Green Zone

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 219 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 219

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User Reviews

  1. Sep 25, 2011
    6
    The movie is realistically constructed compared to those war movies that spent millions of dollars with famed stars labeled in it. But problem with "Green Zone" is, they take things too seriously.
  2. Aug 7, 2013
    4
    What happened to the smart intelligent adaptation of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, which we were promised? Not here I can tell you that. Instead of a critical examination of the role of civilian leadership in the reconstruction of Baghdad, we get a rah-rah-rah, there is no WMD in Iraq and we've all been duped! No look at Matt Damon act passionate and champion a cause after it isWhat happened to the smart intelligent adaptation of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, which we were promised? Not here I can tell you that. Instead of a critical examination of the role of civilian leadership in the reconstruction of Baghdad, we get a rah-rah-rah, there is no WMD in Iraq and we've all been duped! No look at Matt Damon act passionate and champion a cause after it is already mainstream. This isn't analysis of the political leanings of the film or cast, rather this is an outline of the plot structure. Formulaic and so overtly black and white that it is cringe worthy. Their is no moral grey, the bad guys are simply bad guys and the good guys have no moral flaw, beyond "they're too just!". The characters are so cookie cutter that you can't root for the good guys and the bad guys are so generic that you don't care if they get away with it or are killed. The resolution of the film is empty, because it so blatantly puts an oversimplified message ahead of a good story and characterization. That is the biggest problem in the film, by taking a political non-fiction book and turning it into a fictional military 'thriller' that is heavy handed in its message it loses all meaning and turns you away from caring. Where a subtle hand was needed, we got a megaphone wielding wacko screaming from the roofs. Expand
  3. Dec 18, 2012
    5
    Green Zone is essentially what you find in the Bourne films with an underwhelming and heavy-handed script. The action and direction is solid, but political agenda is misplaced.
  4. JoeS
    Mar 15, 2010
    5
    This Matt Damon's worst movie ever for me I think when people go to see it they may be disapointed, I was, I went in there thinking it was going to be a whole different genre and had come out of it thinking that's not what I was expecting at all .
  5. RingoS
    Mar 14, 2010
    6
    It's like Greengrass is trying to shoot this movie from a kayak. Enough with the wobbly camera, Paul! This technique has had its day. It's understandable in the 'Cops' TV show, but let's get back to trying to explain stuff happening on the screen instead of going for the 'you are there' effect. Greengrass's Bourne movies, while great, were hurt by It's like Greengrass is trying to shoot this movie from a kayak. Enough with the wobbly camera, Paul! This technique has had its day. It's understandable in the 'Cops' TV show, but let's get back to trying to explain stuff happening on the screen instead of going for the 'you are there' effect. Greengrass's Bourne movies, while great, were hurt by this silly camera ploy. It's film-student-esque. Anyway, the rest of the movie is good--plot, acting and action. I still recommend it. Expand
  6. DavidP.
    Mar 22, 2010
    5
    Live Review! Alright, the opening scenes were pretty well done...great use of sparse visuals to convey the chaos of the beginning of the war. Script not so much...very heavy handed. Ok, this is getting pretty silly. Action is well done, and the direction continues to impress. Very reminiscent of director's other work. However, the script is soooo weak. It seems like it's trying Live Review! Alright, the opening scenes were pretty well done...great use of sparse visuals to convey the chaos of the beginning of the war. Script not so much...very heavy handed. Ok, this is getting pretty silly. Action is well done, and the direction continues to impress. Very reminiscent of director's other work. However, the script is soooo weak. It seems like it's trying to boil all the problems about the war down to a few archetypal characters: the cynical old expert that no one listens to anymore, the close minded younger administrator that refuses to see the big picture, the crusading grunt that follows the good no matter where it leads...none of these people are developed as...people. Everyone does a pretty good job with what they have to work with, however. I think we are sliding further and further out of reality. This film is certainly no "Hurt Locker." It is more fun, to be sure. The "truth about WMD" is the apparent heart of the story, which everyone watching this film already knows, and this might be the weakest link in the film, from a strictly 'thriller' standpoint. 1:11:00 into the film and Bush is declaring victory. It's these moments that pull you out of the fantasy of the 'thriller' aspect of the film and remind you that what it's using for fodder is a war that cost thousands of American and allied and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, and to accomplish a completely imaginary goal . Not a plus for getting lost in the story, which continues to be heavy handed and rushed. Good scene between Damon and Iraqi General character. However, the narrative which has been slowly shifting from WMD to the beginning of the insurgency is unfortunately lacking in lots of elements, attempting to blame the coming violence on debathification and the disbanding of the military alone. This is a gross oversimplification, and if you are trying to inject a message into your action film, you are going to have to be judged by the message as much as the action. Ok, the film's over, and here's my verdict. The direction was great, and the actors all put in good performances. The story was very spotty. The weighty message of the film seemed to be "America wanted the war and duped it's own military into fighting it for spurious reasons." This story has been told much better and much more honestly by filmmakers and media alike. I suppose if you enjoy your talking points with explosions and chase scenes, then this film is definitely your cup of tea, assuming you agree with said talking points. I enjoy a good thriller and I enjoy a good exposé but mixing the two very rarely succeeds, and this film is no exception. Expand
  7. RobertP
    Mar 26, 2010
    5
    So-so movie. So many guns & ammo & explosions that you'd think Tarentino directed,. Didn't expect much & wasn't disappointed. So wait for the DVD.
