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VINE VOICEon July 25, 2010
I'm glad I finished the movie and made it past the opening jittery hand held camera action scene. Matt Damon is an amazing actor and despite his good looks is believable as "Chief". Chief is a warrant officer on the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Chief gets caught in a situation of having to decide to just do his job or do what is right. If you can put aside the politics and view this film not as a message film, but entertaining and thought provoking, it's great! A fast paced action film that entertains and highlights underlying ethical issues. It shows enough of the human side of various characters and their sides to allow you to empathize with all the positions. The film does an excellent job of slowly unveiling the complexity of the issues. It makes it clear there are no easy answer. Yet the film ends with a simple conclusion for Chief's part of the story and lets hang the complexity and chaos of the larger problems.
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on October 15, 2015
The truth behind our involvement in Iraq is not pretty, but it must be told. I was wounded in combat in Vietnam while serving with the 9th Infantry Division. Lots of lies were told about that war and the path to invading Iraq in 2003 was no different. Respect and my deep appreciation go to all who contributed to this glimpse at "the man behind the curtain." The road to war is (in more ways than one) a Yellow Brick Road (war profits for the military/industrial complex which runs our nation).
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on July 10, 2010
The best scene in "Green Zone" is the first one: As the United States' "Shock and Awe" campaign grips Baghdad in 2003, an Iraqi general named Al Rawi, standing in the equivalent of a throne room, scribbles a final furious note before he's whisked away to safety. In the midst of this bombing, a plot seems to be forming. What is it? The general's party drives into the night, and director Paul Greengrass pulls back his camera to reveal the city under siege, as thin, orange spears of fire with gray mushroom tops dot the landscape, a few luxury trucks and cars skittering to some underground location.

It's a moment worthy of "Apocalypse Now," crossed with the political intrigue Greengrass captures with a journalist's detail. Amidst chaos - a story is afoot.

But what follows is an action movie in grad school loafers, packed to the gills with "authentic," technocratic details rushing across the lens of Greengrass' camera. "Green Zone" has a point in mind - that the U.S. government made up evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to invade the country and impose an America-friendly democracy in the Middle East - and the perfect liberal, All-American actor to carry out the mission in Matt Damon. In other words, it is a eight-minute read in the Sunday New York Times stretched out to two hours and populated with guns, helicopters, chases and Damon playing a Commando Will Hunting, a know-it-all gleam in his eyes.

Which isn't a problem if Greengrass had chosen to create a visual commentary that mirrored the movie's opening scene and stood apart from Brian Helgeland's screenplay, rather than running two inches off Damon's tail for the entire film. Or perhaps it's Helgeland heeling at the feet of Greengrass, who got to shoot this vanity project in exchange for considering to direct the fourth "Bourne" picture. Either way, it's another news story playing Iraqi War games, with a fantasy epilogue that frankly undercuts the enormity of America's con - if so you're inclined to believe there was one. "Green Zone" has not a moment of irony or levity - just cool, camo-colored outrage.

Damon is Roy Miller, a Chief Warrant Officer looking for WMD. We see a search raid complicated by looting; the unit finds nothing but pigeon poop. The intelligence is wrong, Miller announces during a briefing for a visiting general, who doesn't know or particularly care. But CIA agent Martin Brown (Brendan Gleeson, miscast) pulls Miller aside and hands him his card. Later, he'll recruit Miller for a mission to capture Al Rawi (Igor Naor) - one of Saddam Hussein's most brutal generals. But not to torture him.

Miller traces the WMD puzzle to a conflicted Wall Street Journal reporter (Amy Ryan) and finally some Bush administration lackey named Clark Poundstone, played by Greg Kinnear as one of those annoyed think-tank nerds who operates in a vacuum of buzz words and political ideals despite the war unfolding in front of him. Like most movies set during the second Iraq War, "Green Zone" supplies Miller with an Arabic sidekick, this one named Freddy (Khalid Abdulla), who serves as the "conscience of Iraq," interjecting mirthless platitudes about Iraqi self-determination. He's an essentially a gun that been introduced onstage; eventually, you know he'll go off.

"Green Zone" is complex, but not mysterious; we know where Miller is headed, and so do the characters in the movie, creating a kind of split-second photo finish. At times Greengrass presents military tracking technology as omniscient beyond reason; urban warfare is not really the video game the climax suggests. Damon proved during the "Bourne" trilogy that he's up for the physical challenge, but his Miller is irascible and smug in emotionally. His final salvo, via email, is followed by a shot of him looking resolute while riding off in the desert; it's patently ridiculous, given what's in that email - and what faces him when he returns from patrol.

