Movie: Lions for Lambs (R)
Released: November 9th, 2007
Runtime: 1 hr. 28 min.
Ticket Price: $7.50 Matinee
Refreshments: Red Vines
Starring: Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, Michael Peña & Derek Luke
Director: Robert Redford
Rating: Wait for the Rental, if Not Longer –
Synopsis: A couple of college students follow the advice of one of their professors to do something of importance in their lives, which leads the two of them to enlist and become part of the battle in Afghanistan. The professor is both moved and dismayed by their decision. Their story on the battlefield becomes the link between two other stories. One being, the professor trying to reach a student that had a privileged upbringing and has become very disaffected and is completely opposite of the two soldiers mentioned above. The other story being about a presidential wannabe that is about to drop a huge story in the lap of a TV reporter and how this affects the fate of the two soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. The stories intermingle and try to show how each affects the others and the world around them.
Review: Lions for Lambs is a full of rhetoric and talking points, signifying boredom. Liberals will say it is a balanced look at the place our country finds itself in at present. Conservatives will say it is just another in the line of anti-American movies to hit the big screen recently.
The movie is broken into three parts. A senator, played by Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible, Minority Report), telling a reporter, played by Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada) about a new direction for the battle in Afghanistan, a professor, played by Robert Redford (The Clearing, Spy Game), talking to a slacker student he thinks has potential and the story of the two soldiers in Afghanistan, played by Michael Peña (Shooter, World Trade Center) and Derek Luke (Friday Night Lights, Antwone Fisher), who are former students of the professor. Their story is supposed to be the tie that binds. Unfortunately, that is where the movie falls apart. Watching Streep and Cruise or Redford and the slacker keeps your attention, even though nothing ultimately comes of it, but the Luke and Peña storyline, for the most part, lacks the gravity you should feel.
Redford, as actor, is good in his part. He should be, since he seems to be playing himself, as the lines he delivers probably don’t diverge much from his actual political outlook. Redford, as director, does a decent job, but when the story turns to the two soldiers, you just don’t care like you should.
Lions for Lambs moves at a snails. A movie that attempts to grapple with such subject matter needs to have a total story that draws the audience in, while also entertaining and gets its point across in the meantime. This movie doesn’t do that.
Overall, New Movie Friday will give Lions for Lambs a “B,” but you have to promise not to show up to any theater and watch this movie or rent it in the future. The other option is that you could decide you want to see it, but then we will have to give it the grade it deserves, a “C-/D+,” and tell you that you should wait for the rental, if not longer.
What did you think of Lions for Lambs?