Restrepo

"Extraordinary"

Restrepo Review


Perhaps no movie has ever put us into the place of a soldier quite as effectively as this documentary about Americans in Afghanistan. It's raw and harrowing, and also surprisingly funny. And it makes Hollywood war movies look ridiculous.

Filmmakers Hetherington and Junger embedded themselves with US troops in the perilous Korengal Valley over a 15-month deployment. Much of the intimate footage is shot from cameras mounted on the soldiers' helmets, taking us right into the heat of the battle. We not only experience the terror of the unknown and unexpected, but also the down time with scenes of relaxation, camaraderie and hijinks. All of this centres around Outpost Restrepo, named after a young colleague killed in the early days of their mission.

The filmmakers truly get under the skin of these young men as they have experiences that are impossible to imagine. We can see similarities with war movies in the surprise ambushes, invisible sniper attacks and a harrowing operation that goes nightmarishly wrong. But everything here has the jagged energy of real life peril. When they arrive, we can see that these boys think they will be able to make a real difference, tightening security so they aren't constantly shot at and negotiating with the local village leaders. But of course actual events aren't so controllable.

Much of the film consists of shaky helmet-cams, messy footage that captures both the lively banter and overpowering emotions. This is offset by the striking footage shot by the filmmakers on site, as well as reflective interviews with the soldiers after their tour of duty ends. Combining these elements with the constant pop-pop of unseen guns is thoroughly unnerving. And watching these guys on patrol looks more like an old WWII movie than something from the 21st century: establishing positions, inching forward, engaging in constant gun battles.

And then there are the scenes with them playing guitar, reading surfing magazines and sharing photos from home. These more playful moments capture the high these guys feel after surviving each attack. And yet in their interviews we can see that the darkness remains. This is a vitally important film that captures the real distress of battle in a way most of us have never seen before.



Restrepo

Facts and Figures

Genre: Documentaries

Run time: 93 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th February 2011

Box Office USA: $1.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $1.4M

Distributed by: National Geographic

Production compaines: Outpost Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Fresh: 106 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger

Producer: Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger

Starring: Juan 'Doc Restrepo as Himself, Dan Kearney as Himself, LaMonta Caldwell as Himself, Aron Hijar as Himself

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Advertisement
Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.