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Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

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4.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 57 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A fictional story inspired by true events, Redacted is a unique cinematic experience that will force viewers to radically reconsider the filters through which we see and accept events in our world, as well as the power of the mediated image and how presentation and composition influence our ideas and beliefs. A profound meditation on the way information is packaged, distributed, and received in an era with infinite channels of communication, Redacted uses a variety of created source material--video diaries, produced documentary, surveillance footage, online testimonials, news pieces--to comment on the extreme disconnect between the surface of an image and the reality of ideas and the truth, especially in times of strife. Centered around a small group of American soldiers stationed at a checkpoint in Iraq, Redacted alternates points of view, balancing the experiences of these young men under duress, as well as the perspective of members of the media, with the viewpoint of the local Iraqi people, and illuminates how each have been deeply affected by the current conflict and through their encounters with each other. The charged apotheosis of Brian De Palma's filmmaking career, Redacted caps off a body of work that has explored the politics of image-making and reception more fully than any living filmmaker. (Magnolia) Expand
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. 75
    Redacted is a bristling act of protest that obliterates a target it isn't aiming for.
  3. 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.
  4. Like "Lions for Lambs," Redacted is more significant in its sense of purpose than its uneven execution.
  5. 58
    As an expression of from-the-gut anti-war rage, Redacted is admirable, but as art, it's undercooked.
  6. 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.
  7. The Americans are portrayed with varying degrees of loathsomeness, but there's not much variety in the film. It's all an awful aberration.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 38
  2. Negative: 22 out of 38
  1. PeterP
    Dec 18, 2007
    10
    This movie is great, stop complaining
  2. 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 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 ? Collapse
  3. 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 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. Expand
  4. R.Lopez
    Nov 15, 2007
    0
    Psuedo-documentary whose only purpose is to advance the idea that US soldiers in Iraq are beasts. DePalma should be tarred and feathered. If it were 1944 and FDR was president, that is exactly what would happen. Expand
  5. JaneT
    Nov 21, 2007
    0
    This film is just great, isn't it? We have about 200,000 men and women presently in combat zones, and far-left Hollywood loons want to denigrate the country..The film is based on a real-life event that has resulted in three soldiers being tried, convicted, and sent to prison for life. Yet DePalma wants the world to see this horror in living color. He wants this for political reasons, as he freely admits. Speaking before journalists in Italy, DePalma said: "The movie is an attempt to bring to reality what's happening in Iraq to the American people ... the pictures are what will stop the war." Here's how stupid that statement is: Overwhelmingly, American forces in Iraq have behaved with restraint and are trying to protect Iraqi civilians from terrorists who blow up women and children. That is the reality, pal. Your movie takes the exception and attempts to make it the rule. Not only that, but "Redacted" will play around the world and may well incite young Muslim men, already steeped in hatred toward America and the west, to act on their hatred. If just one of those men straps on a bomb vest and murders people, that is on Brian DePalma. My question is, why make a film like this? Most people will avoid it; who wants to see that kind of stuff? It definitely smears the military, and may even put our forces in physical danger. Why do this? In the summer of 1942, the Office of War Information, set up by President Franklin Roosevelt, censored American films which depicted scenes that might be used as "enemy propaganda." Few in Hollywood objected to the so-called "Production Code." The liberal icon, FDR, understood that war is so gruesome and chaotic that no civilian population could absorb it visually and still remain upbeat and committed to victory. Imagine seeing live shots of the D-Day invasion or the horror of Iwo Jima. Even during the Vietnam War, Hollywood did not examine the terrible conflict on film. It was only after the war had ended that you had movies like "The Deer Hunter" and "Apocalypse Now." But things have changed drastically in America. Today, it is chic among some in the entertainment industry to bash America and put it in a harsh light... even while Americans are dying overseas. It's freedom of expression, they say. Well, just because you have the right to do something, doesn't make it right. Fair-minded Americans should realize that in any war, mistakes will be made; horrifying things like Abu Ghraib will happen. These things need to be dealt with, but not exploited for political gain. The American military is doing important, noble work. Brian DePalma and the others who back him should be ashamed. They are hurting their own country. Expand
  6. robs
    Apr 19, 2008
    0
    The reason the world hates the U.S. is because of dishonest movies like this one made by the blame America first crowd.
  7. DavidA
    Nov 29, 2007
    0
    Brian De Palma's "Redacted" argues that the horrors of the Iraq war are being kept from us by inept or venal news media and the government's propaganda machine. That's a tenable premise for a provocative documentary; the horrors of every war elude description, and Mr. De Palma is clearly desperate to get a purchase on the chaotic nature of this one. But his film isn't a documentary. It's a work of propaganda in its turn, a digitally photographed meditation on our media-saturated age in which our men in uniform, like the news crews that cover them, create their own realities by shooting digital video of their exploits. The film's core is a speculative and utterly unconvincing reconstruction of an incident that reportedly involved, among many horrors, the rape and savage killing of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl by members of a U.S. army squad. The Americans are portrayed with varying degrees of loathsomeness, but there's not much variety in the film. It's all an awful aberration. Why not make a film about the many rapes of Iraqi women by their fellow Muslims? Or about how many U.S. troops have saved countless women from the mass raping of Uday and Qusay Hussein or the rapes by their fighting Sunni and Shi'ite co-religionists? Well, DePalma would never do movies on those things. Because, hey, they aren't anti-American. And that would portray the Muslims, not American troops, in a bad light. And we can't have that in Hollywood. Expand

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