25restrepospan-thumbstandard Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm, teamed with photographer Tim Hetherington to spend a year embedded with the Second Platoon in Afghanistan, documenting the hard work, fear and brotherhood that come with repelling a deadly enemy. Hunkered down with the soldiers in one of the region's most strategic valleys, the filmmakers uncover the dark humor, sleepless surreality and constant anxiety of war in this Best Documentary winner at Sundance.
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Netflix Rating: 4.0
NYT Critics' Pick
The documentary "Restrepo," which follows a company of American soldiers in Afghanistan, has the spare, lyrical force of an elegy. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 96%
Critics' score: 96   Audience score: 86   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

At this point in all our Middle Eastern conflicts, we need more from a documentary than just a grunts-eye-view of the frustrating nature of the war. full review

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

A look at both the tragic folly of war and the camaraderie of men under pressure, the documentary Restrepo holds both hope and horror. full review

Tom Long, Detroit News

In hewing closely to the rhythms of war, Junger and Hetherington forgo different considerations about war. full review

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

The reaction of a soldier to the death of another - unvarnished, disbelieving grief so raw it's difficult to watch - is among the most moving footage of war and its cost imaginable. full review

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

After the recent avalanche of pundit-filled advocacy documentaries about health care, failing schools and environmental collapse, it's a bracing experience to be trusted to think for oneself. full review

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

By keeping the focus solely upon the outpost and the soldiers who lived and fought there, the co-directors effectively seal the film off from any external influence. full review

Preston Jones, Dallas Morning News

Though Hetherington and Junger's film doesn't ultimately have anything new to say about the nature of war, it will nonetheless have a strong impact on those of us fortunate enough to have experienced combat only in its motion-picture form. full review

Jason Anderson, Toronto Star

A riveting, you-are-there, deployment to a godforsaken place where United States troops are pinned down by enemy fire almost every day... full review

Andrew O'Hehir,

The filmmakers call Restrepo an experimental film; and in this case, the experiment wasn't entirely successful, but it was definitely worth making. full review

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

In their just-the-facts approach, the filmmakers neither pass judgment on the platoon's mission nor comment on U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. In the filmmakers' eyes, the men came, they saw, they didn't conquer; they do reflect. full review

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer

It's an essential record not only of the Afghanistan conflict but of men in battle full review

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader

This is hard, hard duty. A 15-month tour. Our admiration for these men grows. Their jobs seem beyond conceiving. I cannot imagine a civilian thinking he could perform them. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

It's the best thing I've seen in a long time. full review

Michael Phillips, At the Movies

Places audiences into the same groggy but frazzled rhythm as its combatants. full review

New York Daily News, New York Daily News

What we see is explosive, deeply moving and impossible to shake. full review

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Has the spare, lyrical force of an elegy.

A.O. Scott, New York Times

A gut-wrenching, politically neutral documentary that spends more than a year with a platoon of American GIs in a valley that's been called the most dangerous spot on Earth. full review

Lou Lumenick, New York Post

This movie will stir your heart and open your mind. It's a group portrait of practicing patriots. full review

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

Just how close the filmmakers were to the action, and the risks they took with the project, filter into virtually every scene. We hear the bullets whizzing past, breaking branches in nearby trees. full review

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

A documentary so real and unflinching (and at times deeply frightening) that it's hard to watch, but it is one of those film experiences that you'll feel glad about getting through. full review

Sara Vilkomerson, New York Observer
Similars Available on Instant
  • Release Year: 2010
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Runtime: 93 min
  • Available From: Dec 07, 2010
  • Queued by: 3537 people
Directed By
Sebastian Junger, Tim Hetherington

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