Lions For Lambs

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -3

Robert Redford, Meryl Strep, Tom Cruise. Political drama. Written by Matthew Michael Carnahan (The Kingdom). Directed by Robert Redford. 11/09/07

FILM SYNOPSIS: The story begins after two determined students at a West Coast university, follow the inspiration of their idealistic professor (Redford wearing the same denim shirt he donned in Three Days of the Condor, as well as the same political chip on the shoulder), and attempt to do something important with their lives. But when the two make the bold decision to join the battle in Afghanistan, the professor is both moved and distraught. Now, as Arian and Ernest fight for survival in the field, they become the string that binds together two disparate stories on opposite sides of America. In California , the anguished teacher attempts to reach a privileged but disaffected student. Meanwhile, in Washington D.C. the charismatic Presidential hopeful, Senator Jasper is about to give a bombshell story to a probing TV journalist. As arguments, memories and bullets fly, the three stories are woven ever more tightly together, revealing how each of these Americans has a profound impact on each other and the world.

PREVIEW REVIEW: This is a bad war and George Bush is irredeemable. So sayeth Robert Redford and all those involved in Lions For Lambs. Now, its difficult to not express a political view in a review of a film that is one long political sermon. To be honest, I dont know that I want to start defending political leaders and their decisions. I think, however, that we should all be leery of a medium capable of bullying moviegoers with films that express only one side of such an important debate. Id be nervous even if the only voice we got from the film industry was that of the far right, (not that we have to worry about that). There is one voice that dominates Hollywoodland, and it is of a distinct left leaning. And even liberals should worry about an industry with that kind of power. For this is not true liberalism. It is a voice of those with an agenda. And these people will offer no forum for those with a different perspective.

Why is it that the Redfords and the other anti-government league members never say a word against the President of Iran or Bin Laden? They only attack our leaders. And they do it in foreign lands. Why is that? Does that serve our country? Or just the Redfords?

I cant tell how good the acting is, because the performers seem more determined to promote their political points than to actually portray real people. The three separate segments are intertwined in order to further the government-is-bad theme, but the cutaways to each segment are jarring and ill conceived. But then, focusing on the strengths or weaknesses of this film is waste of time. We are a torn nation over our position in Iraq and each camp wants their views reverberated by Hollywood elites. So if you are anti-Bush and anti-our presence in Iraq, you probably wont be put off by the pontificating and pompousness of Redford and the rest. Youll just be glad that someone is saying the Republicans are going to lead us into a nuclear war and that the world would be a better place if we left that region.

Maybe thats right. Redford sure seems to think so and hes been blessed in so many ways for 40 years he must possess secret insights concerning our culture and our political system. And since there is no opposing voice from the land of make-believe, I guess we should follow him. Right?

What a great country we live in. Can you imagine an Iraqi filmmaker saying the same things about his leaders and their decisions?

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Around 30 obscenities, mostly the f- and s-words.

Profanity: Eight or so profane uses of Gods name or Christs.

Violence: We see battle scenes; a man gets most of his head blown off. One solider falls out of a low flying military chopper, his buddy jumping out after him. They are both injured in the fall; they must face the enemy alone, facing death by numerous unseen villains. Blood: Both the injured soldiers are bleeding.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: A brief, non-graphic sexual discussion.

Drugs: None

Other: In fairness to Redford, while his anti-Bush and anti-war sentiments are made clear, he does portrays certain soldiers in a good light.

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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