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Dirty War (2005)

Murray Corrigan , Helen Schlesinger , Daniel Percival  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

Price: $10.64 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Murray Corrigan, Helen Schlesinger, Ewan Stewart, Koel Purie, Martin Savage
  • Directors: Daniel Percival
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, German, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007R4SXQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,466 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dirty War" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Fanatical terrorists are planning to launch a nuclear attack with a "dirty bomb," a homemade radioactive device, in the heart of London. From Scotland Yard's central command to a Muslim undercover detective, local authorities are operating on high alert while government agents scour the city desperately searching for the source of the threat. Every minute counts in this action-suspense thriller that addresses the question: How prepared are we for the unthinkable?

Dirty War takes a Traffick-like approach to its subject matter: the dirty bomb or RDD (Radiation Dispersal Device). In other words, the goal of this HBO/BBC co-production is realism, not soap opera. Just as Traffick (the miniseries, not the movie) took a global look at the drug war, Dirty War takes a comprehensive look at a terrorist attack. It begins with a London-based drill before moving on to the making of several dirty bombs by Islamic fundamentalists (portrayals counterbalanced by Muslim characters presented in a more positive light). The action continues to alternate between any number of groups, including politicians, the press, and the general public. When the terror cell detonates a bomb in the city center, the movie tracks the aftermath, including the interrogation of a suspect. Dirty War lacks Traffick’s scope, but it does boast some of the excitement of 24 and certainly provides ample food for thought. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead On Target! March 18, 2005
As a fire fighter who has been part of many weapons of mass destruction drills with a large metropolitan fire department, I can tell you that this film portrays a dirty bomb explosion and its aftermath exactly as it would actually happen. It's frightening!

It is a very well made film. The charaters are well played, interesting and believable. The plot moves along at a good pace and is accurate and riveting.

I can't exactly call it "entertaining" because of the subject matter, but it is indeed a film every American should see. This is far scarier than any horror flick I've ever seen..... This could actually happen as portrayed....
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Filmmaking at its informative, political best. April 7, 2005
This film has rightly been compared to the brilliant 1989 series "Traffik." Obviously it cannot reach "Traffik"'s scope in 90 minutes, compared to over five hours. However, there is still the same intelligent approach to a complex issue, without the hysterical melodrama that an American film about the same topic would undoubtedly bring to the issue, like the overwrought "The Day After" did for nuclear war in 1983.

Much of the film reminds me of the compelling 1998 drama "The Siege." However, that film featured big Hollywood stars, necessitating "big dramatic moments" for them to show how well they can emote. There is none of that here.

The performances are uniformly excellent, but there is no lead, and there are no big character moments. We just get a serious look at a fictional attack on The City, London's financial district, from the point of view of the security services, the firemen, the government and the terrorists themselves, who are not portrayed as monsters but as focused, intelligent men with horiffic goals.

The DVD features a great commentary track with the director and his co-writer. Instead of just saying how brilliant each actor is or describing what is happening on screen, as if for the blind, like so many of these tracks, the two of them offer a wealth of information about the making of the film, and their thorough research into the topic. They give a real sense of why they felt a fictional approach was best. It's nearly as good as the film and a worthwhile addition.

It's just a pity HBO didn't include the BBC News discussion special which aired immediately after the film in the UK, "Dirty War: Your Questions Answered." It was much like the special episode of Nightline that aired after "The Day After" in 1983, in which various officials and other commentators debated about the film.

Still, this disc is highly recommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very scary must see February 25, 2005
I just saw this movie on PBS, it's about Islamic fanatical suicide terrorists setting off two "dirty bombs" in central London (a third was caught before setting off his bomb). The plot is very well done, and very scary, but the scariest thing was how clueless the authorities were in handling the aftemath!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Although you might have seen it on HBO first (or PBS second), "Dirty War" is a BBC production that dramatizes terrorists exploding a "dirty bomb" in the middle of London. Also known as a radiological weapon, a "dirty bomb" is simply a conventional explosive (e.g., dynamite) packaged with radioactive material. When the bomb goes off the radioactive material is scattered in a considerably larger radius than the conventional explosion thereby increasing the number of people who become contaminated and could well end up dying. With such things we are not necessarily talking truck bombs because it could be something contained in a brief case. Constructing a nuclear bomb is a complex procedure and stealing one could have its problems. In comparison, getting radioactive material and blowing it up seems a lot easier and therefore a lot more likely. In the Age of Terrorism, a "dirty bomb" is a lot of people's worst fear and "Dirty War" tells a story of how it might play out.

