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Newspaper Reviews Hit "Redacted," DePalma's Iraq Film

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Newspaper Reviews Hit "Redacted," DePalma's Iraq Film

Article excerpt

The new fictional film by Brian DePalma about U.S. troops taking part in a atrocity in Iraq -- and the limits of media coverage of the war -- has drawn generally positive reviews at film festivals and in major magazines. But newspaper reviewers are weighing in today, and they are widely voting thumb's down on the movie.

Here is a selection of excerpts from reviews today.*

Steven Rea, The Philadelphia Inquirer: "Rife with false notes and speechifying, 'Redacted'wants to be a condemnation of how news in wartime is processed and doctored for the American public. Instead, DePalma's movie offers its own doctoring and processing, without delivering an ounce of real humanity - good or bad - in the bargain."

Kenneth Turan, Los ANgeles Times: "Even when they are doing nothing but needling one another in their quarters, everything about these soldiers, including their stance as well as their dialogue, feels fake, mannered and contrived, unmistakably the work of posturing actors and not actual combatants. The sense of frustration and annoyance that 'Redacted' elicits is intensified during the film's rape scene, which is painful three times over. Once because we are witnessing a horror, twice because we know that situations like this may well exist and three times because watching such a crude and feeble representation insults the reality it is trying to recapture."

Jan Stuart, Newsday: "De Palma is a bold, efficient writer, capable of drawing vivid characters with lean strokes. But 'Redacted' feels, if anything, too written, too cluttered with polished wiseguy banter and actor-y monologues for the hyper-realistic collage of styles he's after. He labors to make everything look just right and flow seamlessly, but the artificiality shows through."

A.O. Scott, The New York Times: "The problem with "Redacted" is that the representation is an unwieldy hodgepodge of brutal naturalism and self-conscious theatricality, its potential power undermined by schematic storytelling and clumsy acting. …

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