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Plot: A story following Archer, a man tortured by his roots. With a strong survival instinct, he has made himself a key player in the business of conflict diamonds. Political unrest is rampant in Sierra Leone as people fight tooth for tooth. Upon meeting Solomon, and the beautiful Maddy, Archer's life… Runtime: 143 min Release Date: 08 Dec 2006
A Hollywood movies tells an African story full of death and violence and presents it with impressive truth. (by john_cberry)
Because I lived in Sierra Leone, in fact in Kono, the diamond-mining area of the country, for three years, I had to see Blood Diamond as soon as it came out. It is an excellent movie. Although it was not filmed in Sierra Leone, it captures the reality of the country to a remarkable degree. There is a great deal of violence in this movie, but that violence is organic, realistic, fitting to what happened there. They even manage to convey the fact that the people are as astonished by this violence as we are; Sierra Leone used to be one of the safest countries in the world. The movie tells the <more>
facts about conflict diamonds quickly and accurately. DiCaprio's performance is impressive, certainly the best by him I've ever seen: he is totally believable as a white African. Jennifer Connelly's role is much smaller but she makes the most of it. Djiman Housou has enormous physical presence as the brave Mende fisherman. This movie just gets so many things right that the few places it departs from reality are entirely forgivable. I would heartily recommend this movie to everyone; it is the best Hollywood movie I've seen in years.
I saw this on December 2nd in La Canada, CA @ a Sneak Preview...a week before it opened nationwide. How do I express my utter satisfaction & amazement with this film.Take Leonardo DiCaprio's best performance over the last 15 years and multiply it by 10. He is mind-blowing. Awarding him an Oscar for Blood Diamond would not be a big enough compliment for the way he aced the role of Danny Archer.The fabulous & flawless Charles Leavitt script is only enhanced by Ed Zwick's masterful directing job. Djimon Hounsou is perfectly cast and is more-than-believable when he wields a <more>
shovel.And, Jennifer Connelly's understated elegance & expressiveness is captivating. Put this movie at the top of your list.
Faithful to the Sierra Leone civil war, but just a small part of it, like Hotel Rwanda (by forhall)
I rate this a ten because I had the privilege of going to Sierra Leone after the war and participate in one of the war crimes trials there at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, created by the Sierra Leone government with the United Nations. In a bit more than two and a half hours, the writers and directors have to tell the story of the civil war, keep it concise yet true, and tell it through the eyes of a few participants. Because the story line is so true, and the acting, writing, directing, locations, people, and photography are all superior, I must admit prejudice toward such a high <more>
rating. My local reviewer gave it a B+.My exposure to the civil war and only some of the events of this movie were based on reading books, hundreds of witness statements, online material about the war, including the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Report, and listening to over 100 witnesses testify, and my trial was not even those of the RUF and AFRC, the really bad actors of the war, as the movie shows, pulling no punches. The accounts of atrocities are shockingly real. Tens of thousands had hands amputated, people were indiscriminately murdered, women raped or forced to marry, villages were burned, and children were kidnapped and forced to fight the war for both of the rebel factions RUF and AFRC . Making a child a soldier is a war crime, and this movie artfully shows you why, without saying a word about it.Sherman said, about our own Civil War, that "War is hell." But, African civil war is far different and atrocious because it inevitably leads to atrocities. This fine work, with Hotel Rwanda, stands out as a film seriously attempting to explain the atrocities that Africans somehow can do to themselves.
A great character film with two excellent performances. (by A_Roode)
Since there is very little in the negative column, let me disperse with it first: 'Blood Diamond' might fairly be accused of 'bleeding heart syndrome' more on that in a bit , has a few minor pacing issues and seems unsure with how to end. The ending that they chose extends the film too far, seems forced and is tacked on. The more natural ending is on the mountainside -- you'll know what I mean when you see it. Those things said, the positives are much greater and this film showcased two towering performances. Djimon Hounsou is nothing short of incredible and I'd be <more>
astonished if he isn't considered at Oscar time. Secondly, although I've had little patience for him before, Leonardo DiCaprio has really impressed me this year. With his performances in 'The Departed' and now 'Blood Diamond,' I think I need to reappraise my own biases against him. I'm becoming a fan.Some of the early reviews that I read painted 'Blood Diamond' as hysterical left-winger cause-head paradise. They suggest that the conflict diamond situation has been exaggerated and completely distorted. I don't know if that is the case. The film makes a compelling case but I don't base my political and economic decisions on films that I watch. My interest here was to see how characters would respond to adversity and a terrible, horrifyingly dark situation. The political agenda of the film isn't as cloyingly bombastic as I was afraid it might be. This is a film that, while concerned with the political situation in Africa, focuses more on how the obsessive search for a large, rare pink diamond consumes those who get too close to it.DiCaprio is excellent as a Rhodesian HIS description mercenary and arms dealer working in Sierra Leone. Hounsou is a fisherman who gets drawn into the civil war raging around him and discovers a pink diamond that could save -- or destroy -- both he and his family. Jennifer Connelly plays a journalist trying to discover if a huge multi-national diamond company is knowingly in the market for conflict diamonds. Jennifer Connelly seems to get the worst of the dialogue. When told that Americans are in part to blame for conflict diamonds she responds with a line about 'not all girls want a fantasy wedding.' It makes her look naive at best and silly at worst. She generally manages to save the character from either of those fates though and also manages to avoid self-righteousness when dealing with some of the films more morally flexible characters. Hounsou is great and the desperation in his character as he tries to find his family crackles on the screen. He is cagey and understands what he needs to do to survive. His character is not above playing servile if that will keep him alive. And when provoked to violence, the result was absolutely chilling. In much smaller roles are Arnold Vosloo as a mercenary Colonel, Stephen Collins as a diplomat and Michael Sheen as an executive at a diamond company. Excellent performances all around.Is 'Blood Diamond' judgemental? I think that is the wrong question. The film is a character study both of all the men pursuing the pink diamond and what effect it has on them, but it is also a character study of Africa. Tragic and heartsick, 'Blood Diamond' is drenched with cynicism and defeatism. Why is there misery and exploitation? "TIA," explains DiCaprio to Connelly, "This Is Africa." In contrast to a film like 'Traffic,' 'Blood Diamond' doesn't wallow in hopelessness. Some of the characters might be cynical but the film itself does search for hope. The heart of the picture is the human cost. Characters see the wealth of the diamond and are destroyed by it. The film shares a great deal thematically with a film like 'Treasure of the Sierra Madre.' High praise for a high quality film.