On-location shoots in Spain, Morocco and England drove the film's budget to $100 million; Greengrass will be lucky to recoup half of that despite peddling ads during the Super Bowl. The movie was box-office poison, to the chagrin of some critics, and the delight of political conservatives. Commercial and critical considerations should rarely merge; indeed, they're often locked in a zero-sum game. But "Green Zone" belongs to a growing subset of war films rejected almost in reflex by moviegoers, who are unwilling to fork over a ten spot for a current affairs lesson. Funny, fickle folks that they are - they happen to be right about "Green Zone, which claims thriller status but, stripped down, is nothing more than a scolding. Whether America's earned a tongue lashing is no longer at question; rather - is there any great usefulness (or entertainment) in repeatedly seeing it?
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on August 9, 2015
Although a good action film, and sets the tension between political agenda and operational reality, the film is clearly an anti-American, anti-war film. It reveals the politics of the actors and producer/director. If they could only present the same intensity in the revealing of Islamists using children for bomb carriers, and the beheading of innocents, they might have made a better moral statement. As it is, one is left with a another movie with an agenda. The part I empathize with is an individual, a senor warrant officer, set against the backdrop of political expediency. I'll take the boots on the ground any time!
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on February 20, 2015
I am former U.S. Gov't. and have monitored this very same issue with the WMD's and this film was very timely.
The Political types are the one's that cause the problems and the American Public needs to take back the reigns of Power.
There is already enough secrecy in an "alleged" Transparent Government.
I too and also a Whistle-blower and I can relate to this movie very much and what choices this character Matt Damon plays.
Matt Damon is a very capable actor and one of the best compared to many others. His movies are some of the best and a great investment.
See the Jason Bourne series.......
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on January 21, 2013
So, in 2010, who among us didn't know that we found no WMD in Iraq? Wasn't it some number close to ZERO? So why make a movie about it, or rather, about the search for WMD?

I so wished the movie had focused more on the bizarre activities described in Rajiv Chandrasekaran's book. Although the film did provide glimpses of it (the pool scene for example), they stood out there with no support, leaving an average viewer to brush it off with little thought. Had more been done in this area I believe at least a morsel of knowledge would have transferred to show how royally screwed up the US Government was then and still is.

Unfortunately we end up with another typical war flick featuring "the lonely rogue soldier doing the right thing" character, "the sole leader who is on his side" character, "the evil administration" guy, on and on. Oh, I forgot---how DID this movie end?? Oh I remember---they didn't find WMD in Iraq.

I can find no criticism of Matt Damon here. He plays these parts as good as anyone, and this is no exception. I can't fault the director Paul Greengrass much either. He did a great job bringing war into our laps (although I will have to add my vote for too much much jiggling of the camera). I thought the backdrop excellent throughout too...colorless, dirty, war-torn towns...this is the Iraq I picture when thinking of that era.

Green Zone is a well done botched opportunity. Although entertaining, it is definitely NOT a must see.
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on February 23, 2015
A very good production, indicating what might have happened or maybe really did happen with WMD media misrepresentation. Matt Damon is a very professional actor and very believable in his portrayal of a concerned officer and the tasks assigned to him and his men. Watched this presentation twice to gain the true flavor of the movie.
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on March 27, 2014
First, I'm a Matt Damon fan,and enjoy his acting and his style in just about anything. This movie is perfect in just about every way (acting, character portrayals, atmosphere, costuming, dialog,etc.) The actors, from America and in, Iraq, were flawless. From the moment that the movie opens, you know something important is going on and you want to find out what it is, why it is and how the problem will be resolved. As usual, Damon does a find job showing the audience what is wrong and why with his mannerisms (facial expression, the way he walks, listens, etc.) and his response to the situations that he finds himself in. This move is highly recommended.
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on September 11, 2014
Well made film as you would expect from a Matt Damon film. Interesting to try and guess how much of the tech gear they use is real or fiction. Only draw back is the politics of the war is to invasive for my taste. As a action film its a 4.5 star add the politics and drops it to about a 3 star. so if you can turn off your thinking part of your brain and just enjoy a fictional action movie you will be pleased.
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on May 19, 2013
The combination of Director Greengrass and Mr. Damon has always been a stellar combination...but Green Zone puts them
in Iraq and even though there are guns and fighting etc etc...was rather boring.
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