosamund Pike then Gone Girl or any other film she has made recently. She takes the care in embodiment of Marie Colven, trying to give her truth life. This is not an easy movie to watch, harsh scenes of war-torn countries and showing real people that have actually been effected by real tragedies. While watching I definitely felt that Matthew Heineman was trying to give the realest depiction of this story. I often felt a little underwelmed with the pacing of this movie, it flips back and forth to the past and present a little too much for me and not focusing long enough on either for the full character development. Rosamund Pike did give a great performance and Marie Colvin's story is worth watching.
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Do not be easily deceived
mwpowellhtx27 January 2019
If you watched this Prima Facie and did no background research into the "conflict" in Lybia, Syria... No mention whatsoever of the US and HRC's involvement in Gaddafi's assassination, "we came, we saw, he died" were her very words during one interview, and not with anything even remotely resembling sobriety. You also need to understand the "topple seven nations in five years" the US agreed to. Lybia, Syria, Iran, etc. Or how the US and NATO forces back ISIS, shelled Assad's people. Some 500,000+ killed by the US weapons, etc. Not anything I want to be associated with, but that was my tax dollars, and yours if you are a tax paying citizen of the US. Taking nothing away from Marie Colvin's work as a journalist, but let's be clear. Assuming the film is accurate, she received awards from her company alone; it's not like they were industry awards, recognition, etc. No, I think this was more propagandist than factual.
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Thank you
rays-9010610 November 2018
When i left my country I decide to not remember any thing from that hell, But today i cried like i just lost every thing, it's an amazing movie
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Not compelling
drjgardner18 November 2018
The dangers facing war correspondents is an important topic and you would think would make for a compelling story, especially a real life story. But this film keeps you are arms-length, aware that you're watching a film but not really in the action. Fault the direction and the acting, and I suspect the editing as well. Makes me wish for the days of Ernie Pyle
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Praiseworthy piece of cinema
KarenAM12 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Produced by Charlize Theron, A Private War is an excellent biopic that manages to capture the actual character, spirit and strength of the person the film is about. Marie Colvin, an American reporter working for a British newspaper, hailed by many of her peers as the greatest war correspondent of her generation. She was killed in Syria fighting for people to find out the truth behind the war, the undeniable tragedy that breaks down on thousands of innocent civilians living around war zones.This is a powerful example of a biopic, it never misses its strong point that the journalists out there that die every day or try to survive is not for fake news, but for the news corrupt governments try to hide. And that is the strongest message the film delivers. Rosamund Pike, who portrays late Miss Colvin, steals every single scene she is in, in a most convincing way. Her performance is raw, rough and on point. Rarely do actors achieve this level of craftsmanship with duplicating the looks, voice and the spirit of the original person. This role should undoubtedly land Rosamund Pike her second Academy Award nomination, and hopefully win. In the hands of a well praised documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman, A Private War achieves a high level of narrative storytelling that keeps viewers interest and fascinates with extraordinary performances and pitch perfect cinematography.
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A Private Bore
peeedeee-942818 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I expected a high quality movie when reading all the praise about it, but instead it felt like I was watching a poorly made History channel film. The movie plays out in chronological order, pinpointing certain moments in Marie Colvin's career, but not quite making it's point why those moments were significant. So many scenes would be set up, only to jump to something else. Or there would be scenes that would linger too long, when you felt it probably should have been cut. The director definitely needed a better editor. As for the Marie Colvin character, you never really get to find out what makes her tick. You do get a sense that she's dealing with some trauma of being in war zones, but you don't get a sense of why she's doing it. And she doesn't come across as being a likeable character. In fact, when she dies, it felt like 'oh well', because we were basically shown that she was too stubborn for her own good, and that's what got her killed. And overall, this movie really doesn't have a message. Maybe it's 'war is hell', although those scenes didn't feel natural, everything felt a bit too forced. It's too bad the director chose to edit the film the way he did. The jarring jumps takes one out of the movie. Just when you think you're figuring things out, it jumps to something else. Really distracting, and I just wanted them to get to Homs, Syria (which we were constantly reminded of over and over again). My rating is just to counter the excessively positive ratings.
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Heineman and Pike excel
ferguson-610 November 2018
Greetings again from the darkness. Marie Colvin was a (seemingly) fearless war correspondent obsessed with giving a voice to those forgotten during war. Were she alive today, she could not have hand-picked a better filmmaker than Matthew Heineman to tell her story. Director Heineman was Oscar nominated for CARTEL LAND (2014) and, combined with his CITY OF GHOSTS (2017), gives him two of the best ever documentaries that show what the front lines are like in both international wars and the equally dangerous wars being fought over drug territories. Heineman has carried his own camera directly into the center of those storms, while Ms. Colvin took her pen and pad. Simpatico.

