Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this retelling of the notorious attack on an American compound in Libya on the anniversary of 9/11 in 2012. As always, Bay stages the action on a big scale in a way that looks amazing, but he neglects both the story and the characters. As a result, the film feels epic and beefy, but is impossible to engage with.
It opens as a team of hired soldiers assembles at a secret CIA base in Benghazi. Jack (John Krasinski) is the newest arrival, joining his old pal Rone (James Badge Dale) and four more tough guys (Pablo Schreiber, David Denman, Dominic Fumusa and Max Martini). Meanwhile just up the road, the American Ambassador (Matt Letscher) is staying in a rather unsecure compound with not quite enough security, despite stern warnings from Washington that trouble is brewing. Sure enough, as night falls a local jihadist militia launches a violent, fiery assault. The CIA base chief (David Costabile) tells his men not to join the fight, but of course they can't resist the chance to charge in and save the day.
Over a long and bludgeoning two and a half hours, Bay carefully recreates this long, vicious night of fighting, as the situation continually twists out of control. The best thing about the film is the way it depicts how difficult it was to know which locals were on which side, but even this is simplified in Chuck Hogan's script. Everyone on-screen is interchangeable as either a bewildered nerd or a fierce warrior, and the only one in between is by far the film's strongest character: Peyman Moaadi's translator, who gets pushed right into the middle of the nightmare. In the few quiet moments, there are clumsy attempts to give these manly men some back-story, but it's the same for everyone: former black ops soldier with a wife and kids back home.
Continue reading: 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi Review
Being a security contractor stationed in Benghazi is a job that most people would not be equipped to do; it takes a special type of person, not to mention the training. It's September 2012 and the security agencies around the world are still on high alert and recovering from the terror attacks in London the year prior.
When a group of Islamist radicals attack two American bases in Benghazi, Libya the American citizens in the compounds are placed in grave danger and it's left to a small group of Ex-Navy SEALS and Special Forces operatives to go help protect them. Placing their lives in danger, they take it upon themselves to protect the Ambassador to the United States.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is based on Mitchell Zuckoff's novel 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi and was directed by Michael Bay.
Upon first arrival at Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Private Amy Cole (Kristen Stewart) is given a set of strict instructions: refer to the people in cells as detainees, not prisoners; do not let the detainees know anything about you or get inside your head; and understand that they are in a war zone. Unfortunately, these rules start to become stronger enforcers of the idea that 'black and white' state of affairs are entirely fabricated. As Cole steadily befriends a man named Ali (Peyman Moaadi) who is kept confined in one of the cells, she begins to realise that outlines of good and bad are totally askew in this weird and alien place.
Continue: Camp X-Ray Trailer
When his wife Simin (Hatami) leaves him, Nader (Moaadi) hires Razieh (Bayat), a woman he barely knows, to help look after his senile father (Shahbazi).
Struggling to care for both his father and his 11-year-old daughter Termeh (Farhadi), who's studying for her exams, Nader is thrown completely off balance when Razieh lets him down. And things get worse when her volatile husband Hojjat (Hosseini) enters the scene, accusing Nader of violence against his wife. This has ramifications for everyone in Nader's life, as integrity and honesty are put on trial.
Continue reading: A Separation Review
Nader and his wife Simin want a divorce because of their views on living abroad. While Simin thinks that moving to Europe will provide better opportunities, especially for their eleven year old daughter Termeh, Nader wants to stay in Iran and look after his father, who has Alzheimer's disease.
Continue: A Separation Trailer
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