Movie Reviews Green Zone
Universal Studios may be attempting to market Green Zone as another thriller akin to the Bourne movies that director Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon made together, but reviewers make it clear that this thriller is filtered through politics -- and anti-Iraq War politics at that. Likewise, the critics' own point of view about the war comes into play in their judgment of the film's merits. Rarely have there been such widely divergent reviews. On the one hand, Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gives the movie a four-star recommendation, concluding, "It's my belief that the nature of the neocon evildoing has by now become pretty clear. Others will disagree. The bottom line is This is one hell of a thriller." One of those who disagrees is Kyle Smith, a film reviewer for the New York Post, who wrote an Op-Ed article in the newspaper earlier this week calling it a "$100-million slime job" filled with "vicious anti-American lies disguised as cheap entertainment." Green Zone , he concluded, "isn't cinema. It's slander ... one of the most egregiously anti-American movies ever released by a major studio." Oddly the "official" review of the movie appearing today (Friday) is written by Smith's colleague, Lou Lumenick, who concludes, "Politics aside and purely as a piece of genre moviemaking, Green Zone is a solid example of a political paranoia thriller." And Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle remarks that the filmmakers "squeeze out a convincing narrative, one that's gripping and suspenseful." But Claudia Puig in USA Today disagrees. "It takes a complex and important story and renders it facile," she writes. And Liam Lacey in the Toronto Globe and Mail goes further, calling the movie "a crude paint-by-numbers fiction that keeps yelling about the importance of the truth while hurtling in the opposite direction."