An idealistic professor (Redford), a charismatic U.S. Senator (Cruise) and a probing TV journalist (Streep) have opposing viewpoints about the actions of our nation and the attitudes of its citizens. But the human consequences of war become chillingly clear for two of the professor's former students, who find themselves trapped behind enemy lines, fighting for freedom... and their very lives.
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Top Customer Reviews
This movie is complex in the sense that it didn't provide a neatly summarized and easily digestible answer to what is a very complicated question, mortality (i.e., how to get the best value out of ones life).
By interweaving the different plots it conveyed a contrast that couldn't have been accomplished otherwise.
But most importantly, this movie is about choices. Whether your a journalist who realizes you are doing a disservice to your profession by going along to get along, or whether you're a student that finds comfort in being cynical as opposed to buckling down to change things for the better or perhaps if you choose to put your safety in harms way for the greater good, these are all choices that may not fit easily in one's comfort zone. Tough choices indeed, and as such should not be expected to be dealt with cavalierly.
This movie made its point abundantly clear. Which is to say, we all have a part to play in making the world a better place. We just need to determine which is the best way for us to do our respective part.
Three scenarios interweave (at times a bit bumpy in the editing, and at times a bit distracting): adamantly pro-war Republican Senator Irving (Tom Cruise) is interviewed by veteran 'thinking' journalist Janine Roth (Meryl Streep) and each defends/attacks the current strategy of the war in Iraq (Irving is taking calls about the latest 'expansion' into Afghanistan); Professor Malley (Robert Redford) tries to resurrect a sense of involvement in a student Todd Hayes (Andrew Garfield) once bright but now sinking into the apathy of living the good life; ex-students of Professor Malley - Arian Finch (Derek Luke) and Ernesto Rodriguez (Michael Peña) - have committed to the idea of acting for change and have ended up being dropped in Afghanistan in the very 'new' war Senator Irving is addressing. By stirring these three approaches to the manner in which the public is currently addressing the war in Iraq in a concurrent conversation, the film involves the viewer in the crossfire of apathy and misinformation that come from failed education, faulty governmental intervention and the media sellout to get ratings.Read more ›
If, on the other hand, the idea of witty back-and-forth on issues very germane in this day and age does not make you want to run back to Seinfeld reruns, here's a taut script packed to the gunnel with some gloriously insouciant dialogue.
We follow three separate strands of it. Tom Cruise plays a presidential hopeful (but, in customary irony, he emphatically denies ever wanting to be one) who has engineered a secret new war strategy to tame the new kind of enemy that lurks overseas. The dubiously labeled "forward operating points", we learn. He announces this ever so speciously to a veteran reporter, played by Meryl Streep. Two soldiers, played superbly by Michael Peña and Derek Luke, implement those new orders and land in serious peril. That's the second thread with actual combat action. In parallel, Redford completes the trifecta as a political science professor in "a California university", down but not out by the apathy of students, trying to galvanize one of them who is drifting from studies.
All talk and no play could make Jack a dull boy. But Redford's assured direction has the clip and the pizazz to make the static seem kinetic. Streep and Cruise electrify simple banter about popularity polls and botched invasions that feel like they took place last month. There's a liberal dollop (pun intended) of wit and erudition to her talk.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I usually am not a fan of these types of movies, but I found this one fantastic. I made my wife, my parents and her parents watch it.Published 17 days ago by Matthias Opitz
THOUGHT PROVOKING GREAT MOVIE...BUT AMERICANS SELDOM THINK AND VOTE FOR THE BUSH FAMILYPublished 1 month ago by ROBERT R. FOWLER
This film is a relatively well developed story with a political agenda. The message clearly promotes political activism, which is needed since our politicians do work for the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Daniel Fullmer
Beware of the oligarchy and the neocons. But, especially distrust those who promise you something free that you did not pay for nor earn.Published 4 months ago by virginia d
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