Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 30
  2. Negative: 4 out of 30
  1. De Palma's screenplay is outstanding, and he draws wonderfully naturalistic performances from his youthful cast.
  2. 88
    The result of the film is shocking, saddening and frustrating.
  3. 75
    De Palma is extreme, visceral, usually in bad taste but almost always riveting. De Palma's Redacted, a no-budget fake documentary that imagines the circumstances behind a real rape and murder of a civilian girl committed by US troops in Iraq, is a piece of anti-war propaganda whose aims I don't agree with, but it jolted me nonetheless.
  4. It isn't elegiac, but enraged. It doesn't look back with sorrow, but forward in dread. And it's made with a clear intention - to stop the Iraq war.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    75
    The film is by turns strident, obvious, righteously angry and inspired.
  6. Love it, hate it, but be sure to watch it, because this odd and disturbing picture is as different as the war it reflects, and that difference is vast enough to seem profound.
  7. 75
    Redacted is a bristling act of protest that obliterates a target it isn't aiming for.
  8. He intercuts documentary sequences from a French news crew and also includes Arab website footage of insurgents and YouTube confessions from soldiers who witnessed a barbarous act, which we also see, involving the platoon and a young Iraqi girl. The concept is audacious but the actors are too theatrical.
  9. Anyone who sees the suffering faces of the victims in "Casualties" and "Redacted" knows that De Palma not only despairs over what he’s showing us but implicates his own medium--his own male gaze--in the crimes against nature.
  10. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    Redacted pretty successfully sustains a dual level of hysteria (in its content) and disinterest (in its film-long framing devices). It's an amazingly vigorous work for a filmmaker who turns 67 on Sept. 11... The movie is a cry of national shame; for De Palma, it's a new badge of honor for a wily old vet.
  11. 70
    Redacted is hell to sit through, but I think De Palma is bravely trying to imagine his way inside an atrocity, and that he’s onto something powerful with his multisided approach.
  12. Despite its shortcomings, Redacted is nevertheless a film brimming with spontaneity and fury, and in a season of often-ambiguous films about the war in Iraq, there is a lot to be said for this kind of combustible energy.
  13. 67
    As a manipulator of images and emotions, De Palma has few equals, and this is his most gripping film in at least a decade. Viewed simply as cinema and not as political rhetoric, it's often a kick in the guts -- even when it makes you roll your eyes.
  14. Under De Palma's cool disconnection is an anger, and it's this anger that drives his act of political theater.
  15. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    63
    Like so many of his movies, Redacted is difficult to watch but queasily fascinating.
  16. Like "Lions for Lambs," Redacted is more significant in its sense of purpose than its uneven execution.
  17. 60
    Brian De Palma's Redacted doesn't quite work as a movie. But it works as SOMETHING.
  18. 60
    The most authentic thing about Redacted is the rage with which it was made.
  19. 58
    As an expression of from-the-gut anti-war rage, Redacted is admirable, but as art, it's undercooked.
  20. DePalma's movie offers its own doctoring and processing, without delivering an ounce of real humanity - good or bad - in the bargain.
  21. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    50
    The problem here, which vitiates the picture's ingenuity and causes it, finally, to sink like a stone, is in the physical execution of the material.
  22. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    50
    Deeply felt but dramatically unconvincing "fictional documentary" -- inspired by the March 2006 rape and killings by U.S. troops in Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad -- has almost nothing new to say about the Iraq situation and can't make up its mind about how to package its anger in an alternative cinematic form.
  23. It shows rare courage in protesting the widespread abuse of innocent Iraqis, but its pseudodocumentary form is full of awkward misfires (such as a protracted use of theme music from Barry Lyndon) and its acting is often terrible.
  24. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    40
    De Palma is incapable of making a dull movie, but poor performances and a see-sawing tone make this an unsatisfying experience.
  25. 40
    Its formal novelty aside, Redacted rarely hits the audience with a genuine shock or a clarifying insight. It churns through a set of ideas and emotions that are confusing and unpleasant, to be sure, but also, by now, dispiritingly familiar.
  26. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    40
    if you're trying to make us believe we're watching "reality" by using a faux documentary style, you need actors who never look like they are acting, and this is where Redacted stumbles.
  27. For all of De Palma's studious multimedia trickery -- a valid, even inspired idea -- Redacted is so naive it's an embarrassment.
  28. The film's moral commentary is De Palma redux: same old Brian enjoying the peeping, bringing us into the guilt zone, then saying shame on all of us.
  29. By any rational standard, this film is kind of a mess. Even if you agree with its politics, you will probably weep at the ineptitude of it all.
  30. The Americans are portrayed with varying degrees of loathsomeness, but there's not much variety in the film. It's all an awful aberration.
User Score
4.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 38
  2. Negative: 22 out of 38
  1. R
    Aug 3, 2009
    0
    Isn't modern-day cinema great? Steven Spielberg can make a movie like "Saving Private Ryan" that not only shows the horrific realities Isn't modern-day cinema great? Steven Spielberg can make a movie like "Saving Private Ryan" that not only shows the horrific realities of war, but also shows the Americans as the good guys. I've seen "Saving Private Ryan" be called "biased" simply because the real bad guys, the Nazi soldiers, are portrayed as, guess what, the bad guys. But when a movie like "Redacted" is released, the far left nut jobs who hate America simply because its the latest fad hail it as a cinematic masterpiece because it shows the American troops as the good guys. Those three soldiers disgraced themselves and their country and are now rightfully rotting away in prison. However, this de Palma takes the heinous actions of just three individuals and makes them seem like the commonplace activities of the brace men and women overseas. He exploited a tragedy solely so he could push the leftist agenda of antagonizing the soldiers who have fought and died to give him the right to make this movie. Full Review »
  2. EdwinN
    Jun 30, 2009
    9
    Excellent reconstruction of a disgraceful act,Brian De Palma's Redacted is a shocking,saddening and absorbing portrayal of American Excellent reconstruction of a disgraceful act,Brian De Palma's Redacted is a shocking,saddening and absorbing portrayal of American soliders in Iraq. Just like in his precedent masterpiece,"The Casualties of War", De Palma films soldiers in a way nobody ever could,in a cinema-verite approach that reminds Peter Watkins 70s flicks like "The War Game" or some of Watakamatsu's more abstract features about the Japanese army. "Redacted" also posesses visual and technical advances, with ambivalent camera movements and masterful editing with dual shots and different types of views(in the narrative sense of way).Influences are heavy, but in a positive way,not in a Quentin Tarantino way:Watkins,Costa-Gavras or even early Godard(This films presents diverse similitudes to Le Petit Soldat).It floats between fiction and reality, between documentary and stylish cinema,and remind us of the atrocities of the Iraqi war with a powerful touch: This is triple the shock, a lot more than lesser documentaries such as "Iraq in Fragments" or "Taxi to the Dark Side".Chapeau,Mr. De Palma, for your work has been as rich on the outside,than on the inside. Style and substance grandeur never felt better. Full Review »
  3. DogSoldier
    Oct 19, 2008
    10
    To all the Fascist that gave the film a 0:The check point in your mind has been over run. Nothing,not 7 years of occupation, will win the To all the Fascist that gave the film a 0:The check point in your mind has been over run. Nothing,not 7 years of occupation, will win the hearts and minds of this "Axis of Evil", "WMD threat to us", country. Reminds me of Nam 1967/8. And now,long after 11years war,58,000 dead and I can buy quality Vietnamese merchandise at many superstores throughout the US. Its not politics,its economics and I sure hope we get a good OIL deal. I mean we EARNED it, right FASCISTS scum ? Full Review »