Considering it needs to make about $200 million to break even, all the signs are that Paul Greengrass’ Green Zone is just another Iraq war film that no one much wants to see — just like every one that’s come before it. (Even with those Oscars hanging on it, Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker is still in the red.) In some ways Greengrass just can’t catch a break outside the Bourne series. His United 93 (2006) was criticized for being made “too soon,” and now his Green Zone is being criticized for coming out “too late” to impress anyone with the “revelation” that the government manufactured evidence of weapons of mass destruction in order to justify invading Iraq. That may be true, or it may not. Considering the usual onrush of right-wing accusations that Green Zone is leftist, “anti-American” propaganda, the point seems open to debate. But if no one is paying any attention, the effort seems to little avail. Matt Damon is Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller, a man who has grown tired of securing — often with casualties — sites that supposedly contain the mythical WMDs and finding nothing more than ossified pigeon droppings. He starts asking questions about whether or not the intelligence he’s being handed is reliable. These are not questions anyone in charge — notably Clark Poundstone (Greg Kinnear) — wants to hear. On the other hand, crusty CIA man Martin Brown (Brendan Gleeson), an old hand in Middle Eastern affairs, is interested and tries to enlist Miller’s aid. Facts and fictionalized versions of real people are tossed in, but the film is powered primarily by its action content and a series of suspense-driven scenes, even while the truth is uncovered.
Director: Paul Greengrass
Writer: Brian Helgeland
Producer: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Lloyd Levin
Cast: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Amy Ryan, Brendan Gleeson, Jason Isaacs and Khalid Abdalla