Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. 100
    There is the sense they're fighting for each other more than for ideology.
  2. A film that is beautiful, harrowing, heartbreaking -- and necessary.
  3. 100
    Restrepo is about soldiers, not politics. The question of whether U.S. troops belong there isn't posed. Their devotion to duty and each other is unquestioned.
  4. This movie will stir your heart and open your mind. It's a group portrait of practicing patriots.
  5. 91
    Restrepo can be tedious at times and nerve-racking at others, but why shouldn't it be? That's exactly what Junger and Hetherington saw on the front lines, so that's what they show, with very little filter.
  6. Because the war in Afghanistan is so much in the news now – it should always have been so – a movie like Restrepo is both a bracing document and, in a larger sense, a disappointment.
  7. 90
    The filmmakers have created a wrenching piece of work that allows the viewer to draw his own conclusions-and should make anyone of whatever political persuasion think about exactly what they mean when claiming to "support the troops."
  8. 90
    Junger and Hetherington take our conflicted ideas about war and its let's-make-a-man-out-of-you purpose and throw them in our faces, in a way "Hurt Locker" never does.
  9. The film is a nearly unrelenting nightmare. Even interviews shot with the survivors after the fact have a current of dread.
  10. What Restrepo does so dramatically, so convincingly, is make the abstract concrete, giving the soldiers on the front lines faces and voices.
  11. 90
    As the war in Afghanistan returns to the front pages and the national debate, we owe the men in Restrepo, at the very least, 90 minutes or so of our attention. If nothing else, this film, in showing how much they care about one another, demands the same of us.
  12. Restrepo is an example of photojournalism at its finest.
  13. The film is unusually free of cant and the usual trappings of war docs. There is no voice-over narration and very little dramatic underscoring. Right or wrong, the filmmakers shave matters of political policy and contextual analysis clean off the finished product, which runs a tight 94 minutes.
  14. 88
    A gut-wrenching, politically neutral documentary that spends more than a year with a platoon of American GIs in a valley that's been called the most dangerous spot on Earth.
  15. According to this courageous, you-are-there documentary, the platoon took enemy fire almost every day, perhaps the longest exposure to combat the U.S. has engaged in since World War II.
  16. It gives such a down-to-Earth view of the joys, terrors, boredom, anxieties and camaraderie in a war zone.
  17. If you're looking for a political message, either for or against U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, this is not your movie. The directors were satisfied with telling us about a group of courageous, honorable young soldiers - a salute these men richly deserve.
  18. 85
    The low-key quality of the filmmaking in Restrepo only intensifies the reality of how much these kids are risking.
  19. 83
    You can't help but share the feelings, many of them subrational, that coarse through the soldiers as they live a hellish year in a hellish place.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 70 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Jan 2, 2011
    1
    This movie is just boring. If you realize that war sucks because people die, you wont see or feel anything new. Movie critics walk on eggThis movie is just boring. If you realize that war sucks because people die, you wont see or feel anything new. Movie critics walk on egg shells around the subject of dead soldiers, but it doesn't make it an interesting documentary. Full Review »
  2. Aug 20, 2010
    9
    I'm a huge war film and documentary fan and a high school history teacher so I had high expectations about this film and was certainly notI'm a huge war film and documentary fan and a high school history teacher so I had high expectations about this film and was certainly not disappointed. This was clearly one of the most powerful war movies I've ever seen. I never got a sense that the soldiers or the filmmakers had a clear point of view about the war or their role but that, in and of itself, says much about the overall U.S./Afghanistan policy. I couldn't help but see frightening glimpses of Vietnam, Iraq, and Korea. History certainly repeats itself and we (the U.S.) seemingly never learn our lesson; however, this movie proves that sending young, innocent men into harm's way for cloudy objectives is too often the default and demented policy of a nation too quick with the trigger finger and an egomaniacal attitude. I highly recommend seeing this movie and I intend on showing it to my students when it comes out on DVD. Full Review »
  3. Sep 24, 2014
    5
    There's something not right about this documentary.
    It frames the soldiers as home-spun, good-natured boys with the bricks stacked against
    There's something not right about this documentary.
    It frames the soldiers as home-spun, good-natured boys with the bricks stacked against them in an almost-indefensible outpost in the middle of no-man's land. But no questions are ever answered.
    What were they doing there in the first place, other than provoking the locals?
    Was there any strategic reason to be there?
    Why does the camera linger so much on scenes when they break down and cry for their fallen comrades, then offer little judgement or lingering on the counterpoint moments when they're joyfully gunning down the enemy, celebrating that they made their heads explode - in full knowledge that that soldier's parents are most likely just down the road from them?
    How long can we hear about how demoralised, distraught and emotionally-scarred these soldiers are before we turn a single thought towards the people surrounding them?
    In essence, this comes across, to me at least, as a politically-motivated propaganda piece in the guise of a non-authorial documentary.
    For all that, it is interesting - but seldom compelling.
    Full Review »