Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Summary: The story of Hassan, a Pakistani engineering student in Paris who is apprehended by western intelligence services for suspected terrorist activities. After his interrogation, Hassan undergoes a radical transformation and embarks upon a terrorist mission, entering the United States to join a cell based in New York City. (Magnolia Pictures) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    100
    Of all the feature films and documentaries to emerge since 9/11, few have been as bold, perceptive or as downright chilling as this thriller.
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    80
    One of the strongest--and sure to be controversial--films of the year, The War Within goes places that other films wouldn't dare go.
  3. 78
    It's thanks to Akhtar's standout performance that The War Within is as electrifying as it is.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    Hampered by a mopey leading man.
  5. The War Within succeeds only as a thriller with some wartime overtones, rather than as a character study that thrills.
  6. Despite an admirable effort to explore topical concerns, both director and actor are obviously overwhelmed by the immensity of the subject matter.
  7. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    40
    An honorable but failed attempt to dramatize the dynamics that propel a basically good man to become a suicide bomber, The War Within contains provocative points inside a dull package.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. StevieB.
    Oct 11, 2005
    10
    I have to strongly disagree with some of these so-called critics who themselves display a shocking amount of ignorance not just about Islamic terrorism, but also the craft of making movies. The War Within was the best I have seen yet in terms of movies designed to answer post 9-11 questions. Expand
  2. judeha
    Dec 2, 2005
    9
    The best movie i seen this year.
  3. GerryB.
    Apr 3, 2006
    9
    I thought this was a better film than Paradise Now. Maybe that shows my own ignorance but I am a seasoned film viewer and seldom give ratings of 9 or 10. Expand
  4. haroldb.
    Oct 13, 2005
    8
    Not a perfect movie, but its really intense and has one of the best endings I've ever seen. Lead actor and guy who plays Sahid are brilliant. This one should be be seen. Expand
  5. ChadS.
    Apr 13, 2007
    8
    In the Choudhury's home, Hassan(Ayad Akhtar) is beseiged by nightmares of his malevolent interrogation and subsequent thrashing in Paris, where he was a mere student(apparently apolitical) who would walk and make plans to see a movie on his cell-phone. We already know this; it's how "The War Within begins(kidnapping, beatdown, first contact with a member of "the brotherhood"). What most of us want from this ever-timely film(as long as we're at war) are flashbacks that parcel out Hassad's transformation from a graduate student to a radical Islamic fundamentalist. Hassan is obviously ill-suited to be a mercenary for Allah; his achilles heel, a heart, is right there on his sleeve with Duri's name on it. He is so in love with her(Nandana Sen). We need to see his teachers and hear their rhetoric, because Hassan's faith in God(a politicized, not the historical Allah) will turn out to be his worst enemy, and not western civilization("I pledge allegiance to the flag of...). His hate for America is so all-encompassing, he'd rather die than slow dance with his best friend's sister to Bread(oh, wait; that's me). Integrity can indeed be a flaw; conversely, Khalid(Charles Daniel Sandoval) sells out his religion for "bad girls". His penis(or rather, his phallic epiphany) makes this compromised Islamic, a heretic(an anti-hero as opposed to hero because Khalid is just horny, not moral) who nevertheless, saves lives by happenstance. "The War Within" is thought-provoking, especially when Hassan indoctrinates Sayeed's son into the world of Islam by coordinating his religious training. In your mind, you'll wage a war between the self-awareness of not being ethnocentric and political incorrectness. Expand

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