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 DVD Spotlight
Lions for Lambs

Release Date: April 8, 2008
Director: Robert Redford
Starring: Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Michael Pena, Derek Luke, Andrew Garfield, Peter Berg
Genre: Drama

Review: The considerable authority of Robert Redford pulls some heavyweight talent into Lions for Lambs, a rare Hollywood foray into flat-out political filmmaking. Three dramas, all connected, play out simultaneously during the same hour: On a mountainside in Afghanistan, two U.S. soldiers (Michael Pena and Derek Luke) find themselves stranded during a new military surge; on Capitol Hill, a Republican senator (Tom Cruise) tries to sell the new strategy to a seasoned reporter (Meryl Streep); and in California, a professor (Redford) tries to light the fire of commitment in an increasingly apathetic college student (Andrew Garfield). Director Redford cuts back and forth amongst these arenas, a gambit which thankfully obscures how weak the one non-talkfest (the Afghanistan segment) really is. You can tell Redford and screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan put their juice in the debate between Cruise and Streep, which summarizes Right and Left views on the Middle Eastern wars, and does so reasonably lucidly--although there is little here that would surprise anyone who has looked into the subject...more

Extras: Commentary by Redford, "The Making of Lions for Lambs," "Script to Screen" and "United Artists Legacy" featurettes. (UA/MGM).

 Movie Spotlight
Lions for Lambs

Release Date: November 9, 2007
Studio: United Artists (MGM)
Director: Robert Redford
Screenwriter: Matthew Michael Carnahan
Starring: Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Michael Pena, Derek Luke, Andrew Garfield, Peter Berg

Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: R (for some war violence and language)
Official Website:

Plot Summary: Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise star in "Lions for Lambs," a powerful and gripping story that digs behind the news, the politics and a nation divided to explore the human consequences of a complicated war.

Directed by Academy Award® winner Robert Redford, the story begins after two determined students at a West Coast University, Arian (Derek Luke) and Ernest (Michael Pena), follow the inspiration of their idealistic professor, Dr. Malley (Redford), and attempt to do something important with their lives. But when the two make the bold decision to join the battle in Afghanistan, Malley is both moved and distraught. Now, as Arian and Ernest fight for survival in the field, they become the string that binds together two disparate stories on opposite sides of America. In California, an anguished Dr. Malley attempts to reach a privileged but disaffected student (Andrew Garfield) who is the very opposite of Arian and Ernest. Meanwhile, in Washington D.C. the charismatic Presidential hopeful, Senator Jasper Irving (Cruise), is about to give a bombshell story to a probing TV journalist (Streep) that may affect Arian and Ernest’s fates. As arguments, memories and bullets fly, the three stories are woven ever more tightly together, revealing how each of these Americans has a profound impact.

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EN 5 Second Review: Whether or not you like this movie is 100% dependent on your political point of view. Interesting enough, but definitely not entertaining.

The ethics and truths it raises, in meaningful discourse, is well-crafted, human, and well-rounded ending satisfyingly and movingly.
Peter Veugelaers:

The beauty of this political drama is that it is not a treatise and doesn’t simplify or preach on the issues surrounding American involvement in Afghanistan and further abroad but treats the subject with broad brush strokes embellishing with home truths through sincere mouthpieces and focuses on individual responsibility in an intelligent manner. Like three separate plays, director Robert Redford performs as the professor inspiring his students, two of whom (Michael Pena and Luke Wilson) get involved in the war, while Meryl Streep as a reporter against war strikes up friendly relations with a Republican senator (a well-cast Tom Cruise) for a story on the battle. They’re all well-acted. Set in 2007, after first strikes on Iraq, and during the hotbed of potential involvement in Iran, and although talky, it is interestingly so, and there are many memorable touches and quotes. The ethics and truths it raises, in meaningful discourse, is well-crafted, human, and well-rounded ending satisfyingly and movingly.

Robert Redford (who also directed), Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep might just as well have appeared on-screen for a couple of minutes with signs that said, 'War is bad,' and been done with it. Saves everyone the cost of a ticket
Bill Goodykoontz: Arizona Republic
Redford's point, obviously, is that we all need to engage, to take more responsibility for our actions in going to and carrying out a war. Fine - these are issues that need to be discussed. But Lions for Lambs is much like Rush Limbaugh's or Sean Hannity's radio shows, albeit weighing in from the other side...more

Politicians, the media, educators, military commanders and a docile public all come under fire in a well-made movie that offers no answers but raises many important questions
Ray Bennett: Hollywood Reporter
The title of Robert Redford's "Lions for Lambs" comes from a comment made by a German officer in World War I about the bravery of British soldiers compared to the criminal stupidity of their commanders. The film, which had its world premiere Monday at the London Film Festival, makes clear that Redford feels the same way ...more

Derek Luke Interview -- Lions For Lambs

Featurette - 'A Look Inside' (11.8.07): Flash Player
5 Clips (10.25.07): QuickTime, Various

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