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Green Zone

A 2010 political thriller directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Matt Damon.

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4 stars: "The reasons we go to war always matter!"

  • Jun 24, 2010

Up until around 2001 no one knew who Irish up and coming director Paul Greengrass was that is until he directed the second of the three Bourne films "The Bourne Supremacy"(2004) that became the highest grossing film for the series at that point. one of Greengrass' most critically acclaimed films following on the heels of  his universally acclaimed "Bloody Sunday"(2002). Three years later  Greengrass directed one of the last decades   most acclaimed  and most controversial films "United 93"(2006) based on the true story of the heroism of the passengers and there tragic death when they forced the plane into a nose dive  causing it  to crash near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The film was a massive critical success but meet with extreme criticism form audiences alike over its touchy source material. The year after Greengrass and actor Matt Damon  re-teamed to star and direct the third(and possibly final installment)  of the hugely successful Bourne series  with  the "Bourne Ultimatum"(2007)  which proved to be the highest grossing and biggest critically acclaimed hit of the series bringing a crashing final close to the saga of Jason Bourne. For nearly three years Greengrass was  working on a new project that while may lack the enthusiasm of his early works  is no less thought provoking or  thrilling as his  earlier works. This film is one of his best and a film that not only gives you the views of why we go to war but if the reasons we do go to war are really for the right reasons.



When I first heard of Paul Greengrass'  "Green Zone" back in  late 2009   I can say that I was  extremely excited  to see  Greengrass and Damon  back together again making a big action picture again  I could almost picture how this film would  have played out in my head(no thanks to my limitless imagination). I saw Damon playing a solider fighting against another Government conspiracy involving some sort of political assassination or cover up  that he exposed. I was eager with anticipation however, when I found out the release date of this film my anticipation dwindled. It dwindled not because I found out the film might not be as good as it appears but it dwindled because I would have to wait three months into 2010 to see one of my most anticipated films of 2010. After nearly two months of waiting I finally was able to see Paul Greengrass' "Green Zone” and let me tell you there is more to this film than meets the eye. "Green Zone" is a political war thriller set during the early days of the Iraq War where a lone solider named Roy Miller (Matt Damon) slowly pieces together that the reasons he and his fellow soldiers were sent to Iraq may actually be false. Miller sets off on a mission to exposes the lies behind the   real reasons he was sent to war. "Green Zone” is as intelligent as it is thought provoking it is the kind of film that classics are made from and this film is sure to become a classic in time. What makes "Green Zone" so effective is not who directed it or who wrote it, or who starred in it but how it plays out and how it imparts its message to the moviegoers if you do not feel like there is something else there besides action you leave the movie feeling unfulfilled and disheartened. Wishing you had spent your money on something else except this movie is not that kind of movie. It is the kind of movie that when you walk out your saying "Wow!" instead of "That could of been better.” "Paul Greengrass' intense, bold, and gutsy political action thriller doesn’t pull any punches or any stops in one of the years most under appreciated films.



What I think is most impressive about this film is not its energy but its story the story in a film is one of the many ingredients to a great film and this one has one hell of a story. While some may find the story a little, to familiar and others may just flat out hate it, there may be a few that may find this film fresh, thought provoking and original, which is how I  stand when it comes to this film. "Green  Zone" is an engrossing experience from the  flashy opening scene to the  politically infused climax  Paul Greengrass' tense war drama does not disappoint for a minute and it you never know this film may change how you view the reasons we do go to war.



Matt Damon has always been one of my favorite actors from during his early years up into until only making a few not so great films in between and those are in short supply when it comes to Damon. In "Green Zone" Damon gives a more restrained and emotionally distant performance that he has in the past I can say that it is most like how he played Jason Bourne in the Bourne trilogy and then it is not. Damon's performance is much like how a solider would act very restrained   in control Damon's character Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller is an extremely intelligent character. With Damon as his host the character just seems to flourish under the grit and grim of this film hostile nature and so does Damon. This movie works only because Damon is as capable an actor as he is and if it were anyone else in the part it would not have felt as convincing   or as powerful as it did. It may not be the finest work Damon has done but I can say this it is one of his best performances to date. The rest of the cast including Jason Isaacs, Greg Kinnear, Khalid Abdalla, Brendan Gleeson,   Said Faraj, Antoni Corone, Igal Naor, and Amy Ryan all turn in fantastic supporting performances in this no holds bar thriller.           



Upon its initial  release "Green Zone" fell under heavy controversy for its themes  that the reasons America invaded Iraq  was under false pretenses  concocted by  the C.I.A. Paul Greengrass' film has been called un-American, politically inaccurate  and the list goes on and on and on. However, I don't think that at all  I think "Green Zone" is like  many books  that have controversial themes(naturally I am not going to open that can of worms) it makes a statement and stands before the judge and juror defending it. In this case, the judge being the critics and the juror being the moviegoers, this film was pardon by the judge but was sentenced to two life terms without the chance of parole by the juror. What I mean by that is that this film met with favorable reaction from Critics but did not fare to well with audiences, as it was a massive domestic failure. Only generating 30 million dollars and it did not fare well over seas as well only being able to generate 96 millions dollars worldwide making Paul Greengrass' "Green Zone" a box-office disappoint. “Green Zone" however, comes out a winner despite its failure to generate money this is one hell of a war film and   a movie that deserves to be called great.

