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Oliver Stone

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About the Movie

James Woods gives his "fullest, most humane, most emotional performance"(New York Magazine) to date in this "gritty, harrowing and bold thriller"(Gannett Newspapers). It's 1980. Young men, women and children are being brutally killed in a bloody civil war in El Salvador. It's a horrific setting...but a perfect one for Richard Boyle, a sleazy war photojournalist whose career needs a jumpstart. Armed with his camera, Boyle joins the front lines in an attempt to capture atrocious-but-valuable images of pain and horror. But with each picture he takes, he catches a tragic side of humanity that ignites his long-buried compassion. And he unexpectedly discovers something that will change him forever: his soul.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 24
  • Fresh: 22
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 7.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Salvador is long and disjointed and tries to tell too many stories...But the heart of the movie is fascinating. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: The polemic may seem obvious and at times laboured, but the action sequences are brilliant, and the film does achieve a brutal, often very moving, power. – Derek Adams, Time Out, Sep 10, 2011

Fresh: An emotional and political sledgehammer. – Film4, Sep 10, 2011

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

True and fantastic!

These is one of the best movies about journalism! Combined with UNDER FIRE it shows the truth about the civil wars in central america. A real Oliver Stone film, with great cast and outstanding James Woods in one of his best roles he ever played.

Scary! This is how it was. And is.

Salvador painted the best picture I've seen of why nation-building in powerless little countries is always doomed at the same time it brought my stint as a journalist during the Vietnam War back to vivid life.

Brilliant performances by James Woods and James Belushi combine with Oliver Stone's matter-of-fact direction to convey the truth of third world political convulsions and inept American involvement in a way no deliberately moralizing film could. Some of the minor characters (a thinly disguised Peter Arnott, for example) verge on caricature, but the overall vibe never strikes a false note.

In structure the film is more of a docudrama than a typical Hollywood story, so if you require the bad guys to get their comeuppance and virtue to reap its reward at the end of a movie, you won't find Salvador any more pleasing than real life. If you want a gripping and absolutely realistic look at what our missionary zeal for liberal democracy looks like close up in the stifled little corners of the world most Americans try not to think about too often, this is a film you shouldn't miss.

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  • $7.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 1986

Customer Ratings