  8. JohnR
    Mar 13, 2010
    6
    Action packed, but plot was predictable to the point of near boredom. See it at a theater, at least that makes a night of it. Not sure who the bad guys were/are.
  9. DJR
    Mar 14, 2010
    5
    The action and drama mixed with Damon's "Bourne" experience saved this film. The overpowering liberal agenda was a bit too much to stomach at times. Would have liked to see a little less politics and a little more action. Camera work was a little overdone as well with too much shaking at times to try to draw in that documentary affect, which fell short. Overall this movie was a ploy The action and drama mixed with Damon's "Bourne" experience saved this film. The overpowering liberal agenda was a bit too much to stomach at times. Would have liked to see a little less politics and a little more action. Camera work was a little overdone as well with too much shaking at times to try to draw in that documentary affect, which fell short. Overall this movie was a ploy for a liberal hollywood writer trying to take a stab at the right wing and in doing so fell rather short of making a spectacular film. Expand
  10. BitBurn
    May 22, 2010
    5
    Here's the thing, as an action/thriller it is brilliant. But I just can't ignore the fact that the suffering of Iraqi civilians, the bullshit war on terror and Bush's inexistent WMP is being turned into a Hollywood movie script for our entertainment.
  11. halb
    Jun 25, 2010
    6
    Overall, a big disappointment. I found myself oddly detached throughout all the herky-jerky action sequences... and there's no one you're really rooting for here, except maybe for the Iraqi translator (Freddy). A highly simplistic (dumbed down) take on the whole 'where were the WMD?' question... An a hugely naive closing scene.
  12. Aug 14, 2010
    5
    Paul Greengrass is a man youâ
  13. Oct 16, 2010
    5
    Matt Damon's performance was very good but the movie, overall, was pretty bad. The plot was slow-paced, boring and the action was unrealistic. I expected much more of this movie.
  14. Nov 25, 2010
    5
    This movie was disappointing. The anti war message was overused and heavy handed. The combat scenes were boring and inaccurate. This film had a lot of potential and could have been much better.
  15. May 24, 2011
    6
    Always going to be compared with the Bourne movies and unfortunately it does not hold up. On its own merits its not a bad movie, plenty of drama, plenty of action but it never quite makes the jump up to the great movie state. Damon is believable but not outstanding and there's good support from the rest of the cast.
  16. Feb 29, 2012
    5
    Green Zone makes for an intermittently entertaining conspiracy-based war film. Like all of Paul Greengrass's work, it looks great, the audience is dragged right into the heart of the action, and the hellish images of war-torn Iraq are quite effective. The cast's performances are relatively decent, but by no means exceptional. The only one who really stands out is Khalid Abdalla, who playsGreen Zone makes for an intermittently entertaining conspiracy-based war film. Like all of Paul Greengrass's work, it looks great, the audience is dragged right into the heart of the action, and the hellish images of war-torn Iraq are quite effective. The cast's performances are relatively decent, but by no means exceptional. The only one who really stands out is Khalid Abdalla, who plays "Freddie", an Iraqi ex-soldier and amputee who helps Chief Miller (Damon) to unravel the mystery as to why intelligence on WMD is so unreliable, and why the US went to war in the first place. Abdalla's performance is head-and-shoulders above the rest of the cast - it's complex, emotional and moving. Where Green Zone fails is in its writing, and in the fact that for a political thriller, it has a surprising lack of thrills. While Brian Helgeland's screenplay is perfectly reasonable on face value, it simply isn't brave or clever enough. Instead of having the courage to point the finger of blame for the Iraq War at the real culprits, Helgeland instead chooses to substitute real-world villains with Hollywood creations (Greg Kinnear's morally dubious Pentagon man and Jason Isaacs' brutal handlebar-moustached spec ops commander). While I understand the need for dramatic licence to make a film work as a piece of entertainment (it is not, after all, an informative documentary) I don't understand how Kinnear and Issacs' characters turned out so dull. The real masterminds behind the Iraq war, the politicians that duped us all into thinking there was some sort of justification behind invading Iraq are far more interesting characters than these screen creations, and ultimately far more evil. If only Greengrass and Helgeland had the courage to say something really divisive about the Iraq War, rather than just re-affirming what we already know, that the WMD intelligence was made up, a convenient excuse for toppling an oppressive dictatorship. Even with this unremarkable underlying message, the film could have still stood out if had a decent plot, something