The story begins when Scotland Yard learns from a number of sources that terrorists and materials used in radioactive weapons have entered Great Britain. The race is on for undercover detectives and terrorism experts (Ewan Stewart, Martin Savage and Koel Purie) to find and capture the terrorists before they can detonate one of their devices. Meanwhile, firefighter Murray Corrigan (Alastair Galbraith) is tired of putting up with a civil defense plan that will only be too little, too late. For example, there are not enough contamination suits and nobody can stand to be in one long enough to do even a fraction of what they are supposed to do. Practice drills might be good for propaganda purposes for the public, but the people who have to do these jobs are only getting discouraged, fearful, and angry.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Example of "What if...?" April 24, 2005
Some might accuse this film of fear-mongering, but if that's the case then they've lost sight of what Dirty War truly has to teach us: that a dirty bomb could easily explode in any city around the world and even after September 11 we are still woefully unprepared for it. This is one of the finest films about terrorism to come along in a very long time. It presents, in very stark detail, the affect of a dity bomb attack on a major city like London. What makes this film so great is the way it was made: more like a documentary than a fictional movie. There are times when you actually feel like this is happening. Another great thing about Dirty War is the way it depicts politicans, police officers and Muslims. There are good and bad in all those groups. Often when you see films like this, especially American-made films, they depict the heroes fighting against the evil Muslim terrorists. While that is certainly shown in Dirty War, it also shows good Muslims standing up against the terrorists and lazy politicians who put their country in danger. That kind of well-rounded view is rarely seen in films of this nature. Will this movie scare the heck out of you? Yes, but then we need that now and again to remind ourselves we're still in danger.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good product and service.
Published 2 months ago by Ralph Vines
5.0 out of 5 stars Chillingly real!
Dirty War offers a fictional, but chillingly realistic anatomy of a "dirty" bomb attack on London. Read more
Published 9 months ago by lydia03
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie!! makes you think, keeps your attention
Good movie!! HBO seldom lets you down with their movies and shows.

The movie kept my attention the entire time, and the acting was pretty good (especially the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by ST
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice depiction of dirty bomb going off in the heart of England
I enjoy watching this movie and the acting is pretty good. It felt real and believable how the terrorist cells can be activated and chain of events leading up to the chaos... Read more
Published 15 months ago by scintillator
5.0 out of 5 stars One of HBO Pictures best movies
Back when HBO actually made good movies this is one of their best.Dirty War is relevant for today because of terrorism that is spreading like the Black Death plagues. Read more
Published 16 months ago by M. George
5.0 out of 5 stars Dirty War
A movie that put me on edge;to think the British during A movie on foreigners planning to set off A dirty bomb in the heart of London. Read more
Published 18 months ago by john ward
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Educational Material
Excellent movie showing a possible real-world CBRNE response to a terrorist event, and the intelligence community efforts to try and prevent it and secondary events from happening. Read more
Published 20 months ago by FreeRadical
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
I ordered this movie due to it being a requirement for my Emergency Response class. The movie is about how a dirty bomb goes off in the middle of London and how unprepared the city... Read more
Published 22 months ago by LubaJ08
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Suspenseful Action Movie
We watched this movie last night and were both pleased with how well it held our interest. The movie is well crafted and has an interesting story line. Read more
Published on June 21, 2012 by David Bower
5.0 out of 5 stars WE ARE DOOMED!...
DIRTY WAR is one of the better nuclear terror movies. It uses the city of London, England as the target of a dirty bomb, filled w/ hideous gamma radiation. Read more
Published on December 2, 2011 by Bindy Sue Frřnkünschtein
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