A: A CIA operative in the Middle East (Leonardo DiCaprio) tries to take down the head of a terrorist cell, but his biggest challenge is figuring out which of his allies he can trust.
Q: Who’s in the movie?
A: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong, Goldshifteh Farahani, Oscar Isaac, Ali Suliman, Alon Aboutboul, Simon McBurney, Kais Nashif
Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?
A: Proceed with Caution. Nearly as difficult to follow as Syriana, and not necessarily as fresh or interesting. If you go to the movies to escape or check out, you won't be able to do that here, as you have to pay attention every moment, and think to follow-- or you can do what I did, and cat nap when your brain starts to hurt. Okay, so I didn't like it very much, but that doesn't mean you won't. I mean, I'd be hard pressed to find a woman who enjoys this. But if you're a guy, and you like to watch guns and blood and war and things blowing up and sand-- this is whatever the male equivalent of a "Chick Flick" would be called. "A Him Flim?" "A Guy High?" (Feel free to submit better suggestions, so we can finally have a derogatory term for movies that alienate women.)
Q: Will this movie make me laugh?
A: I laughed really hard once at a poorly framed shot of a guy in a suit standing in front of a fountain with his legs open. Completely unintentionally, the water was spurting up and down between his legs, making him look like he's either peeing through his suit or standing over a bidet, washing his rear. That was my favorite part of the movie. I like to laugh.
Q: Will this movie make me cry?
A: No, but it will give you a sense of hopelessness about the war on terror. Our plan to fight terror with terror doesn't work. For every terrorist you kill, at least 10 new vengeful ones sprout up like the water fountain between that guy's legs. We need a new strategy-- and how! So if you have any suggestions, please post them on Facebook.
Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?
A: I liked the song that played over the closing credits... or maybe I was just happy the movie was over.
Q: How is the Acting?
A: Russell Crowe plays a caricature of a bad guy. He's cold, he doesn't care about anyone, and we don't care about him. Leonardo DiCaprio's performance is fine, but his character is like an automaton: he does what he's told-- and he has integrity, too! Every character in the film feels like an object, only put there to accomplish a goal. None of them offer anything compelling for the audience to relate to, latch on to, or care about.
Q: How is the Directing?
A: Ridley Scott sure does like to blow things up and shoot people dead. Hey, why shouldn't he? He's damn good at it!
Q: How is the story/script?
A: This story has no emotional through line. I don't know about you, but I remember things whether in conversation, in movies, or in life, by how a moment made me feel. Without feelings, you only have the words to remember things by. So in this movie I tried to pay attention to the words, and I tried to retain them so that I could recall them later when I would need them again... but I couldn't.
Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?
A: If you want to see a great thriller about the clusterf**k we've gotten ourselves into in the Middle East, go see Traitor with Don Cheadle. It's smart, it's emotional, and it's a much clearer demonstration of the ambiguities between good guys and bad guys, when it comes to us and them. Here's a link to my review:
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