1 hour, 30 minutes
R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
for some war violence and language.
Audio Commentary by Robert Redford; The Making Of Lions for Lambs featurette; Script-to-screen featurette; UA Legacy retrospective; Theatrical trailers; Closed Captions
Robert Redford ... Professor Stephen Malley
Meryl Streep ... Janine Roth
Tom Cruise ... Senator Jasper Irving
Michael Peña ... Ernest Rodriguez
Andrew Garfield ... Todd Hayes
Peter Berg ... Lt. Col. Falco
Derek Luke ... Arian Finch
There are three seperate stories in director Robert Redford's film whose links are not obvious at first and may not even be evident at the end of the film, but what transpires is nothing much more than a series of intelligent lectures and patriotic speeches about the lamentable state of the nation. The theme of each of the tales is commitment.
The first involves an interview between Janine Roth (Meryl Streep "The Devil Wears Prada"), a seasoned, 57-year-old reporter, and Senator Jasper Irving (Tom Cruise "Mission Impossible"), who aspires to the White House and has an ambitious plan to win the war in Afghanistan. After considering the charismatic Republican senator’s plan for winning the war untenable, she wonders whether she should risk her job by defying her editor and refusing to write the story.
The second takes place on the Afghan battlefield, focusing on two soldiers, Mexican-American Ernest Rodriguez (Michael Pena) and African-American Arian Finch (Derek Luke "Antoine Fisher"), who are shot down behind enemy lines, and trapped in the freezing snow as Taliban insurgents approach.
The third occurs at a conference between a southern California political science professor, Dr. Stephen Malley (Robert Redford "The Sting") and a cynical, unfocused student, Todd (Andrew Garfield "Mumbo Jumbo"). The professor is trying to ignite some kind of spark in the young man who only seems interested in fraternity and girls and has no idea what he should do with his life. Finch and Rodriguez had also been students of the professor, but that's where the similarity ends. They had been in college on scholarships, grateful for the opportunity and eager to show their appreciation by volunteering for service in Afghanistan.
But the film is much too talky and the dialogue often seems stilted. It's a worthwhile effort with an important message but you'll have a hard time believing the characters because they don't ever seem to be real people and considering the all star cast, it's all is rather sad.