Tuesday 18th January 2022

Lions For Lambs (15)
Directed by: Robert Redford
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

The poster for this film is a real head-turner. It doesn't have fancy graphics, or a classic painting like the posters from the 1960s. It doesn't have much in the way of catchy slogans. It's not even originally designed. But what it does have is the names of three of the world's most famous and respected actors on it. The first time I saw the poster advertising the appearance of Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise, I stopped in my tracks for a closer look.

Redford: Still got it
Redford: Still got it

Lions for Lambs then, is a serious piece of work from director Robert Redford, and I'm glad that he's chosen to star in it himself alongside the other screen giants. Coming from Redford, you can already tell that the film will be political and will be thought-provoking and intelligent.

The film is very light on action and sets, and, in fact, could work quite well as a play. It follows three small stories in essence - short snapshots of some people's lives. A professor in California (Redford) is trying to persuade one of his gifted students that he should do something useful with his life instead of giving in to the political apathy of today's youth. A journalist (Streep) is interviewing a Senator (Cruise) on a new military tactic in Afghanistan, but is reluctant to write the propaganda she is being fed. Meanwhile, two soldiers in Afghanistan are part of the execution of the new military strategy.

Redford is on scintillating form as a mild mannered but passionate professor, and Cruise does himself proud as the charming, but smarmy Senator – a politician through and through. Streep does a great job too, but her character is less appealing, coming across as a slightly confused, old lady with very little backbone left.

The vast majority of this film is talking. It's as simple as that. The topics being discussed are very interesting and the actors sell it superbly, but there's no getting away from the fact that it seems like two interviews cut together with some footage of a couple of soldiers. Nevertheless, if you're up for some interesting discussion, you'd definitely be better off watching this than Sicko, for example. Both are very focussed on America, but this is much more even-handed discussion.

The biggest problem with this film is that it doesn't really have an ending, which isn't surprising given its content. It does leave the audience feeling a little unfulfilled, but for once, I think the pleasure of watching the actors makes up for it.

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Length: 88 minutes
Certificate: 15
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 9th November 2007

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