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Overall Rating
3.74

Awesome: 29.07%
Worth A Look: 29.07%
Average34.88%
Pretty Bad: 1.16%
Total Crap: 5.81%

7 reviews, 44 user ratings


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Blood Diamond
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Doug Bentin

"DiCaprio’s breakout role"
4 stars

Two or three years ago, “Blood Diamond,” if it got made at all, would have starred Tom Cruise and the lead character, Danny Archer, diamond smuggler and all ‘round cynical bastard from Zimbabwe, would have been a charming rogue who ends up saving the day and settling down with the girl. As it is, Archer is played with convincing weltschmertz by a buffed-up, scruffy Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio’s Archer wants money so he can escape Africa because he thinks Africa is what’s wrong with him.

Cruise and DiCaprio--it’s the difference between an aging Errol Flynn and a toughening Humphrey Bogart playing the part. No contest.

A fisherman from Sierra Leone named Solomon Vandy (the brilliant Djimon Hounsou from “Amistad” and “Gladiator”) is kidnapped by rebel soldiers and forced to work as a digger of diamonds while his son is trained to be a child soldier and his wife and daughters are forced into a refugee camp. Solomon finds a huge pink diamond which he buries, his hope being that he can retrieve it, escape, sell it, and be reunited with his family.

He manages the escape when the diamond camp is overrun by government soldiers. The bad news is, he is thrown into jail. There his boss from the camp accuses him of stealing the diamond, and this exchange is overheard by Archer, who has been canned for smuggling.

Archer’s criminal associates spring him, and he bails out Solomon, offering then to help him find his family if he will hand the diamond over to Archer.

Along the way our heroes pick up an American journalist who wants to blow the lid off the diamond smuggling business (Jennifer Connelly, with her usual mediocre performance). The film is structured like a standard pursuit and chase story, but there’s more to it than that. It also works as a powerful family-in-crisis tale, and director Edward Zwick’s social conscience has never been more in evidence.

Diamond smuggling doesn’t seem like such a serious crime until you realize that “conflict diamonds” go a long way toward paying for the arms that keep Africa in turmoil, which more than suits white interests that want to move back in to despoil the land of its natural resources. “I hope they don’t find oil here,” one village elder says. “Then we’d really have trouble.”

Charles Leavitt has written an intelligent script. He knows just how far to push the horrors-of-the-situation button before easing off with another action sequence. Young Kagiso Kuypers is wonderful as Dia, Solomon’s conflicted son, wanting to be a doctor but given a thorough brainwashing and an automatic rifle, and Arnold Vosloo (“The Mummy”) is chilling as Col. Coetzee, the Conradian pragmatist who made Archer the way he is. Watch, too, for a cameo by Michael Sheen, Tony Blair in “The Queen.”

Cinematographer Eduardo Sierra reveals the stunning beauty of Africa—more than once I caught myself thinking that humans should just leave the place the hell alone—and editor Steven Rosenblum does terrific work tying it all together.

And finally, back to DiCaprio, who truly comes of age here. He’s 32 now and he should have moved into these “adult” roles years ago, but he’s been cursed with a baby face that is just now beginning to show its mileage. Even in “The Departed” he sometimes looked like a young guy trying to play older. Not anymore. He’s ready. DiCaprio is such a pleasant surprise you’ll wonder if this is the same actor who went down with the ship, or maybe that callow youth’s father.

The depth of “Blood Diamond” took me by surprise. It’ll do the same for you. It’s one of 2006’s best films.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15293&reviewer=405
originally posted: 12/19/06 06:08:09
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User Comments

8/27/13 Lozz <3 Fantastic, loved it!!! 5 stars
1/31/11 cambellar a movie worth watching..and touchy 5 stars
6/10/09 matt slightly numbing, but well made with a great script. 4 stars
10/03/08 R.W. Welch Realistic and well acted. Has an authentic air to it. 4 stars
9/04/08 Rachel A thought provoking action film. Underrated. 4 stars
6/18/08 mr.mike Not bad , despite unconvincing moments and some overly Bondian action scenes. 4 stars
4/02/08 dii this movie makes me crying when I watch it in second time caused Archer's sacrifice. 3 stars
3/22/08 Matt the best movie, effectively portrayed the conflict in africa, intense and captivating 5 stars
1/24/08 Double M Too much hollywood to be really powerful. Leo & Djimon barely elevate it to "Worth A Look". 4 stars
10/17/07 Beau Its Worth a look, great photography and acting! leo is great 4 stars
10/08/07 widhi wwardhana grat movie and great acting of Leo and Djimon. 5 stars
9/11/07 Grayfoxx Awesome movie. Definitely worth watching. 5 stars
7/17/07 Matt Leo's awful accent aside, this is thought provoking especially for those of us in Africa. 3 stars
7/03/07 Ingrid This was a very bad movie 1 stars
7/02/07 Grefg Blood crap....bad acting, lame dialog, shitty screenplay, buggy script 1 stars
6/24/07 dt ok, if a bit predictable 3 stars
6/21/07 Rayven omg leo was incredible as he was in departed, an important film 5 stars
6/15/07 Nikita This film really opened my eyes up to the life and torture in Sierra Leone. 5 stars
6/05/07 Dicapri God A quality piece of filmmaking, LD cracking as usual 4 stars
5/01/07 Lynn Great movie - However, Dicaprio's Aussie accent really sucks 4 stars
4/28/07 Indrid Cold Doesn't really make any mistakes, but ends up not making much of an impact. 4 stars
4/22/07 Monday Morning LDiC gets better with every film he does. Excellent movie ths, too. 5 stars
4/16/07 Matt Awesome. Great acting. THe best movie I've seen in a while 5 stars
4/03/07 fools&#9835;gold The ending is a big wet dream (I'm not sure if that's a complement or not). 4 stars
4/02/07 ad great acting, nice story 5 stars
3/27/07 james floyd one of best movies I've seen in a long time 5 stars
3/21/07 action movie fan good gun battles, but too long,ponderous and hard to follow 3 stars
3/16/07 Donny M More boring than a drive to grandmas 1 stars
2/19/07 Luji Excellent movie, Leo more convincing than ever before... turned me off diamonds for sure! 5 stars
2/07/07 arjee labajo its a good movie.., its interesting movie 5 stars
1/31/07 MP Bartley Hectoring, but powerful. DiCaprio is slick with the accent, but Hounsou is tremendous. 4 stars
1/27/07 Frenzy.nl Greats story, great acting 5 stars
1/15/07 plim thought-provoking 5 stars
1/14/07 lee this is the most brilliant acting/screenplay/purpose to any movie I have ever seen. Period. 5 stars
1/04/07 Luisa Definitely worth seeing, Djimon is a great actor 4 stars
1/03/07 Jess Must-See FIlm! I will never buy a diamond again. 5 stars
12/27/06 Bert Kaplan Bloody, yes. A diamond, not even close. 2 stars
12/22/06 Quigley Not as entertaining as made out to be; Dicaprio excellent but he said "huh?" like 500 times 3 stars
12/17/06 qdog one of the best movies of the year 5 stars
12/12/06 The Harkman An eye opener. I appareciated it. 5 stars
12/12/06 Tiffany hmm Leo was cute. And he had a cool voice. movie was ok. 4 stars
12/11/06 Wendy Straw worth seeing 3 stars
12/09/06 SeanS One of the year's worst. The screenplay is simply appalling. 1 stars
12/08/06 Annadamma Painfully obvious beyond reason- of course this stuff happening is awful... DUH. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  08-Dec-2006 (R)
  DVD: 20-Mar-2007

UK
  N/A

Australia
  04-Jan-2007




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