Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 70 Ratings

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  • Summary: A feature-length documentary that chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soliders in Afghanisatn'ss Korengal Valley. The movie focuses on a remote 15-man outpost, Restrepo, named after a platoon medic who was killed in action. It was considered one of the most dangerous postings in the US military. This is an entirely experiential film: the cameras never leave the valley: there are no interviews with the generals or diplomats. The only goal is to make viewers feel as if they have just been through a 90-minute deployment. This is war, full stop. The conclusions are up to you. (Passion Pictures) Expand
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. 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.
  3. The film is a nearly unrelenting nightmare. Even interviews shot with the survivors after the fact have a current of dread.
  4. 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.
  5. Engagement with the enemy isn't a possibility here. It's a certainty. The unit will face fire daily, sometimes as often as four or five times. The stress is incredible, the courage displayed even more so.
  6. 75
    The filmmakers offer no commentary. We watch. And what we see is explosive, deeply moving and impossible to shake.
  7. Even after experiencing the film, what they've gone through - and how they deal with it - deliberately remains a mystery.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Mar 3, 2011
    Made up of intimate interviews and disturbing combat footage, the movie does what it sets out to do. It throws the grisly circumstances of war up on screen and lets us interpret them. And by not delving too far into these questions (and not taking any real stance), the filmmakers allow the material to reach a much wider audience than if they had (thus, it wonâ Expand
  2. Aug 20, 2010
    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 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. Expand
  3. Dec 1, 2010
    Restrepo is real. It is not like the Hurt Locker (no offense), but this is actual camera work during the war. The cameramen must have been paid a lot to be in a warzone that is considered the most dangerous of all war zone. Nevertheless, the movie based its story on the visceral power of the film. They want to get the audience feeling for the death soldiers by not showing but implying. Sometimes Restrespo fell short on its plot but most of the times it shows real emotions of soldiers that fought for our country. Restrespo is probably one of the better documentaries of the year, considering that there are a lot of good docs this year. Expand
  4. Feb 12, 2011
    I can see people not liking this movie, and I think their criticisms are legit. How do you make a war documentary in the middle of a war, and expect it to make sense? The people who die in this film are still dead, still murdered, and by the end of it, when they explain what has happened since, their deaths feel empty, pointless, their lives wasted on ideas that don't count in places where ideas aren't allowed to exist freely. Places such as Afghanistan. As for the survivors, what is to become of their lives? How do they transition back into our universe? How can they communicate with us after what they have seen and done? How do we even begin to comprehend their needs when they have lost a piece of innocence that we in the West get to have our entire lives? They are changed. This documentary shows them changing, shows what they have done. It makes no judgments, pulls no punches, and I can't believe the crew survived when men trained to kill did not. You have to approach this film passively, and with an open mind. Expand
  5. Mar 23, 2011
    It is good the general public is now able to see just how remote and prehistoric most of Afghanistan is. Restrepo is the name of a fallen soldier from the Korengal Valley in 2007 and it is also the name of the outpost the soldiers in Battle Company construct in the valley and name after him. The Korengal Valley is two provinces north of where I was stationed and it makes my base, which was remote and sparse, seem like Vegas compared to OP Restrepo. A long deployment to Afghanistan is extremely monotonous punctuated by brief periods of action. This is how the documentary is edited. It briefly shows some of the soldiers a week pre-deployment, as newbies on the ground, and then follows their highlights (and lowlights) throughout the next 15 months. Building the new outpost takes up most of their time as do the relentless patrols to the surrounding villages. They conduct shuras (meetings) with the locals who they know are in contact with the Taliban but dare not tell them their locations for fear of death. It would be extremely difficult to convey the bleak day in, day out routine of a deployment that long and in around 90 minutes, Restrepo does not really pull that off. There are a lot of firefights on film including one with a KIA and they effectively show just how confusing situations like that can be. This documentary felt too brief for the heavy subject matter; however, I'm glad it was made at all. The guys on the ground at the Company level and below rarely get any face time. Expand
  6. Sep 22, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was somewhat disappointed, given all the positive buzz around this film. To be honest, I wasn't as engrossed by this film as I hoped and expected to be. Perhaps that was in part because Restrepo wasn't highly developed before he died. (But, to be fair, maybe the film-makers simply didn't have much footage of him.) In any event, this is a good "war is hell" documentary, but I didn't find it as wonderful as many other did. Expand
  7. Jan 2, 2011
    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 egg shells around the subject of dead soldiers, but it doesn't make it an interesting documentary. Expand

See all 17 User Reviews


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