Lions for LambsClosed Captioning
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Directed by Academy Award winner Robert Redford, the story begins after two determined students at a West Coast University, Arian (DEREK LUKE) and Ernest (MICHAEL PENA), follow the inspiration of their idealistic professor, Dr. Malley (REDFORD), and attempt to do something important with their lives. But when the two make the bold decision to join the battle in Afghanistan, Malley 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, an anguished Dr. Malley attempts to reach a privileged but disaffected student (ANDREW GARFIELD) who is the very opposite of Arian and Ernest. Meanwhile, in Washington D.C. the charismatic Presidential hopeful, Senator Jasper Irving (CRUISE), is about to give a bombshell story to a probing TV journalist (STREEP) that may affect Arian and Ernests' fates. 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.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 179
- Fresh: 47
- Rotten: 132
- Average Rating: 4.8/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: Though these dialogues are worthy, the medium doesn't seem right for the message.
Rotten: Carnahan's script is thoughtful, but its ideal venue may be a college debate class, not your local multiplex.
Rotten: Unfortunately, a single, compelling plot would have been far more effective than earnest lectures in triplicate.
Rotten: The film is built not upon characters and plot but upon ideas. That would be fine if the ideas were revolutionary or interesting, but they're fairly commonplace.
I tried. Really. I was sincerely interested. But the script itself was self-righteous and self-conscious. You know, instead of getting immersed in a storyline and the characters, you become very aware that you are watching actors act, repeat their lines, and spout pretentious dialogue intended solely to prove a higher point--here, about questioning the value of America going to war in Iraq. Each one of the characters was nothing more than a stereotype, broadly drawn from cardboard imitations of whatever the director and writer thought they should be. Result? Badly written, badly thought out script. (Don't blame the poor actors--they're all quality actors--blame the producer, writer, and director.) This movie tried to preach at us. Movies should not try to preach at an audience directly; rather, movies teach best through character development and good plotlines. Here, neither existed.
Whether or not you agree with the arguments presented in the film, it certainly serves to raise these issues to the forefront of discussions. Through three interweaving plot lines, we see the politics of a situation in three different perspectives. While Redford's character struggles with a brilliant but unmotivated student, two of his previous students enlist as soldiers on the front lines in order to "do something about [it]". Meanwhile Cruise's character, a Republican Senator, engages in a memorable discourse with a disillusioned reporter (Streep). While neither an action movie, nor political drama (there are elements of both), the importance of this film is firmly rooted in current events. It does not aim to capture all sides of the story in broad generalizations, but rather presents a brief insight to the complexities and politics of war.
Much better than expected
An intelligent and surprisingly thoughtful movie that more than exceeded my expectations. A hidden gem and well worth a view. The only people that claim any form of liberal bias have a) not seen the film or b) so far on the right wing lunatic fringe that anything and everything is leftist. This movie was well written, well directed and well acted.
- Genre: Drama
- Released: 2007
- © 2007 United Artists Production Finance LLC. All Rights Reserved.