Badland (2007) Poster

(2007)

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9/10
A truly courageous film
ghostwriterjbi-19 November 2007
One cannot watch this film and not be affected by the emotional impact it has long after leaving the theater. Badland is the type of powerful movie that longs to be discussed and debated.

The film is a disturbing view into the psyche of one man who returns from war beaten and broken. Jamie Draven gives an amazing performance as Jerry, the vet who returns home to a world as alien as the one he was fighting in. His tormented soul struggles to fit back into society, only to find that he is truly lost.

Jerry can no longer relate to his wife and children and without giving anything away, his anguish sets him on a path of self destruction. The only ray of sunshine on his tortured journey, is that of his daughter Celina, played with the maturity of a veteran actress by young Grace Fulton.

The music is haunting in it's simplicity and underscores the torment of Jerry's character. The panoramic vistas seem to add a sense of normalcy and serenity to an otherwise harsh and brutal subject matter and they seem to enhance Jerry's yearning to find peace and redemption. But Jerry realizes that his dream to find peace and a new beginning only brings out more ghosts and memories of his past. He can't escape what he's done and he can't undo the terrible acts of violence he has committed. And when he meets Max, also a war vet, played by actor Joe Morton, he is reminded with blinding clarity that the sins of the past really do follow you forcing you to face them with the force of a sledge hammer. Jerry is so out of touch with reality that he attempts to weave a new life for himself in the face of his brutally violent acts. He is so shattered that he believes he can simply step away from his past and step into a new life like changing a pair of pants. To his horror, he discovers he cannot.

The entire cast gave outstanding performances bringing the realities of war home and one can only wonder just how beaten and broken the vets who come home truly are. This powerful film gives us a glimpse into ravages of war and one cannot help but be affected by emotional whirlwind the characters go through as we follow them.

Director Francesco Lucente has given us a movie without the tired cliché flashbacks of war footage. We already know that war is physically devastating, what Badland shows us is the devastation it has on the soul. It is truly a courageous film that will be the topic of discussion for years to come and a MUST see film.
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2/10
Great Cinematography, Preposterous Tone and a True Cop Out Ending
suuzuu078 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I'm assuming the filmmakers heart was in the right place but, frankly, this movie is truly unconscionable. I was offended by the tone and the total cop out ending. You cannot take issues like this so lightly! Without knowing the final caveat of the movie... we watch as a guy guns down his 9 month pregnant wife and two sons and are supposed to follow him for the next 2+ hours as he tries to establish a new life?? You cannot have sympathy for a character who does this. Cannot! Not to mention, we're given nothing until the last say 1/2 hour of this unnecessarily long movie, as to why this guy is suffering so much. No flashbacks, no sudden reactions to noise or movement - stuff that real vets are suffering from. All we know is he has a pain in the ass wife and can't financially take care of her and his 3 kids. There really didn't seem to be any research whatsoever into what current Iraq vets are going through.

Additionally, the movie suffers tremendously from a heavy handed and totally inappropriate score. Its a catastrophe. It is truly harmful to some actually good acting on the part of the male lead and at times Joe Morton. It foreshadows EVERYTHING you're supposed to feel, and sometimes gives you the wrong clues entirely! Again, this was a brutal thing this guy did, and so seeing him get a new job, meet a new blonde, struggle behind the counter making toast is NOT appropriate! And really, the ending? What a freakin cop out! How dare you.

There are far richer films dealing with the affects of war on returning soldiers, please don't bother with this one.
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Stunning juxtaposing of beauty and tragedy
pollyschaffner21 August 2007
This powerful film has stayed with me for weeks, with its searing pain and wrecked, unforgettable beauty. As powerful as any war (or anti-war) story can be, it shows interior battle-fields. Memory is piled on memory - all mute - with tragic lack of healing, until desperation invades the soul and runs lives into heartbreak and ruin. The terrific cast is so deeply affecting because of the radiance within the main characters. The little girl is a wonder! Jerry and Max have a relationship which says more about current war than any overtly political statement.

Although the film is a long tour-de-force of emotion and drama, the bleakness of the circumstances is uplifted by a beautiful, dead-on score. Moments like long gazes at gorgeous skies, or exquisite background vocalises, drive home what could have been, and lift the film into an epic realm.
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9/10
Hard hitting and honest
edwards124619 September 2009
Finally managed to get a DVD of Badland and I'm so glad. It's a brave rendering of how war can torment those who have experienced it and how life is never the same once a veteran is back in 'normal life'. How this film has been passed over by 'mainstream' movie watchers is beyond me because it's incredible.

