A: A Congressman (Tom Cruise) and a Journalist (Meryl Streep) debate the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the role of journalism in those wars, while a college professor (Robert Redford) and a student (Andrew Garfield) debate whether or not they are doing enough to help the world, while two injured American soldiers (Derek Luke and Michael Pena) fight for their lives atop a strategically placed cliff in Afghanistan, that both the Allies and the Enemy are trying to control.
Q: Who’s in the movie?
A: Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, Derek Luke, Michael Pena, Andrew Garfield, Peter Berg
Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?
A: Stop! No matter which side of the political debate you are on, this movie will add nothing to your thoughts or emotions about the current wars. I thought it was based on a play, because it is literally a movie about three pairs of people talking to each other in a room or on a cliff. There is no action, no story, no plot, no inciting incident, no ticking clock, no suspense, and no real tension in this film. It could have just as easily been six people sitting around a dinner table spouting their opinions about politics. If it weren’t for the A-list actors and director, I would have thought I was watching a film school thesis. And since the actors weren’t doing it to help out a desperate film student, the only reasons I can speculate as to why they were attracted to this script are 1) the concepts discussed must be in line with their own political beliefs, or 2) their friends were doing it. To add insult to injury, it turns out the script is not based on a play. It’s just one writer’s internal debate about his own guilt for doing nothing to change our world.
Q: Will this movie make me laugh?
Q: Will this movie make me cry?
Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?
A: I sure hope not.
Q: How is the Acting?
A: Meryl Streep is amazing. She is able to bring enormous depth and real moments to a character that is underwritten, generic and would be indistinguishable from any other poorly written journalist if not for her performance.
Tom Cruise on the other hand should not have taken this role. It is often hard to get past the fact that you’re watching “Tom Cruise” regardless of the movie. Unfortunately, this character (a smarmy and ambitious politician) is too close to his real life persona to ever make the separation between the character and the actor. Like Tom Cruise, Senator Irving incessantly flashes his charming smile to hide the fact that someone has pressed him up against a wall. Then, because the character and story go nowhere, you are never sucked into the film enough to forget that you’re watching the celebrity Tom Cruise.
Q: How is the Directing?
A: That depends, is this a movie by Robert Redford, the guy who directed Quiz Show, A River Runs Through It, and Ordinary People?… I’m just saying I’d be more impressed if he admitted that he farmed this one out to his assistant.
Q: How is the story/script?
A: What story?
Q: Is there anything else outstanding about the movie?
A: The lighting was pretty, and I appreciated that the actors wore their wrinkles for this film.
Back To Top