Green Zone 2010

Critics score:
53 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly: Distills -- not simplifies -- the clashing forces that dashed our chance of peace. Greengrass is economical in his scenes; the film bolts forward like a greyhound chasing a lure. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Green Zone isn't so much a bad movie as a misguided one. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: When Mr. Greengrass made United 93, his 2006 reconstruction of one of the Sept. 11 hijackings, some people fretted that it was too soon. My own response to Green Zone is almost exactly the opposite: it's about time. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: It's only the adrenaline-inducing techniques that conceal the lack of imagination. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Green Zone weakens its claim to authenticity with fictional fudgings. And the weakening works both ways. Read more

John Hartl, Seattle Times: The movie might have seemed a revelation if it had been released six or seven years ago, but there's no fresh angle, few surprises and no character who steps boldly forward to suggest heroism or corruption. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: As expected, Greengrass smoothly integrates the suspense and tension of a Hollywood thriller with a ground-level depiction of American chicanery in the chaotic days after the fall of Baghdad. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: It's certainly interesting to see what's been reported on the manipulation of information played out as drama, and the acting is uniformly good. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: If tremulous 100-yard-dash camerawork is Greengrass's voice, this sort of movie might not be the song for him. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Manufacturing thrills takes precedence over any kind of journalistic insight. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Green Zone is partly real and partly, increasingly, fantastic and outlandish in its wishful thinking. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: It's one thing for the filmmakers to (sort of) fictionalize real people, but Green Zone wraps up with a wish-fulfillment fantasy that is about as believable as watching reinforcements riding in to save Custer. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: An urgent piece of work. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Damon's the anchor, a fine one at that, but even he can't seem to hold the filmmakers' attention for long. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Green Zone hits hard and doesn't forgive. It plays out like fiction, and in some ways it is. But in too many ways, it's not. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Green Zone is a strangely dated, foolishly grandiose, simplistically angry fictional war-zone thriller about how one patriot blows the lid off America's missteps in Iraq. Read more

Laremy Legel, Green Zone is the rare miss from frequent collaborators Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass. Read more

Justin Lowe, Hollywood Reporter: Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: This is a red-hot action thriller that deals candidly and unapologetically with the situation in Iraq. Read more

Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News: Green Zone is far from perfect. But man, oh, man, as a pulse-pounding thriller, it is a knockout. Read more

Ilana Ozernoy, Newsweek: What Chandrasekaran did so well -- tenaciously cataloging the colossal morass of America's small and not-so-small mistakes -- Greengrass eschews for the popcorn-crunching conventions of a Hollywood potboiler. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: Green Zone approaches every human activity as if preparing to defibrillate. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Intelligent, tough and gripping. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Politics aside and purely as a piece of genre moviemaking, Green Zone is a solid example of a political paranoia thriller. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Shot by Barry Ackroyd, the same cinematographer who filmed The Hurt Locker, and using the same camera techniques, this movie looks like outtakes from a much better film. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: In the wake of the Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker -- a far better film, and one with a less strident, less obvious agenda -- Green Zone arrives looking strangely anachronistic. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of Green Zone is the manner in which it interweaves fact and fiction into an engaging whole. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Yes, the film is fiction, employs farfetched coincidences and improbably places one man at the center of all the action. It is a thriller, not a documentary. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Too little and too late? Maybe. But even in this Bourne Zone, Damon and Greengrass haven't shirked their duty to enlighten and entertain. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, This is a movie that recognizes there's no straight line to the truth, which is part of what makes it vaguely unsatisfying -- though it's also what keeps it honest. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: It's a tribute to Matt Damon's special quality as an actor -- not his star wattage, but his ability to project a certain simple human decency -- that we care about him even when we only see the side of his head... Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Seven years into the Iraq quagmire, we need more from our political filmmakers than an angry fist (and a hand-held camera) shaken in the Bush administration's direction. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Frenetic in execution and formulaic in substance, the film leaves one lathered into a frenzy but not moved, at once overwhelmed and undernourished. Read more

Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: For a popcorn flick, it has style and smarts. And while it's not an actors' film, it offers solid performances. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Reduces policies that caused the deaths of thousands to the equivalent of a first-person-shooter video game. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Green Zone has an attitude -- it persuades in almost documentary style that the war was sold on false pretences but no one's motives in this tangled affair can be completely trusted. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: Read more

Ben Walters, Time Out: Greengrass concocts a formula with a fighting chance of dispelling the Curse of the Hollywood Iraq Movie. If a picture as conventionally accessible as Green Zone tanks, that campaign is surely lost. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: It takes a complex and important story and renders it facile. Characters are etched too clearly in black and white. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: So vivid and convincingly realistic is the physical depiction of Baghdad in the early days of the American occupation that the introduction of trumped-up thriller elements feels like an unwanted intrusion. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: You catch your breath only to have the wind knocked out by the mirage of the carefree scene around the Green Zone swimming pool. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: A jangly, noisy, compulsively restless thriller on a par with the Bourne movies, shot through with political critique. Read more