2007 was a really great year for movies, this was probably the toughest year so far to narrow down to…
How do you stop an enemy who isn't afraid to die?
A team of U.S. government agents is sent to investigate the bombing of an American facility in the Middle East.
Political drama/action movie from director Peter Berg. The film begins with a terrorist attack on an American base on Saudi Arabia, the FBI sends in a team to investigate and the first half of the film is spent on the investigation, getting to know the various characters and the difficulties they face dealing with foreign politics. The second half of the film then turns into an edge of seat action thriller with a brutal shoot-out.
The writer does a good job of humanizing the characters, giving them little bits of backstory and giving us a reason to care about them. The cast all do good jobs in their roles with Jamie Foxx and Ashraf Barhom being the stand-outs. The film also features a really good soundtrack and an ending that leaves you thinking long after the credits role.
Well this was a divisive film, but only on political lines. Conservatives seemed to like it while liberals hate with a passion. I'm somewhere in the middle where I didn't love it or hate it. Something to watch on tv when you're bored.
Peter Berg is not one of my favorite directors at all. Jamie Foxx on the other hand was a convincing lead along with Chris Cooper, but Bateman and Garner were pretty awful. Do we really need any humor in a film about terrorism? Garner was supposed to be the strong female and yet she comes off as the token useless female. Jeremy Piven was completely miscast and felt more like the guy he played on Entourage.
Smart and entertaining film with an interesting plot that deals with the tension between the Saudis and Americans. Jamie Foxx is good in this movie as an FBI agent who gathers a small team to investigate a terrorisrt attack in the Middle East. Great filming during the attacks and final shoot out scenes. I really enjoyed the final shot in the movie which was very thought provoking.
Had the movie found a better way to climax than reverting to bland, generic action movie tropes then this could have been a far superior film. The broadly political/investigatory nature of the first two acts are good. Characters are thinly painted military cliches and the shooting style is well worn now but it was, for 2 acts, perfectly serviceable stuff. Just a shame about the boring action orientated finale.
The kingdom is a mix of good and bad which is maybe worth watching but don't be expecting one of the best films ever.
Peter Berg continues to make himself a cinematic avoidance for myself with yet another film that depicts "Americuh" as the heroes and the Middle-east as the villains, despite all of its pandering and obsession with trying to show that, shock-horror, Muslims are people too.
There are a few prime examples of this, my three favourites being - when the Muslim protagonists are shown at home indulging in their own Middle-eastern traditions and cultures, the non-diegetic music is an electric guitar, just so that they don't alienate western viewers too much. The only protagonist to be killed was a Muslim. And Jennifer Garner.
It could be argued that to have a female sent out to Saudi Arabia with the investigative team…
So sue me, I enjoyed it. I thought the over-the-top action climax worked better than it should have, even if it's completely illogical in both a narrative or thematic sense. It's pretty exhilarating, even if it succumbs to way too many clichés. As expected, the one foreigner lead among the Hollywood stars gives the best performance, but none of the movie stars are really terrible, just not overly memorable. The direction and style is impressive, the story is fairly interesting, and the action feels pretty restrained until that shoot 'em up climax. It's not a great film, but it is a fairly exciting one, and it seems smarter than most of the action films we're getting these days.
This movie hooked me right from the inventive opening sequence. It really works on two levels: as an investigative who-dun-it and then a great action movie especially in the last 15 minutes.
Kind of like America: a lot of great action, but really racist.
Relatively standard military thriller elevated by a great cast. Most notably Jamie Foxx and Ashraf Barhom. Surprisingly good showing from Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman. But I am never surprised by Jeremy Piven. The Piv is love, The Piv is life.
Peter Berg's intense, 2007 thriller is an unjustly overlooked entry into the terrorism film sub-genre. Being both a politically charged and action packed thriller, Berg creates a film that still holds relevance, even eight years after its release.
It must be said that Berg is a fan of the much maligned shaky-cam camera technique, and there are some moments here and there that do feature a noticeable amount of it. However, Berg makes up for those moments by creating a tightly wound, perfectly paced thriller, while also being a film capable of slowing down, and exploring the intricacies of the Arab conflict, in a way that is smart and intuitive, a fact bolstered by Matthew Michael Carnahan's screenplay.
Begins and ends sensationally - but slows down a lot in between. Despite a cool introductory montage on Saudi-US history, and an early gut-wrenchingly shot and edited terrorist attack, the film quickly (and understandably) drops the interesting "dirty politics" angle for a more intimate FBI procedural. But the added element of true cultural conflict - and gives the unknown Ashraf Bahrom a chance to shine against Jamie Foxx. The final showdown makes little plot sense but is sensationally directed by Peter Berg (although I prefer his more fun "The Rundown" to this intense piece). Garner and Bateman's brutal hand-to-hand against a terrorist is awesome action. Basically "The Kingdom" is a standard action thriller with an unusual setting - more so…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
great and suspenseful political action film but losses a star for not having the balls to kill the nothing american character but being okay killing the main saudi character.
Potential but poorly executed. Backed by a powerful soundtrack from Danny Elfman.
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