Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. It's an uncompromising drama, not easy to watch. And it is one of the year's highlights.
  2. Offers a view of war that is anything but epic. Instead of sweeping battles and swooping fighter planes, in Lebanon we are brought into the impossibly claustrophobic world of a lone tank crew.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Dinning
    100
    With luck The Hurt Locker's recent awards haul should draw audiences to this equally intense and actually more brilliant depiction of war. It marks the arrival of a sensational new talent behind the camera and is a debut that deserves to be seen.
  4. It took writer-director Samuel ''Shmulik'' Maoz nearly 30 years to make this disturbing, visceral, personal film.
  5. 100
    A terrifying, absorbing 93 minutes spent in hell. It captures the intensity of warfare in a visceral fashion that recalls Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" and Oliver Stone's "Platoon."
  6. 100
    Not just the year's most impressive first feature but also the strongest new movie of any kind I've seen in 2010.
  7. 100
    Lebanon is not just the name of an excellent new Israeli film, it signifies a continuing national obsession that shows no signs of going away.
  8. 100
    Lebanon is meticulous, nearly clinical in its attention to what happens in war -- specifically what happened in the first days of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 -- but it is also a palpably and intensely personal film.
  9. Never before, not even in the claustrophobic submarine epic "Das Boot," has a physical point of view so completely dictated a philosophical point of view.
  10. 100
    Samuel Maoz drew from his own war experiences to write and direct this searing drama, which ranks alongside "Platoon" and "No Man's Land" as an antiwar statement and recalls the claustrophobic despair of "Das Boot."
  11. 90
    The performances are spot on and so is the film's ever growing sense of horror.
  12. 88
    Harrowing and grueling, Lebanon ends on a gentle, hopeful note.
  13. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    88
    While the title alone may send people into a tizzy, this actually isn't a movie about which side is right or wrong.
  14. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    Lebanon gives us viscerally violent, intensely distressing glimpses into war's annihilation of people, places, and communities.
  15. Although Lebanon is to be congratulated for its bold visual strategy and strong antiwar stance, the film becomes claustrophobic after a while.
  16. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    80
    The emotional traumas of young Israeli soldiers drafted into the war with Lebanon in the 1980s are recounted through the eyes of a tank crew in this wrenching concentration of raw emotion directed by Samuel Maoz.
  17. Very little gets in the way of Lebanon's apocalyptic mood; if it turns its audience even slightly away from barbarism, it might have done its job.
  18. The scoped camerawork is a shrewd tactic; only occasionally does its flat, proscenium effect make the action feel overly staged.
  19. 75
    Lebanon is inspired by the director's traumatic days at the front, giving his work a sense of authority.
  20. As good as the film is in conveying the feeling of the walls closing in, it has to be said that the script won't win any prizes for subtlety - the director seems to relish ham-fisted ironies.
  21. An emotionally powerful if somewhat divided experience. The grimness, the sweat, the panic are there in Saving Private Ryan-level intensity. At the same time, you never entirely lose the sense that the movie is a formal and calculated cinematic exercise, something of an illustrated argument.
  22. 75
    There's a soap opera going on inside that tin can with a cannon.
  23. 75
    Lebanon isn't as resonant as the haunting mix of autobiography and animation in "Waltz with Bashir," which dealt with the same war. Still, the film's fresh craft promises more from a director who turns the tiniest possible of settings into a sobering metaphor for the madness of a larger world.
  24. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    70
    The movie ends powerfully, with a sudden pileup of fright, death and a disconcerting glimpse of beauty. If Lebanon's goal is to keep the viewer on edge and off balance, its final minutes are exemplary.
  25. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    70
    Visceral, torn-from-the-memory filmmaking that packs every punch except one to the heart, Lebanon is the boldest and best of the recent mini-wave of Israeli pics ("Beaufort," "Waltz With Bashir") set during conflicts between the two countries.
  26. Director Samuel Maoz's gripping you-are-there feel does for tanks what "Das Boot" did for submarines, and that chokehold only gets tighter as this taut drama about the 1982 Israeli-Lebanese war goes on.
  27. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Dec 17, 2010
    50
    It's the same fine line that so often separates artfulness and "trying too hard" -- a line that Lebanon tramples all over.
  28. 50
    The film's visceral assault extends to the sledgehammer script, an amassment of unsubtle ironies and war-is-hell clich├ęs that often reduce it to an amateurish theatrical stunt.
  29. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    tbd
    Lebanon works as a disasters-of-war screed, a depiction of men under impossible stress and, politics aside, a taut, agonizing thriller. You'll want to see this salutary, unrelentingly claustrophobic nightmare.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 3 out of 8
  1. Aug 8, 2011
    1
    Horrible horrible tankers.. As far as a film goes I may not know but I am a Combat Veteran (As a Ranger with 3rd Bn, not in a tank) and I know those guys were horrible as soldiers. The gunner should have been dragged out and shot in the head by his commander after he refused to fire at the first truck which cost the life of his fellow soldier. The entire crew cared only about themselves and nothing else. There was no loyalty, discipline, respect.. Nothing... The gunner looks at nothing but pictures and faces, does not scan the area, does not cover his unit, does nothing to protect the guys on the ground or even attempt to do his job. There is nothing but **** and whining all around and everyone in that tank never should have been in one to begin with. They all deserved to die and I say that because you either do your job and work together to get everyone home as best you can or you fail yourself and everyone around you by caring for nothing but yourself. It has nothing to do with politics or reasoning, just each other and they failed 100% when it came down to that simple fact. Full Review »
  2. utm
    Feb 9, 2011
    9
    It's oddly refreshing to see a war story where the combatants are not these seasoned, fearless, war heroes who eat grenades and kill people with throwing knives 4 miles away. This movie will not so gently remind you that war is fought by kids who are often in an army they don't want to be in, following orders they don't understand (or believe in), killing people they don't know, and dying for people who will never come face to face with the enemy. The clumsiness of the movie, and the seeming lack of direction only exemplifies the confusion of men who are not given clear orders, a clear map, or a clear objective. They are lost and confused, just like any of you would be in a situation so obscure and foreign. The director's (or producer's) choice to film this ONLY through the eyes of the men in the tank is brilliant. Watch it! And think about it. Full Review »
  3. Jan 31, 2011
    2
    If those four guys in the tank are representative of the typical IDF soldier, Israel must fear for its survival. They look at dead animals and start to cry. If I were one of those paratroopers, I would opt to walk BEHIND the tank, for fear the gunner would accidentally fire a grenade...at me ! The problem with this move is: it is way too slow. There is too much reflection, it kills the intensity. Full Review »