Netflix UK film review: Lions for Lambs
Ivan Radford | On 16, Jul 2014
Director: Robert Redford
Cast: Tom Cruise, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep
Watch Lions for Lambs online in the UK: Netflix UK
In a sea of left-wing filmmakers criticising America’s foreign policy, Robert Redford’s latest project could easily be drowned out. With A-listers Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep on board, though, he’s clearly hoping that Lions for Lambs will get noticed. Showing the war on terror from different perspectives, Lions for Lambs jump between three loosely connected plot strands – how original. Here, we have a journalist (Streep) interviewing senator Jasper Irving (Cruise), two young soldiers battling in Afghanistan and a tutor (Redford) talking to a slacking student.
Cruise is on charismatic form as the determined Senator, telling the reporter of his new initiative for victory in Afghanistan. Hitting Streep with wave upon wave of rhetoric, his ignorant and vague propaganda almost convince – by no means an easy feat. The only thing that undermines him are the photos of him with President Bush and other political leaders that line his office.
Far from the air-conditioned office, youngsters Ernest and Arian have enlisted for the army, inspired by Redford’s tutor. Soon, they are surrounded by Taliban troops. The performance of the pair just manages to shake off their characters’ cliched tale. Back on the university campus, meanwhile, Redford’s crinkly professor issues random ultimatums to his student. Recruiting him without leaving the chair, it’s no surprise that he feels responsible for the fate of Ernest and Arian.
Clocking in at a mere 90 minutes, the film feels far longer due to its weighty content. The editing within each plotline, though, is snappy and dynamic, even if hopping between the three is somewhat sloppy. By the time Meryl Streep gets a little weepy, the movies stubborn straddling of the fence begins to feel forced and slightly irritating. But in between its questions of the media, the government and finally the audience, this jumbled piece has its provocative moments.
Lions for Lambs is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.