Based on Marie Brenner's Vanity Fair article "Marie Colvin's Private War" (screenplay by Arash Amel), the film benefits from the extraordinary and courageous work of Ms. Colvin, and also a terrific performance from Rosamund Pike (words I've not previously written). Ms. Pike captures the extremes of Ms. Colvin's life - the atrocities of war and the self-prescribed treatment of her PTSD through vodka, and does so in a manner that always seems believable. She lets us in to a world most of us can't imagine.

As a war correspondent for Britain's Sunday Times (since 1986), Ms. Colvin told the stories we'd rather not know. In her words, "I saw it, so you don't have to." The film begins with a stunning overhead view of 2012 war-ravaged Homs Syria (destruction courtesy of Assad's soldiers) - a place that starts the film and later ends the story. We then flash back to 2001 London so we can witness Marie in society and struggling with a personal relationship. She then chooses, against her editor's (Tom Hollander) guidance to cover Sri Lanka. It's a decision that cost her an eye, while also providing her recognition as the eye-patch wearing female war reporter.

In 2003, a tip takes her to a previously undiscovered mass grave site in Fallujah. This is her first work alongside photographer Paul Conroy (played by Jamie Dornan). Having "seen more war than most soldiers", Ms. Colvin's severe alcoholism can't kill the nightmares, visions, and PTSD. After time in a clinic, she returns to work. We see her in 2009 Afghanistan and then pulling no punches when interviewing Libya's Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. During these assignments, we learn much about Ms. Colvin's personality and approach. She is rarely without a cigarette, admits to wearing Le Perla lingerie (and why), carries Martha Gellhorn's "The Face of War" as her field manual, and wins two British Foreign Journalist of the Year awards - though seeing her at the banquets is quite surreal.

Hollander's subtle performance as news editor Sean Ryan is also quite impressive. He fears for her safety (and even questions her sanity) but is in constant conflict with the need to sell newspapers - something Ms. Colvin's stories certainly did. Stanley Tucci has a role as Tony Shaw, her love interest, but despite her words, we never believe he and his sailboat are ever more than a distraction from her obsession with the front lines. The final sequence in 2012 Homs Syria is stunning, as is her final interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN.

Ms. Pike has altered her voice to mimic the deeper tone of Marie Colvin - her efforts confirmed in the final interview played at the film's end. It's quite a career boost for Ms. Pike, who has previously been known for playing ice queens in films like GONE GIRL. She captures the traumatized Marie, but also the obsession of someone whose DNA constantly drove her back to the stories that needed to be told.

Director Heineman's unique perspective combined with the cinematography of 3 time Oscar winner Robert Richardson (a favorite of Scorcese, Tarantino, and Oliver Stone) delivers a realism of war that we rarely see on screen. Mr. Richardson also shot SALVADOR (1986) and PLATOON (1986) and his work here surpasses both. The film gives us a glimpse at the psychological effects of such reporting, and a feel for the constant stress of being surrounded by tragedy and danger. This is fitting tribute to a courageous and very skilled woman, although I do wish the men weren't constantly helping her out of trucks and jeeps.
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asommgerhi9 February 2019
A private war so you can't tell if it was real or not, but about libyan event i don't think all of it was real because i'm libyan person, but the other story it seems real because there is evidence. as a movie it was boring it's not something massive as the name of the movie.
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Glorification, fictional tale of a pompous snot
thebricks27 January 2019
Gave this movie a try for a half-hour, this is basically a movie about a trust fund war reporter made by her trust fund friends as a tribute to her. I mean, i one scene, she goes out on a patrol with Sri Lankan troops and is almost right at the very front? Come on! Yeah right.

It's always the most posh, finely educated types who are war reporters. You're telling me that with all these ex-military men and women out there, these are the only people qualified to do this work? No, they are most certainly not. These assignments are reserved for the most well-connected to further their careers and prestige.

Like many of the wannabe tough trust funders, they feel like using the f-word makes them more credible. just insufferable.

