Green Zone

Director: Paul Greengrass

Cast: Matt Damon (Roy Miller), Brendan Gleeson (Martin Brown), Amy Ryan (Lawrie Dayne), Greg Kinnear (Clark Poundstone), Khalid Abdalla (Freddy), Yigal Naor (Al Rawi), Jason Isaacs (Briggs)

Plot Summary: A rogue U.S. Army officer searches for weapons of mass destruction in the Green Zone of Baghdad. Based on the book Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran.

The Good

» Matt Damon. I went into this movie expecting a mixture of Bourne and The Hurt Locker, and that’s exactly what I got from Damon’s performance. His character was gritty and interesting without being over-the-top impossible.

» The casting. In addition to Matt Damon, the rest of the Green Zone cast was phenomenal, and their stunning performances really carried the film. I was especially impressed by Khalid Abdalla’s emotionally charged performance as Freddy; I hope this proves to be a real breakout role for him.

The Bad

» The cinematography. Don’t get me wrong – the effects were great – but the overuse of the shaky cam technique had me fighting nausea for most of the movie. I’m not opposed to the occasional rocky scene to convey a “realistic” tone, but I don’t think it helped Green Zone at all; if anything, it detracted from the viewing experience.

» The agenda. I don’t go to a movie like this to have Hollywood’s political beliefs shoved down my throat; I want to see action and plot, nothing more. I would have been able to brush it aside had it been more subtle, but the blatant anti-war “message” of this film hits you like a steamroller.

Overall Impression

Even while fighting nausea and politics, I enjoyed this movie immensely. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time thanks to the fantastic performances and special effects. Green Zone is definitely worth the watch.