Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

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  • Summary: June, 1982 - The First Lebanon War. A lone tank and a paratroopers platoon are dispatched to search a hostile town - a simple mission that turns into a nightmare. The four members of a tank crew find themselves in a violent situation that they cannot contain. Motivated by fear and the basic instinct of survival, they desperately try not to lose themselves in the chaos of war. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. 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.
  2. It took writer-director Samuel ''Shmulik'' Maoz nearly 30 years to make this disturbing, visceral, personal film.
  3. It's an uncompromising drama, not easy to watch. And it is one of the year's highlights.
  4. Although Lebanon is to be congratulated for its bold visual strategy and strong antiwar stance, the film becomes claustrophobic after a while.
  5. The scoped camerawork is a shrewd tactic; only occasionally does its flat, proscenium effect make the action feel overly staged.
  6. 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.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    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.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 3 out of 8
  1. Aug 12, 2010
    Ganadora del Leon de Oro en Venecia 2009, la opera prima de ficción del casi cuarentón Samuel Maoz, es una intensa y claustrofóbica cinta bélica cuya acción ocurre, casi en toda la hora y media de duración de la película, en el interior de un chirriante, caluroso, asfixiante, tanque de guerra. De hecho, cuando la cámara se digna ver hacia el exterior, lo hace precisamente sólo a través de los ojos de los personajes que ven a través de la mira del tanque. Lo que ven ellos es lo que vemos nosotros y no es nada agradable: destrucción, violencia, caos y muertos. Muchos muertos: cadáveres, cadáveres y más cadáveres.
    El interior, filmado por Giora Bejach, no es más alentador: se trata de una interminable sucesión de primeros planos en la que no vemos más que rostros deformados por el miedo, el horror, la ira, el desconcierto. El tanque, además, parece tener vida propia: los sonidos del aparato no cesan, el aceite gotea continuamente, el vapor sale de todos los rincones... A ratos parece que estamos en un filme de horror y no en uno de guerra. ¿O será que la guerra es el único, auténtico, horror?
    La cinta inicia el 6 de junio de 1982, el primer día de la guerra en Líbano. En el tanque de marras van cuatro soldados con nula experiencia bélica: el comandante Assi, el conductor Yigal, el disparador Schmulik y el renegado Hertzel. Ninguno de los cuatro sabe bien a bien lo que tienen que hacer, las órdenes recibidas por el radio son oscuras y las milicias falangistas que, se supone, están del lado suyo, muy pronto queda evidente que no podía interesarle menos la suerte de esos atemorizados veinteañeros que fungen como víctimas pero también -y eso Maoz lo deja muy claro- como victimarios.
    Maoz, veterano de esa guerra precisamente, ha realizado un filme bélico impresionante. En él no hay heroicidad de ningún tipo porque es claro que nadie puede reclamar el papel de héroe en el interior de un temible monstruo de hierro como en el que avanzan los cuatro soldados. Pero aunque estuvieran afuera: la guerra es la misma, el horror es igual y la muerte los cubre a todos.
  2. Oct 1, 2010
    Really an outstanding presentation of war and the sudden moment when human skin is seen as either filthy or absolutely clean (I know I'm being obscure, but see the movie). Unfortunately it lasted only one week here in Naples, FL - so grab it when it comes through town - it won't last long, unlike the conflict it portrays. Expand
  3. utm
    Feb 9, 2011
    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. Expand
  4. Jun 8, 2011
    Lebanon is claustrophobic; it is the Armyâ
  5. Jan 31, 2011
    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 me ! The problem with this move is: it is way too slow. There is too much reflection, it kills the intensity. Expand
  6. Nov 30, 2010
    Comparing this movie to "Full Metal Jacket" or "Platoon" is a travesty. This is a movie about taking 4 sissies and putting them in a tank. I was glad when it ended. Collapse
  7. Aug 8, 2011
    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. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews


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