The cast is excellent, Jamie Draven is outstanding as Jerry and deserves no end of credit for taking on and shining in such a hard hitting and powerful main role. You feel for Jerry the whole way through, despite every decision he makes, everything he does and doesn't do. It's a long film but the character is so strongly played you cannot stop watching and physically need to know how it turns out. Joe Morton and Grace Fulton also deserve accolades in their roles.

The writing is great, the story is consistently strong and this film deserves to be seen. In addition, the scenery is beautiful.

The speech Jerry bellows at Max under the tree is harsh but seems to be pretty close to the mark...what better excuse is there? It happens over and over. I imagine that this is part of the reason a lot of people seem to have missed out on this amazing film - do critics feel this is too honest for the mainstream? Sad if so because there's a lot of unworthy ego-rubbing films that are seen by millions. Will we ever learn?
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10/10
Amazing movie
raymondlarsen7 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I have never wrote a review on IMDb but this deserves a review. This is an AMAZING movie, it may not be Transformers, or any **** like that. but it has everything that belongs in movies. A Real Tear Jerker if ya know what i mean..

but if you cannot stand watching kids die, then DO NOT WATCH THIS.

then what i said to my friends:

I cant even explain it. It hits that spot, like wtf. the guy comes home from war, his wife hates him, his job sucked, his boss ripped him off. The wife tells him she wishes he died over in Iraq, so he just shoots her, and his two sons. Then he goes to kill his daughter but runs out of ammo. The kid's voice and cry not to kill her is just heart wrenching. then everything that happens through out.. Its just ---- WOW...
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8/10
Hard to swallow
kosmasp12 August 2008
This movie stays with you, long after the end credits have rolled. It's the performance, the semi-documentary feel, the inspired by true events thing (it does feel real), the political and (anti-) war message it delivers and many other things (among them a very stunning lead performance).

It definitely isn't afraid to pull out all the stops and go for it. For this radical and brave choice(s) it makes, it will get either your admiration or your disbelieve. And with the latter also a bad review. While you can criticize the movie for quite a few things (patriotic it ain't for once), you can't deny it's impact! While the structure might seem a little bit strange (even chaotic if you want to call it that) and it seems not to have a particular goal, this might indeed be the message the movie has for the viewer ...
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10/10
A film for our times.
dudley-foot1 October 2007
A fantastic, moving, dramatic film about the casualties--at home--of the Iraq War..The devastating impact of one returning veteran's spin out of control demonstrates with hurricane force the effects of the psychologically-wounding war on his entire family and all those he comes in contact with.

The majestic musical score heightens the tension, but provides a level of calmness and beauty to an otherwise gut wrenching and frantic story line.

Grace Fulton as Celina, the veteran's young daughter is wise beyond her years. She gives tender and lighthearted relief to her bleak circumstances . Exceptional performance.

Vietnam had Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now", Michael Cimeno's "Deerhunter" and Hal Ashby's "Coming Home".

Writer/Director Francesco Lucente has given dramatic voice and a (rare) classic take on our current "war of choice" You will think about the context of this film and will want to take another look. We certainly will.

Dudley & Josephine Foot
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10/10
Review
Julie-Stevenson4 July 2007
Badland is a must for everyone. The film is harrowing and emotionally draining. It certainly packs a punch. Jamie Draven acts his part superbly as an anguished and desperate man- and his American accent is even passable! There is very much an atmosphere of claustrophobia and desolation running through the story that it is quite spine chilling in its effect.I believe this will have quite an impact on audiences on release. The only criticism might be that it is too long- there were scenes that could have been shortened. But the overall effect was spellbinding. Congratulations to Badland Films for a believable story brought to us with all the inherent pain and guilt that the main character portrays. His pain is deafening. Congratulations to Jamie Draven too- an ideal choice.
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8/10
A harsh film that is worth watching
chanssc22 May 2007
This is a quite long film (almost 3 hours) but you don't really see the time pass by as it is very poignant and gripping. The scenario is well constructed, acting is excellent as well as film direction. There are some glitches (like a wound in the girl's hand that appears completely healed in a scene then is shown again with a bloody plaster on it in the next one) but they are very minor.

