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Movie Review: Lions for Lambs

Alternate Title: If We Could Turn Back Time

Story: We diehard liberals want a film to be able to define our anger, outrage and frustration about the war in Iraq. Sorry to say - this is not the film to do it. It is the equivalent of woulda, coulda, shoulda from the vantage point of 6 years later. Director Robert Redford has his heart in the right place as does

screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan but this film just does not hit the correct chord.

Who is to blame for the War and for all of the many mistakes? The Pentagon, the politicians, the media and/or we, the people? A collective mea culpa seems to be the answer and as the credits started to roll I was just plain depressed.

Three stories parallel one other. The earnest professor tries to get his slacker student to care, the Republican Senator tries to convince the skeptical reporter that this latest military secret Ops is the answer to victory and the reality of two young soldiers who are stranded in the snowy mountains of Afghanistan. We segue from one story to another and ultimately learn nothing new and more than that, just do not care about anyone, except maybe those poor boys lost in the mountains.

The film is filled with lectures, op-ed material and eye-rolling platitudes. If I were you, I would skip this film and instead, send the price of a movie ticket to a politician you support.

Acting: Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise. The flashy, insincere smile and emotion level form A to B. Meryl Streep probably did this film as a favor to Robert Redford (I would do a favor for him too). Robert Redford was preachy and looked uncomfortable in his professor role. Michael Pena and Derek Luke had the best roles as the soldiers and Andrew Garfield, as the young student was not believable at all.

Predilection: None.

Critters: 0

Food: No time to eat while pontificating

Sex Spectrum: No time for sex while pontificating.

Opening Titles: Unimpressive

Visual Art: The entire film seems to take place on a sound stage

Theater Audience: It was the emptiest screening I have been to.

Weather: Nice in California and DC and lousy in Afghanistan.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: War sucks.

Drift Factor: I drifted after only 30 minutes.

Predictability Level: After awhile I simply did not care.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Neither

Length: Long at 90 minutes.