More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 41.18%
Average: 2.94%
Pretty Bad: 8.82%
Total Crap: 0%

3 reviews, 16 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Luxor by Peter Sobczynski

Wander by Peter Sobczynski

Love, Weddings & Other Disasters by Peter Sobczynski

Black Bear by Peter Sobczynski

Poison Rose, The by Jack Sommersby

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom by Jay Seaver

Fat Man and Little Boy by Jack Sommersby

Harry & Son by Jack Sommersby

Shattered by Jack Sommersby

Deathstalker II by Jack Sommersby

subscribe to this feed

War Zone, The
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Chris Parry

"Like a trip to the dentist, it's important, but bloody uncomfortable."
5 stars

Wow. Don't take mum to this puppy. It'll leave you wrung out like a pair of old undies. The War Zone, Tim Roth's directorial debut, is a fantastic piece of work, but it's definitely a film that you need to be in the right mood to sit through. I have no idea what that mood could possibly be, and I couldn't sit through it again. It's exhausting. Pounding. Breathtaking. An experience you won't enjoy, but will surely appreciate.

Centring on a small English family living out in the sticks, young brother is ill at ease. He knows something is skewiff in the home and his sister seems to be at the heart of it. Seeing the film with no advance knowledge, you soon start to suspect what Bro suspects. But such is the intelligence behind how Roth tells the story, you never quite know whether you're right or just a dirty thinking bastard until well down the track. Sadly, most every other reviewer in the world deems it their responsibility to tell their readers every last detail of the film before they go in, which will ensure, at least in this case, that the audience merely sits through the first half of the film, knowing what to expect.

But if you can get in without too much advance knowledge, The War Zone is one of those slow builders of a film that get you liking the participants before it exposes it's surprises. It works well and the family is well played and portrayed. There's no heroes here, and no villains.. at least not to begin with.

I like you. You're a good person, so I'm not going to say any more about the story. If you really must insist on spoilers, go read any other review of this film you can find. They'll fill you in. But when I saw this film I thought it was going to be a Bosnian war drama or something. All I knew was the title. And that's the way it should be seen. Go see it, let it unfold in front of you, hit you and hurt you, then struggle out to the sunlight afterwards and deal.

The War Zone is a nasty nasty piece of work, but some of the most brilliantly constructed cinema seen from a first time director. Hard hitting, grafting, uncompromisingly hardcore and darkly brilliant, it's a work of worth. It's a bold gamble that probably didn't pay off for those concerned, but with so much cinema being content to be classed as "good fun" these days, it's nice to see a project that doesn't care if it offends, doesn't care if you find it hard to deal with, doesn't care about box office, much like Gary Oldman's 1997 classic, Nil By Mouth.

Come on if you're hard enough.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 06/21/00 23:44:02
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

11/18/04 Carly Austin After viewing over two years still comes to mind when I thiink of great film. 5 stars
5/11/04 amir. m war zone is an absolutely flat mirror of life 5 stars
4/01/03 Jack Sommersby A brave, probing, insightful family drama that will leave you spellbound. 4 stars
7/15/01 Suzz Even given the subject matter, this is a dreary little film full of brooding looks and rain 2 stars
7/07/01 Alan Keys Not worth seeing unless you, sadly, can personally relate to it. Choose another movie. 3 stars
1/22/01 The Bomb 69 incest is the best put your daughter to the test!!! 5 stars
12/23/00 Kook People should really take their kids to see this film. Painful, but leaves an impression. 5 stars
12/11/00 da shit near-perfect 5 stars
8/29/00 Edgar Poe A masterpiece (U.S. sucks) 5 stars
8/08/00 andymase A real masterpiece of acting and directing. 5 stars
7/07/00 matthew smith impossible to forget 5 stars
6/29/00 Bokonan At times extremely confronting, very well made, brilliantly acted - worth seeing 5 stars
6/17/00 Belinda Tim Roth thinks he has a hit with this one...NOOOOOOTTTT !!! 2 stars
5/27/00 Jaime N. Christley Tough subject matter betrayed by shallow approach and agonizing overlength. Great acting. 2 stars
1/25/00 PervertedPixie Ouch! This is painful viewing. But Roth directs beautifully, with sensational performances. 5 stars
12/19/99 Mr Showbiz Broodingly, stuninngly realistic portrait of a familial self-destruction. 4 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  10-Dec-1999 (R)



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast