Green Zone (2010) – Paul Greengrass

Paul Greengrass who guided Matt Damon through The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, and later Jason Bourne guides the same actor through this war thriller that comes off the What Else to Watch list following my screening of The Hurt Locker as recommended by DK Books’ highly entertaining The Movie Book.

Miller (Damon) is an Army officer that goes rogue when U.S. Intelligence  comes across as faulty, and he soon finds himself in a hunt for weapons of mass destruction in a combat zone.

But what if there were no weapons of mass destruction? The tension escalates when Miller is presented with information about Saddam’s key members meeting in a nearby location, and the chase is truly on, as he fights to make the incursion into Iraq worthwhile, and finds himself confronting not only Iraqi forces but the Black Ops and contractors who have their own interests in the invasion.

While Miller is trying to find the fault in military intelligence, a reporter, Lawrie Dayne (Amy ryan) is working on the same story from the other side of the line. Was it all orchestrated to allow the U.S. to invade?

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Admittedly, this is a touchy subject for some, but it plays as a smart, dramatic war thriller, punctuated by tense sequences that both Damon and Greengrass excel at. Greengrass’ signature visual style, shaky cams, lots of movement in and of the frame serves the film well as we are plunged into the war zone of Baghdad in Iraq.

Mired in all of this is the human drama as the citizens of Baghdad simply struggle to survive, desperate for resources, water, and relief. Tempers are fraying, and the danger is escalating as the country threatens to turn into a powder keg even as it’s beginning to surface that the U.S. invaded the country under false pretenses.

The film features Jason Isaacs, Greg Kinnear, and Brendan Gleeson, and while it’s always curious to see Isaacs and Gleeson trot out an American accent, they are both top tier actors, and Isaacs is nothing less than incredibly intimidating in his role.

In the end, I found Green Zone to be a sharp, crisp, violent war thriller that definitely added shades of right and wrong to already muddled conflict, and allowed Damon to have some action beats that weren’t Bourne related.

Smart and tense, the recommendations keep coming from DK Books’ The Movie Book, and I can’t recommend this book enough. Pick up a copy for yourself today, and find a new to you classic to watch tonight!

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