This just wasn't a good movie, not worth watching at all. Don't waste your time.
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Not such a Private War
mplynch-301908 February 2019
This film looks into the Wars in the Middle East in a biased way and doesn't seem to tell the full story. Did not enjoy this film at all.
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Mostly true story of an idiot running amok
keysersoze-6018329 January 2019
As an American independent voter- this is liberal garbage celebrating a "powerful and brave" woman who drove herself into the ground to tell the story of how bad muslims have it, knowing damn well it's because they are in fact muslims. It's well acted and put together well, just the entire content is political AF. If you decide to watch for yourself, when you get bored and annoyed with the chain-smoking drunken old woman running around without a care for her own life or her own team's lives, just skip to the last five minutes.
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The worst movie i've seen in last year
mrrezaeii6 February 2019
That was unfortunately so overreacted and unnatural. It was also based on lying and in support of the USA that had a key role in this war. I could watch it till the end with such a frustration. Dont waste your time. I promise you lose absolutely nothing.
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Blind American girl
pesevs-670-9963123 February 2019
This film actually tells the story from one side, american terror side. It is about selfish woman, who dont care about the true. Only to hide behind her story, not reality. The film is also missing the point
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Tentative drama about a not-so-tentative woman
PotassiumMan17 November 2018
Rosamund Pike delivers a fiery performance as Marie Colvin, a war correspondent who earned a reputation as iron-willed in her commitment to war reporting even in the face of grave danger throughout the 2000s. Unfortunately, her gravelly voice cannot carry the entire film which occasionally veers off into obvious Oscar-bait territory. A handful of gripping scenes do spring up, including when she meets with Muammar Gaddafi shortly before his regime is overthrown.

But all in all, I would call this a middle-of-road biopic, one that is likely to fly under the radar and be remembered only by news junkies and anti-war activists, if anyone at all. This despite, again, a terrific effort by Pike. Not recommended.
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good movie, not for entertainment
ravigpa4 February 2019
Acting is 10/10 this is for those who don't know what journalism stands for and how this is not so easy easy job. movie leaves an impact on viewers about how much misdirected perceptions we as general public have about wars & fight against terrorism.
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Lacking the inspirational biopic storytelling that could have been so much more.
cruise018 February 2019
A Private War (2 out of 5 stars).

A Private War is a biographical drama that tries to show an inspiring story about a journalists Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike) and her experiences in Iraq and Syria. She experienced the horrors of war that affected her personally. The film in general is a tedious drama movie. I felt like the script could have been a little more inspiration with Marie Colvin. The whole movie was only showing brief moments of her going out to cover a story. And a little small moment celebrating with her bosses. And back out in hostile countries.

Rosamund Pike did deliver a good performance. Her character was briefly underwritten. The film lacked the character development, a developed plot, and it was uneven with its poor direction by Matthew Heineman. Paul (Jamie Dornan) a photographer, his character was also underdeveloped as well.

The script was terrible at telling the biographical story of Marie Colvin. Most of the moments of her experiences in other countries were brief. Her personal life story was also brief. It was an improper way of telling this inspirational story.

The direction was boring for the most part. Your hardly invested in any of these characters. It was difficult to feel the emotions that Marie Colvin was going through. Cause the direction was lacking the build up momentum to some of the powerful moments.

Overall, A Private War is a bad film. Rosamund Pike did great. The plot, direction, script, and characters were badly put together in this film.
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Pike is riveting and you'll be drawn in.
nategerard17 November 2018
If you have one empathic bone in your body you can't help but feel for the people Marie Colvin wrote about and Marie herself, despite her self medication and arguably self destructive nature.

Pike plays Marie as so driven by her need to tell these stories that she regularly throws her safety away and allows herself to be emotionally damaged as well.

The movie builds to the extreme violence in Syria and one scene in particular that will haunt me due to the rampant and indiscriminate death rained down by government forces.

While the supporting cast does a great job, Pike is amazing and should garner Oscar attention for it. This will be a difficult movie to watch but Marie's story is important because you should really know all her stories.
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hollywood propaganda
EddieGunner2 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I mean she shared fake news around wrodl from Libya and Sirya, clayming how Gaddafi and Assad are bad guys in all that pro american democracy only bad thing she didnt last till today to see who was good and who was bad guy,

totaly rubish of a movie, reminds me on those vietnamees movies when hollywood showed vietnamees as very very bad ppl but everybody knew who was bad then

waste of time
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A Private Propaganda or a Private Pike?
batbox29 January 2019
We have seen these type of war movies a dozen times. Too many flashbacks were not justified as this wasn't a sequel. You can easily guess what is the fate of each character at the end of the movie. The real eye-opener question is - Who are really slaughtering the Muslims?

