2010 Suspense/Thriller movie from Paul Greengrass, the same director as The Bourne Series
It is 2003, and the Iraq War
has just begun. Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Matt Damon
) has been running some missions trying to find Weapons of Mass Destruction
, but for some reason every place his team hits comes up empty. When he raises concern over the quality of the intel he is getting regarding the WMD, his superiors dodge the question.
Miller then sets off to find out what is really going on regarding the weapons, and he is aided in his quest by Martin Brown, a CIA official, Lawrie Dayne, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, and Freddie, an Iraqi civilian. He hopes to be able to find out the truth from an Iraqi government official known only as "Magellan" but this earns him the wrath of US government official Clark Poundstone, who has a Special Forces team under his command...
Not to be confused with Green Hill Zone
This movie provides examples of:
- Armies Are Evil: The Special Forces Miller has to deal with are depicted as secretive jerks.
- Big Bad: Poundstone.
- Bittersweet Ending: With a possible helping of It Was His Sled. Miller is unable to get al-Rawi alive, but he manages to write a report based on what he got from him and send it to all major news agencies. However, Poundstone gets away with what he did, and of course the Iraq War drags on with little progress for another 7 years.
- California Doubling: Morocco and Spain make for a pretty convincing Iraq.
- CIA Evil, FBI Good - Inverted. DOD bad, CIA good. It helps the CIA agent's been in the Middle East for a long time and knows what'll happen.
- The Dragon: The special forces team sent by Poundstone, led by Major Briggs.
- Driving Question: Who is Magellan?
- Foregone Conclusion: The war will continue to drag on for years. No matter what these fictional-but-based-on-real-people characters do, it's not affecting that.
- Gray and Gray Morality - Poundstone wants to justify the invasion with WMDs, but fully believes that Iraq needed democracy, and the US gave it to them. The Baath party (Saddam Hussein's government) is trying to figure out how to eventually co-operate with the Coalition and rebuild for a better Iraq, but they also happen to be a bunch of war criminals and corrupt men. Miller and the CIA are trying to figure out what's going on and set things right, and want Al-Rawi, a war criminal, alive to assist in rebuilding Iraq. Freddy knows Al-Rawi to be a monster and, when he realizes that Miller is trying to rescue Al-Rawi, Freddy kills Al-Rawi for his crimes.
- Hellish Copter: Al Rawi's men shoot down a Delta Force helicopter with an RPG. The shot made it into the trailer, as it probably was expensive to shoot.
- Intrepid Reporter: Lawrie.
- Karma Houdini: Poundstone gets no comeuppance whatsoever. Compare this to his real-life counterpart L. Paul Bremer.
- The movie ends with the Iraq coalition fracturing because no one wants Poundstone's puppet Iraqi leading them, hinting that Poundstone - like Bremer - is going to fail in his efforts and the best we can have for a comeuppance is seeing him seeing his puppet government fall into chaos and realizing he will be blamed for the mess.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Near the end of the movie, Freddie suddenly comes out of nowhere to shoot and kill General Al-Rawi, before Miller could get Al-Rawi to prove anything to the higher-ups. Miller is (and the audience probably is too) rightly upset by this anticlimactic event. However, Freddie's explanation for his actions succinctly sums up everything his character stands for (the freedom and sovereignty of the Iraqi people) with "It is not for you to decide what happens here.".
- Shaggy Dog Story: Miller spends the entire film attempting to save Al-Rawi, who is needed to forward the US agenda in reconstructing Iraq. Al-Rawi is killed by Freddy after a giant chase that ends in several special forces members killed.
- Strawman Political: Clark Poundstone.
- The Place: The movie is titled "Green Zone" (which is an area of safety from fighting), despite the fact that not much of the movie's action takes place in Baghdad's Green Zone, nor deals with the Green Zone itself.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: All of the characters have a real life counterpart.
- Visual Pun: A cut to children playing immediately follows a discussion about the future of Iraq, and the film ends with a shot of an oil refinery.