Overall, it is an excellent film about the traumatic and dramatic results of war on the psyche and life of American soldiers when they come back to the States. Jamie Draven plays the role of Jerry, an American soldier who has tremendous difficulties to adjust to normal life again. To make matters worse, his wife thinks he is an a**hole, they live in a sordid home and environment with three children and a fourth one is in the womb. Jerry commits something tragic (can't say what… would be a spoiler) and as a consequence, engages in a drama-laden trip in his homeland with a constant refusal to accept full redemption leading to a tragic end for the only thing that could have saved him from himself (can't say what again;-)

The penultimate flash scene could have been removed as it unrealistically questions the whole story's existence. Whereas the whole film could shock audiences, that scene tries to come back on that jolt like they were not so sure about going the full length. Anyway, fortunately it was a very short scene which you could choose to ignore
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10/10
Baldand
Bobbie259 September 2009
Sorry, i'm a little bit to late and don't worry about my English, cause I'm German :o) i'd seen the movie today and i was very very amazed. Excellent story and skilled actors. It's so emotional, which may become a true story and some aspects are also belong to my live.

This is just not the highest budget production, but all the things who are required to make good moviers, belong to it.

I'm able to vote only 10 points, but its more than 10, its fantastic! For a wonderful movie evening with, it would be the best choice.

When i have finished my work, i will go out to order the DVD. i must have it.

Martin
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9/10
A powerful movie
shiloo5 January 2009
This is a movie that will not let you off the hook easily. It requires time and thought to process it all. It leaves you angry, sad, shaken. It above all things leaves you asking "Why?". And you will not feel satisfied.

Some reviews exactly portray this reaction, in all possible facets, from bad to good.

This movie feels so scarily real. It shows the human ability of phasing out reality, even the worst kind. It shows love that feels so honest as if you were part of this movie.

I really like that this movie had a European feeling to it:

No fast cuts, no fast paced story telling.

This movie gives you time to watch the unbelievable story unwrap, to the bitter end. It makes you think a lot, without feeling kitschy. This is no light popcorn movie. There are not many dialogs, as the eyes and the faces of the main actors can convey more than words could ever do.

I recommend this movie to all people with an open mind.

I do not recommend it for people that are overly patriotic, or in some way are too close to this topic. You will be angry, and by all means will not like this movie.
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1/10
By far the worst movie I've ever seen.....ever.
arbarr316 June 2009
Being an American service member please believe me when I say that this movie in no way accurately portrays the emotional state of our Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen/Marines returning from deployments.

That being said....

This movie is one large steaming pile of cliché. The acting as awful (with the exception of the little girl) the character's backgrounds are weak and laughable, and plot is ludicrous.

This movie is so bad I made an account with IMDb just to warn anyone with half a brain away from it.

Canadian writer/director Francesco Lucente should be really, really, really ashamed of this movie. If he disagrees with US foreign policy, he should write a letter to the US government, not punish the entire English speaking world with a monumentally crap film.
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I think "Badland" was an exceptionally well directed movie and the cast's acting was superb!
surajabi21 August 2011
I searched through Netflix and couldn't decide what to watch. The title "Badland" did not appeal to me but, the 1st 10 minutes had me hooked. The acting was excellent. I can completely sympathize with the character. In fact, I'm surprised he took that long to kill his horrible wife. I was shocked at her treatment of him after going to war. I loved that I couldn't predict what he was going to do after he fled with his daughter. I was actually rooting for him. I wanted him to at least have one night of sensational love making with the angel that tried to save him. He deserved that and so much more after the life he had led. The acting of the rest of the cast was superb. I sympathized with the sheriff, one never appreciates life until your faced with death. I will highly recommend this movie.
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1/10
badland could have been OK
ChargerRT8314 December 2010
The least they could have done is get an American Actor to play Jerry Rice (couldn't think of a name that wasn't a famous football player? why didn't they just name him Michael Jordan or Babe Ruth?) Is Jaime Draven even trying to cover up his English accent? This is some of the worst acting i have ever seen except for the little girl. I don't know how i have sat through this whole movie and i am not any type of film critic. I just don't think its too much to ask to have an American Soldier played by an American or at least one that can cover up an English accent. The African American soldier he meets uniform is not even close to accurate, another really easy fix. this movie is just half ass-ed. Awful movie.
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1/10
Terrible, painfully slow and inaccurate
michael-mellein12 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Badland is one of the worst movies I ever seen. Most of the time this is fine and I can go on with my life, but I feel the need to warn others in this case. As a veteran of the Iraq war I feel it necessary to say that the story, plot, acting and depiction of what soldiers go through upon returning home was pure garbage. It was as if the director/writer/whoever latched on to whatever cliché about returning soldiers and ran with it and ran with it and ran with it..Not to mention I would imagine there was absolutely no research put into this film. The "Marine" uniform looked like it was fresh off a surplus store shelf and was a pattern not used since the first Iraq war. I won't go on forever, this is a horrible movie. If you are interested in the stories of returning soldiers there are much better alternatives. I recommend going to your local library.
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