Rosamund gave a stong performance. Now that Rosamund Pike has turned 40, she will be discarded by directors. Atleast she shouldn't be smoking too much as more wrinkles are going to appear. Still, she has a great figure. I wonder if there was a body double for her!
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My last days in Syria
dr-soso-ak17 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Painful yet inspirational life Story! Reminds me with myself and my days in Syria! Marie Colvin had been carrying a great message during her life, and she died in the sake if this message! What a brave women! RIP Marie :(!
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Great Performances and Story
dakasper27 October 2018
A great journalist that sacrificed just about everything to get the true stories out. I predict an Oscar nomination for her role. She worked so hard to get the role down right.
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Very raw, graphic, and harsh look at the personal and public cost of war
tabuno28 January 2019
Rosamond Pike as Marie Colvin, a war correspondent for The Sunday Times shines in this very raw, graphic, and harsh look at both the personal cost of war on both the innocent civilians and those who cover the war. Not since The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), has a journalistic film been so gritty and emotionally charged. Whether it was Regal theatre in Taylorsville, Utah and its 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound system, the audio, sound effects of A Private War resonated deeply throughout the auditorium. Rosamond's performance was unsympathetic revealing a human persona's flaws in authentic holistic anguish and triumph. Unlike the journalist comedy war drama of Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot (2016), a cute mainstream, feelgood movie, A Private War is reveals a personal war within the mind of the real life Marie Colvin and the terrible consequences of war on the people who suffer from its devastation the most and Marie's addictive obsession to capture its human cost for the world back home and hoping to some compassionate change. Unlike Privates of Somalia (2017), A Private War takes its subject matter completely seriously without any cute scriptwriter dialogue interjections. The movie's editing is tight and is able to tell the story in a nice comprehensible fashion. An interesting contrasting movie would be Richard Gere's The Hunting Party (2007) seems to have capture most of the elements of all the rest of these movies, except A Private War which seems like in a class all by itself.
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Watch it for Rosamund Pike's possibly Oscar-contending performance
paul-allaer19 November 2018
"A Private War" (2018 release; 110 min.) is a bio-pic about war correspondent Marie Colvin. As the movie opens, we are informed that Colvin began her career as a war correspondent for the Sunday Times in 1986. We then shift to "London, England 200" where she is seen fooling around, and then arguing, with her once (and future) husband. It's not long before Colvin is off to Sri Lanka to investigate an "unreported" war. In an unfortunate incident, Colvin is badly hurt and she loses sight in her left eye altogether, leaving her to wear an eye patch going forward, "just like a pirate" she mocks. Then by 2003, Colvin is off to Iraq... At this point we are 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing area, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from director Matthew Heineman, best known for his outstanding (and Oscar-nominated) documentaries "Cartel Land" and "City of Ghosts". While "A Private War" is not a documentary, it certainly has the feel of one, as Heineman brings us, matter of factly, what is was like to be a woman reporting on the worst of mankind, going in war zones where she was not wanted. "I am compelled", she remarks more than once when asked why she is doing what she's doing. She focuses on the true victims: women and children, the sick and the poor, the homeless and the starving. The movie is staged impressively as we witness many battle scenes and look in astonishment as Colvin dodges bullets buzzing by. But none of that would matter if it weren't for the convincing performance by Rosamund Pike, who looks quite a bit older in this role as compared to her actual age. This is the type of role that Hollywood typically loves to embrace and recognize, and I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that Pike will get an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Last but not least, couldn't help but notice the wonderful new tune "Requiem for a Private War", by Annie Lennox (it plays over the movie's closing credits).

"A Private War" premiered at this year's Toronto International Film Festival to positive acclaim. The Sunday matinee screening where I saw this at this weekend was attended poorly (3 people, including myself). Frankly, I don't see this playing in theaters very long. For that, the movie is simply too heavy and downbeat, even with Rosamund Pike's wonderful lead performance. But that doesn't mean this is not a good movie, far from it. I quite enjoyed it (insofar one can really "enjoy" heavy dramas like this). If you have an interest in what life is like for war correspondents in this day and age, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.
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