to rival the truly great Hollywood conspiracy thrillers. Unfortunately, the story is simple and linear, and you can see the only major twist a mile off. Technically, Green Zone is flawless, and you really feel like you're going into Baghdad with the American soldiers, and living and fighting alongside them - Greengrass is a master of establishing, then maintaining a particular tone in his films. The high-quality cast all do their job, but the only one to really stand out is the excellent Khalid Abdalla, and the filmmakers' characterisation can come across as a little lazy. Greenzone's main problem is that it has not approached its highly controversial subject matter with enough commitment or bravery - nothing new is said, and it doesn't leave you thinking at the end, just non-plussed. Paul Greengrass's latest film is competent but uninspired, diverting but not memorable - in short, nothing special. His Bourne films had far more to say about evil politicians, shady military operations and human rights infringement than Green Zone ever does. Expand
  17. Sep 25, 2011
    6
    The message and central theme to this movie is one that needs to be told but unfortunately Green Zone's execution of its important messages is lacking. Green Zone looks great and is decently acted but is a little dull and predictable. Perhaps the story lacks the depth and impact to the war in Iraq and how tragic the war really is but in the end the film is ok and worth watching but wont beThe message and central theme to this movie is one that needs to be told but unfortunately Green Zone's execution of its important messages is lacking. Green Zone looks great and is decently acted but is a little dull and predictable. Perhaps the story lacks the depth and impact to the war in Iraq and how tragic the war really is but in the end the film is ok and worth watching but wont be too memorable. Expand
  18. Aug 24, 2012
    6
    An intelligent film which tries to realistically portray the issues around the current war in the Middle East. It's a well thought-out film with a great actor and director who have obvious chemistry, especially when producing these similar military-based films. Perhaps just a little bit more action was required to make this a truly great film.
  19. Mar 6, 2013
    6
    As a Middle Eastern, the only thing I liked and appreciated about the movie is how true and detailed almost everything was said about IRAQ in that period of time. It was an okay and kinda boring action movie.
  20. Feb 13, 2015
    5
    Green Zone works well as a war thriller, caught up with major real life conflicts. But, the pace is slow, the writing is dull, and that makes for a longer experience than usual. Director Paul Greengrass throws everything at it, to make viewers grasp its attention, but by that time, it's too late. Greengrass, who brought us the brilliant Captain Philips and the Bourne movies, comes up withGreen Zone works well as a war thriller, caught up with major real life conflicts. But, the pace is slow, the writing is dull, and that makes for a longer experience than usual. Director Paul Greengrass throws everything at it, to make viewers grasp its attention, but by that time, it's too late. Greengrass, who brought us the brilliant Captain Philips and the Bourne movies, comes up with a dull, lukewarm thriller about the chemical ramblings in Pakistan. Matt Damon, does well with what he is given. But not much is given. If you expect action, there are a few scenes, that do well to get your attention. But by then, you're already asleep. Expand
  21. Jan 1, 2015
    5
    A pretty average action movie. Obviously made in Matt Damons stardom of the Bourne Trilogy, but trying to be more blockbuster. It's story is typical and predictable, and sure Matt Damon does a good job as his character but the performances as a whole are pretty "meh". The film is simply this: is a typical middle eastern war film that doesn't bring anythinf special other than Matt Damon. AA pretty average action movie. Obviously made in Matt Damons stardom of the Bourne Trilogy, but trying to be more blockbuster. It's story is typical and predictable, and sure Matt Damon does a good job as his character but the performances as a whole are pretty "meh". The film is simply this: is a typical middle eastern war film that doesn't bring anythinf special other than Matt Damon. A pretty easily missable film. Expand
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Dec 14, 2010
    100
    An expensive flop and the latest Iraq movie to be shunned by the mass audience, Green Zone was still the year's most visceral, thrilling entertainment.
  2. 63
    Miller's wake-up call is meant to be ours. Too little and too late? Maybe. But even in this Bourne Zone, Damon and Greengrass haven't shirked their duty to enlighten and entertain.
  3. For a while Green Zone generates genuine excitement, as well as plenty of provocation--a fatuous surrogate for Ahmed Chalabi, a pervasive scorn for American planning--but then goes off its own reservation into a won't-fly zone of awkward preachments and hapless absurdities.