The War Zone

"Weak"

The War Zone Review


Incest. Treachery. Betrayal. Videotape.

No, I'm not talking about the new version of Hamlet. I'm talking about The War Zone, a 21st century Kitchen Sink drama helmed by Brit actor-who-should-stay-an-actor Tim Roth.

Tim Roth, who somewhere along the line got tired of being the butt of European jokes in Quentin Tarantino movies has decided to move along and become a director. Rather than use his vast experience in films with good stories to write his own script, he decided to take Alexander Stuart's script for The War Zone as his first project.

The War Zone is the story of a London family who moves out into the British boondocks. Soon after moving to said boondocks, the wife (Tilda Swinton) has a third child, the dad (Ray Winstone) starts getting restless, and Tom (Freddie Cunliffe) discovers that daddy has been getting it on with his sister Jessie (Lara Belmont). Being a pathetic virgin and having Fruedian issues besides, Tom spends about two hours debating the "will I / won't I" that you can see done much better in any rendition of Hamlet, all the while videotaping Dad and Jessie getting it on in the W.W.II. Bunker nearby and struggling with his own sexual morals.

If this sounds interesting in this slightest, I have failed.

The War Zone is a movie that is so boring that I would have walked out, were I not a critic. It wastes minute after minute of time spent in utter silence as Tom watches the family do some particularly nasty thing to itself. This is just bad storytelling. It's repetitive, unpleasant, sensationalistic, and only serves as a metaphor for the first five minutes (the next time Roth want to illustrate how much time has passed, how about doing a montage instead of the same basic scene five different times).

As one would expect from a movie by an actor, the acting is above par. Swinton is especially good as the mother of a family tearing itself apart from the inside out, and Lara Belmont's presence as the sexually abused daughter is probably the only role in which any real dimension is apparent.

After boring everyone for an hour and forty-five minutes, The War Zone stops. Unlike most films that stop and don't really end, I was glad that The War Zone was over. I wanted out of the theatre. Pronto.

Face it, Mr. Roth: The Kitchen Sink drama is dead and it died for a reason. Don't try to revive it.

Off to war.



The War Zone

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th June 1999

Distributed by: Lot 47

Production compaines: Portobello Pictures, Film 4, Sarah Radlyffe Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Fresh: 26 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Dad, as Mum, as Jessie, as Nick, as Tom, as Lucy

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

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.