Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Part documentary, part dramatization, this film is the terrifying first-hand account of three British citizens who were held for two years without charges in the American military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Roadside Attractions)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. A film that must be seen to understand the sad truths of our times. It's been made with a sensitivity and creativity that's come to exemplify Winterbottom's work.
  2. A tough, compelling, must-see movie.
  3. It's a fervent, topical political drama of extraordinary impact and ferocity.
  4. 63
    The Road to Guantanamo is a missed opportunity. This is a subject that deserves a more thoughtful documentary or docudrama, not a hastily thrown together amalgam of the two.
  5. 60
    At the risk of retreating into Waffle House aesthetic relativism, I think the unsettling power of Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross' film stems from its contradictions.
  6. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Nightmarish scenes are intercut with interviews with the real men. These could be more probing, and the film's urgency can tilt toward shrillness, but nobody else has made the disaster of Guantánamo so painfully vivid.
  7. The film is compelling to the extent that the subject is, but also unimaginative and unsurprising.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Fantasy
    Jun 28, 2006
    A masterpiece of both style & techique. Winterbottom's film is biased to the left, of course, but don't let that offend you. He's onto something deeper in this deeply unsettling, absolutely mesmerizing work. Winterbottom brings punk chick to the partisan documentary. His shaky camera, untrained actors, and real locations puts us right in the argument. We've all seen talking heads onscreen before, here we have no such much the better. Expand
  2. JustinS.
    Jul 13, 2006
    I'm a little confused about which parts are reenacted. Were the scenes in Guantanamo based on their memories? If not, who filmed what was going on and how did they get the tapes off the base? I agree that the scenes of the trip to Kandahar and the flashbacks seemed superfluous. Even though they have no good explanation of why they went to Afghanistan, their treatment while in custody is inexcusable. If this movie is accurate, many of the allegations against the US are true; abuse of prisoners, forcing prisoner into stress positions for hours, exposure to the elements, threats with vicious dogs, exposure to loud music and flashing lights while in solitary confinement, preventing the prisoners from religious worship, even desecrating the Qur'an. I pretty sure most, if not alk, of this is a violation of the prisoners' human rights. If all this is true, then I am ashamed to be an American and disgusted with the people in uniform and the leaders who represent this country. I don't believe for one second that the soldiers shown abusing the three men are just rogues. Expand
  3. MartinA.
    Jul 2, 2006
    The fictional reenactment of the trip to Kandahar may be the weak point of this "documentary", while the flashbacks to "happy occidental times" is the low point. There was no need to make these guys more likeable, more occidental (the Gap shirt, to some level the language), or more "clean". That's not the point. The subject is strong enough by itself. Even if these men were going to fight for Afghanistan - and not seek a giant naan - does that legitimate Guantanamo? To me the whole story lies there: even Saddam is having a fair trial (or so it seems). Something like Guantanamo is a shame to any nation that prides itself as "democratic". Expand
  4. JimG.
    Jul 23, 2006
    Another docudrama that, by its form, creates confusion between fact and opinion. Only toward the end is a narrator employed to fill in gaps and move the story forward. If I had to rate it on effectiveness in provoking thought, I give it an 8. But if I had to rate it on journalistic thoroughnessI give it a 4. Unfortunately, a question that isn't asked or answered is why young men who have been living in the west would dare venture from Pakistan into the war zone in Afghanistan for vacation within one month of September 11. While the answer to that question is irrelevant to how justice should be administered, the failure to address it simply plays into the hands of those on the right. Expand
  5. BobB.
    Dec 2, 2006
    Agree with Jim G. The film/whatever you want to call it feels incomplete, in a sense, and it just doesn't include much food for thought. I'm a liberal, and I dislike Bush, but I believe the directors of this film should've been thinking more along the lines of "Let's show what we know happened, and make the audience form their own opinions" instead of "Let's show what happened, and at the same time tell the audience what they should believe". Expand
  6. Syzygy
    Jun 24, 2006
    partisan trash. the director laps up everything these poor, defenseless goobers tell him. these innocent and virginal lads were traipsing about the wastelands of afghanistan, admiring butterflies and wildflowers, when the evil americans burst from the sky, snapped them up, and tossed them into dark cells for no conceivable reason whatsoever. funny in a most unintended and pathetc way. Expand