4 stars:

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June 24, 2010
I see that you liked this even more than I did and I am quite glad that you did. That chase sequence was real slick and intense. Great review!
June 24, 2010
Thank you very much. And yeah the chase sequence was great it really made me reminiscent of the Bourne film car chases.
More Green Zone reviews
review by . March 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   The war in Iraq. Why exactly did our country ever engage in such a war…weapons of mass destruction? If one remembers, about almost 7 years ago in 2003, then president George W. Bush stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier declaring “mission accomplished” in Iraq. Well, I’ll get right to the point, you may not like director Paul Greengrass’ (The Bourne Ultimatum) and writer Brian Hildeland‘s “Green Zone” if you don’t agree or at …
review by . March 25, 2011
Walking out of a screening of Green Zone I cannot help but feel at a loss. The film is breathe taking and really makes you sit back and think. True this is a film, true it has roots that may hit home on many different levels, and yet on top of being something that is clearly making a statement, one must remember that the film is made for entertainment. We have already had a good number of films made about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars from various points of view. Stop-Loss is about the men and women …
review by . January 30, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: The real soliders that participated     Cons: concept?     The Bottom Line:   "The size of your heart determines who wins.   Modern day life; let the fury begin.   War is hell."  ~The Warriors     In 2010 director Paul Greengrass joined with writer Brian Helegeland to bring us Green Zone, taken from the book "Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone" by Rajiv Chandrasekaran.   …
review by . March 13, 2010
More Like Dead Zone
GREEN ZONE Written by Brian Helgeland Directed Paul Greengrass Starring Matt Damon, Amy Ryan and Greg Kinnear    Freddy: It is not up to you to decide what happens here.    GREEN ZONE marks the third time actor, Matt Damon, has worked with director, Paul Greengrass. Their previous work on the second and third “Bourne” films must have been pretty mind blowing because Damon has since vowed never to reprise the role that brought him international fame unless Greengrass …
Quick Tip by . September 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
While altogether predictable, Green Zone manages to be an engaging thriller nonetheless mainly because of its strong performances. The film boasts a great cast and skilfull direction by Paul Greengrass. The only thing preventing the film itself from being great is the script, which is well-written, but the combination of real life and fiction here doesn't mesh very well and audiences will be left with a fairly disappointing morality lesson that feels fairly contrived. Still, a good thriller. …
review by . June 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
GREEN ZONE is not a great movie, but is a courageous one that boldly steps in front of the audience with some truths that are sobering: WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) never existed, despite their being the rationale for our declaring war on Hussein's Iraq. What novelist Rajiv Chandrasekran ("Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone") from which the movie is adapted, screenwriter Brian Helgeland (LA Confidential, Mystic River, Taking of Pelham 123) and director Paul Greengrass …
Quick Tip by . October 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I found it thought-provoking. Middle son thought it had all been said and done before.
Quick Tip by . August 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I thought this movie had great action for a movie that has been labelled as a political thriller. A well scripted blurring of the lines between fact and fiction may offend some viewers, but makes for an interesting story.
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Liked Matt Damon in this a lot, and it was entertaining with good action scenes. Not amazing per se, but a pretty thrilling ride. Curious what a military / politics buff would think of how they portrayed the WMD issue. Funny thing to look at it in hindsight.. insane that the country could be so mislead.
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Taunt, extremely intelligent and thought provoking "Green Zone" takes the bold and extremely controversial outlines of why American soldiers are still today fighting in Iraq.
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C.R. Lopez ()
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About this movie


Matt Damon reteams with hisBourne Supremacydirector to create a thriller grounded in contemporary politics: the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Damon) travels across war-torn Iraq, pursuing the intelligence he's been given, but every site indicated comes up empty of WMDs. Investigating the source of the intelligence, he finds himself caught between CIA agent Martin Brown (Brendan Gleeson,28 Days Later) and politician Clark Poundstone (Greg Kinnear,Little Miss Sunshine) over the identity of "Magellan," the supposed source. As Miller tracks down an Iraqi general, he ends up further and further afield, facing danger from all sides. It's hard to say which is the greater accomplishment--thatGreen Zonemanages to turn a still-volatile political issue into a propulsive action movie, or that it manages to depict Iraqi people as individuals with a wide range of responses to what's happened to their country. Damon's performance is low-key but effective as Miller tries to maintain some semblance of moral clarity in a circumstance that muddies everything. Also featuring Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone) as a compromised journalist and Khalid Abdalla (The Kite Runner) as an Iraqi civilian who gets dragged into far more than he expected.--Bret Fetzer
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Director: Paul Greengrass
Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: June 22, 2010
Studio: Universal Studios, Universal Pictures
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