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Lions For Lambs (Widescreen Edition)
Lions For Lambs
Widescreen Edition
Actors: Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Michael Peņa, Andrew Garfield
Director: Robert Redford
Genres: Drama, Military & War
R     2008     1hr 32min

Robert Redford, Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep deliver "three knockout performances" (Vue Weekly) in this powerful story about how the decision makers at the top affect American soldiers on the ground half a world away. An ...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Michael Peņa, Andrew Garfield
Director: Robert Redford
Genres: Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Drama, Military & War
Studio: United Artists
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/08/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 32min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 30
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish
See Also:

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Member Movie Reviews

Jessica S. (jess83) from CHARLESTON, WV
Reviewed on 2/14/2012...
A film that certainly makes you think. It is a film that is current/relevant especially if you live or are familiar with the U.S. Even though it wasn't my typical cup of tea, it left me to think about and question a lot of things such as political figures in our current climate, war, and even propaganda as distributed by not only our government, but also from Hollywood. It is a film with a message and agenda.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed on 9/15/2009...
Well done film fictionalizing current events and the politicians, journalists, and individuals affected by war. The picture offers three main perspectives of characters impacted by a modern US war. The politicians who make decisions to go to war, the journalists that report on the war and the soldiers that participate on the war. Overall a good thought provoking film.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

It takes time for the punch to be felt...
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 04/09/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"LIONS FOR LAMBS as a movie has the courage to do just what the message of the film attempts to do: encourage the American public to stop being so apathetic about our position in the global community. The dramatization of three points of view about the Middle East conflicts (it not only takes on the Iraq debacle, but adds the Afghanistan and Iran problems as well) could, in lesser hands than Robert Redford's direction of Matthew Michael Carnahan's script, be a preachy bore. But while the 'action' of the film may not grab the viewer, the afterburn of the message will haunt the thinking person.

Three scenarios interweave (at times a bit bumpy in the editing, and at times a bit distracting): adamantly pro-war Republican Senator Irving (Tom Cruise) is interviewed by veteran 'thinking' journalist Janine Roth (Meryl Streep) and each defends/attacks the current strategy of the war in Iraq (Irving is taking calls about the latest 'expansion' into Afghanistan); Professor Malley (Robert Redford) tries to resurrect a sense of involvement in a student Todd Hayes (Andrew Garfield) once bright but now sinking into the apathy of living the good life; ex-students of Professor Malley - Arian Finch (Derek Luke) and Ernesto Rodriguez (Michael Peña) - have committed to the idea of acting for change and have ended up being dropped in Afghanistan in the very 'new' war Senator Irving is addressing. By stirring these three approaches to the manner in which the public is currently addressing the war in Iraq in a concurrent conversation, the film involves the viewer in the crossfire of apathy and misinformation that come from failed education, faulty governmental intervention and the media sellout to get ratings. It is not a pretty picture, but then our current state of affairs is not one of which we can be proud.

There are no answers here, just harsh realities and questions as to why we can remain so passive as a nation involved in the lowest state of global respect ever known. The film has flaws, but if the viewer can digest the information illustrated by some very fine acting, perhaps there may be a chance for a wake-up call. Watch it for the message, not expecting a thriller or an action movie. The mind is what is engaged here. Grady Harp, April 08"
Well acted and directed
R. Kyle | USA | 11/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The title "Lions for Lambs" refers to a quote from a German General during WWI regarding the British army. The Germans were most impressed with the Brit soldiers' fighting ability, but they didn't particularly respect the men who commanded them. Essentially, unblooded, starched collar men were setting objectives for a war they knew nothing about.

"Lions for Lambs" takes place over a very short period of time--less than a day in three separate scenarios. It opens with Janine Roth (Meryl Streep), a veteran reporter of 40 years, being granted an exclusive one on one hour with Senator Jasper Irving. In the interview, the Senator extols that Ms. Roth help him sell a new initiative for the US war with Afghanistan. This initiative had begun 10 minutes before their interview commenced. Essentially, the US Forces in Afghanistan are going to use small point insertion of troops to break the enemy's back--very similar to the plan General Abrams used in Viet Nam. Can the Senator get Ms. Roth's support for this new plan and sell it to the US people?

Next, we see Prof Steven Malley (Robert Redford) talking with Todd (Andrew Garfield, a student from his political science class. He offers Todd a deal--either accept a blue collar B for A work and non-attendance or entertain a proposition. Why did he offer it? Because Todd was one of the few students who showed true potential and encouraging those people to do something with their lives was why Malley still taught college. Can he convince Todd to enter the program he's suggesting?

The final set of people we see are two students Prof Malley mentioned in his talk with Todd. Ernest Rodriguez (Michael Peña) and Arian Finch (Derek Luke) are two of the US Special Forces unit who are parachuting into Afghanastan to "show the enemy the full measure of American mean." Their helocopter is fired on due to poor intelligence and Rodriguez is knocked out of the craft. Arian follows him in the jump--to stay with his 'brother' in both arms and spirit. The damaged helo has to leave due to the continued fire. Can Command get a chopper back in time to rescue the two brave soldiers?

These are the basic questions involving the three groups of people, but of course there's more discourse than that. Essentially, the Senator's and Professor's portions of the film are all talk and the two soldiers' are mostly action. Redford manages to entwine the three storylines almost flawlessly. There are only a couple of flashbacks in Redford's own scenes and they forward the story along. Performances by all the major cast were excellent. Meryl Streep was the best I have ever seen.

My one star deduction is for the simplicity and heavy-handedness of the message. "Lions" came a hair close to being preachy.

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
Andrew Kutz | The Vast Desert Subtropolis of Gilbert, Arizona, U | 05/04/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)

"The point of this film is quite clear to me: Incompetant political figures (the lambs) risk the lives of brave individuals fighting for our country (the lions). For what reason are the lambs doing this? Only (ONLY!) for their own political image. By no means do these politicians actually care about the safety of their country...only about what will get them elected next time.

So who are the heroes in this film? The soldiers and...the media. As director Robert Redford tells it; the media take the twisted lies and propaganda that the right-wing politicians are spewing and straighten it out to the stories that we read in the paper. Alright, great.

Meryl Streep plays the reporter, who was one of the people who fell prey to the "terrible lies" that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks regarding who was responsible. She is interviewing Tom Cruise, a politician who the audience is obviously supposed to dislike.

Here's the problem(s).

This is a propoganda piece! Now, propoganda isn't neccasarily bad, but Streep's climatic rant toward the end of the film makes a valid point against the film itself. When questioned why she doesn't want to print the story given by Cruise's character, Streep says that "all he gave was propoganda." In other words, she argued that she wouldn't be printing NEWS, she would be printing a piece of biased propoganda. That is essentially what this movie is.

This is not a debate for a certain is mere propoganda masquerading as a provocotive look at the debate behind the Iraq War. When you can make your opponent say whatever you want so that you can come up with some clever retort, it isn't exatly valid debate.

Bottom line; Do not be fooled...this is Redford's bitter views spun into an angering propoganda piece. The very politicians he condemns may be more like him than he thinks..."