Green Zone

Film, Thrillers
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Green Zone
Thirty-five years after ‘Network’ and ‘All the President’s Men’, in which journalists told uncomfortable truths and defended democracy, ‘Green Zone’ makes military personnel do the noble work which craven reporters shirk. The only consolation is that the movie is inspired by a work of journalism, Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s ‘Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone’.

Set in Iraq in the months following the 2003 invasion, the film reunites the director and star of ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ and ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’, Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon; this time, however, we already know the details of the underhanded government action our hero confronts. Damon plays an army warrant officer whose WMD sorties keep coming up empty; unwilling to roll over, he’s soon embroiled in a turf war between the CIA and the Pentagon (personified by conscientious Brendan Gleeson and oleaginous Greg Kinnear) while attempting to wrangle a Ba’athist general (Igal Naor), a useful veteran (Said Faraj) and a useless embedded reporter (Amy Ryan) against a backdrop of more-or-less real events.

Greengrass’s approach to real-life disaster is far more simplified and pumped up here than it was in ‘United 93’ or ‘Bloody Sunday’, but there’s much to be said for his ‘Bourne in Baghdad’ approach. The action is robust, the politics simplified but strident, insisting that a wilfully under-prepped war worked against both US and Iraqi interests. By shifting focus from the naively doctrinaire civilians of Chandrasekaran’s book to street-level soldiers questioning authority, Greengrass concocts a formula with a fighting chance of dispelling the Curse of the Hollywood Iraq Movie. If a picture as conventionally accessible as ‘Green Zone’ tanks, that campaign is surely lost.

By: Ben Walters


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday March 12 2010
Duration: 115 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Paul Greengrass
Screenwriter: Brian Helgeland, Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Cast: Matt Damon
Nicoye Banks
Yigal Naor
Said Faraj

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
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There`s an apathy with people today. they either don`t care (as long as it`s not happening to them) are brainwashed or feel there`s nothing they can do. Anyway, I wasn`t impressed with the politics of the film. Oh, the one good American soldier that realises now that it`s all wrong, tries to fix it, but doesn`t really, oh well. All pointless feeling guilty after the event film. Evene the action didn`t grab me as much as the previous Bourne films. And `freddy` because we can`t be arsed to learn his real name since he`s foreign was a `make us feel better` joke. We should all be ashamed as we watch this because it just doing what we have all done - Glossed over the reality of what`s going on today and one day it`ll come back to bite us hard.

A very good thriller, which keeps you gripped throughout. I thought Matt Damon and the other leads were excellent. I preferred the Hurt Locker, but this is still well worth seeing.

Hugely impressive action film from Paul Greengrass Not as tense (and probably won't be as memorable) as his much smaller 'Bloody Sunday' and 'United 93'.Stll,in action terms it's a way better than anything else out there at the moment.

Very enjoyable and plot focused action film with impressive locations and a compelling performance from Matt Damon.


better than hurt locker for sure as it has less loopholes but the story is again about wmds and everything we know -the production and acting is great but the material is rather thin -matt damon continues to improve as an actor -but this is no bourne in final impact

The film works pretty well on two levels. Firstly as a fast moving and punchy action thriller, although I found the camerawork a little too self consciously jerky, and as an example of how US (and UK) government tries to news manage it's war. I wonder if the Iraq enquiry team were invited to the premiere.

You can almost feel the director/producer’s glee in signing Matt Damon for his part - this is more a vehicle for MD than it is an excellent film with twists about the war in Iraq. Having said that, the film highlights how ill prepared the forces were for the war, the confusion over where WMD might be, and how unreliable the intelligence on WMDs was in the first place. . I think I found it difficult to believe how an ordinary sergeant like Miller (MD), could suddenly be trusted with a million dollars, and unofficially be promoted by the CIA to help capture Saddam’s men. But the action’s good, there are lots of explosions, and Matt Damon’s acting is convincing. . The three star rating on this film is accurate. A good evening’s entertainment, but you’re unlikely to walk away saying that you can’t wait for it to be available on DVD.