Sunday, December 5, 2010

Green Zone

Paul Greengrass, 2010 (8.4*)
This is another intense action film from terrific director Greengrass, best known for the award-winning docudrama films Bloody Sunday and United 93, and the action adventure Bourne Trilogy with Matt Damon.

The two are reunited here as we follow chief warrant officer Damon in the early days of the U.S. invasion of Iraq leading a special squad on a search of suspected WMD sites. The search keeps coming up empty, which leads Damon to question the validity of their intelligence. When he gets stonewalled, his quest leads him to a CIA field head, played by terrific Irish actor Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges).

Greengrass delicately balances action sequences with plot exposition, using an administration puppet, Greg Kinnear, and a Wall St Journal writer (Susan Lynch) who released articles about WMDs in Iraq, using an internal intel source called Magellan to protect their identity. This becomes a chase film, a nailbiter, and though light on character development, it's strong on plot and action.

Green Zone makes a good companion film to Kathryn Bigelow's best picture of 2009, The Hurt Locker, this one as we invade Baghdad, Locker following a bomb squad after we occupy the city.

Paul Greengrass [photo rt] has won 30 awards for his films so far, most for Bloody Sunday and United 93. IMDB awards page for Greengrass

Note: Roger Ebert gave this film four stars


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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