This is a resubmitted review of a Test Screening edit, not the final movie. The original review was removed by IMDb for unknown reasons and has been edited. For the particularly sensitive, this review may contain SPOILERS! 'Blood Diamond' is the relatively simple story of an amoral diamond smuggler, Archer, helping a Liberian fisherman, Soloman, to find the giant pink diamond that he hid out in the bush while working in the diamond mines. Solomon agrees to act as Archer's guide in exchange for assistance in locating his family in some far flung refugee camp, and his son, kidnapped <more>
and brainwashed by Liberia's rebel forces.If all this sounds rather dour and depressing, and far too political and preachy a movie to actually be entertaining, you couldn't be more wrong. In essence, 'Blood Diamond' is an old fashioned adventure movie that harks back to the days on 'King Solomon's Mines' or 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre'. It's all wrapped up in contemporary events in West Africa and introduces the largely unavoidable politics only if and when they lend depth and motivation to a character, but it's still just an adventure story. An r-rated, messy and violent adventure story that shines a spotlight on a hidden region of the world, but an adventure story none-the-less.Zwick, who I've never rated particularly highly as a director, injects the whole thing with genuine excitement and adrenaline. There are several action setpieces that are truly spectacular, and he manages to keep the focus tightly on the action and adventure while resisting the temptation to turn the whole thing in to a PBS documentary on the horrors of West African child soldiers.Special note has to go the three leads. Di Caprio, following the excellent 'The Departed' delivers what could possibly be an even better performance. Not only does he manage to pull off the South African accent without a hitch, but he even manages to speak in pidgin English at one point without generating embarrassed snickers from the audience no mean feat. He carries the role with a confidence that is unlikely to go unnoticed at award time. Hounsou brings the same impassioned intensity to his role that he's been summoning since 'Amistad', providing an emotional core to a movie populated by tired cynics. Connelly, who looks better than ever here, is, however, wasted. She delivers a great performance that subtly conveys the vulture nature of even the most well-meaning reporter, but her character is, quite bizarrely, required to leave the movie just when things get interesting. She and Di Caprio have such obvious chemistry that it's a mystery why the producers felt the need to split them up so soon after meeting.Dan Weil's production design is outstanding and clearly award-worthy. He pretty much does what he did for 'Syriana'; that is, create an environment that seems so authentic that you can all but smell the garbage in the streets.There are a couple of low points. The music, by James Newton Howard, is obvious, clichéd, overtly manipulative, and drew attention to itself at all the wrong moments. I was interested to see in his bio that he was responsible for the 'King Kong' soundtrack, which was one of the most irritating and repetitive in recent years.The last 10 minutes, in which a bizarre and completely incongruous happy ending is tacked on to the movie, is terrible. It falls back on every feel-good cliché of the genre note the ending of last year's 'The Constant Gardener' while betraying everything the movie has attempted to establish over the previous two hours. The story has a very clear and obvious ending, and it takes place on an African mountainside, not at a London press-conference. I'm hoping that Warner has the courage to de-Disneyfy the ending before release, as it greatly reduces the impact and credibility of the film.'Blood Diamond' is an excellent movie, one of the best I've seen all year - a solid story, compellingly told, with actors delivering great performances. Should Warner decide to deepen the relationship between DiCaprio and Connelly and ditch the lousy ending, it would earn a full 10 out of 10. Whatsmore, it also prompted me to go out to the library and check out several books about the socio-political history of West Africa. I'm sure I won't be the only one, and that is where the true success of the movie lies.
Blood Diamond is a powerful film. It was very difficult to watch due to the subject matter, and cried for the people of Africa not five minutes into the film. I liken the effect to that of Schindler's List, but whereas the Holocaust happened 50 years before that film, the atrocities surrounding African conflict diamonds is happening now. The most disheartening thing is that not much is being done about it.But Blood Diamond does have heart. It has a big heart that refuses to give in to cynicism and despair. It is an "if only" film--as in, if only more things this world-changing <more>
would happen in real life--yet it is far from being idealistic. Hopefully, everyone who sees it will take it with them long after they leave the theater and will remember it the next time they find themselves eying a diamond in the jewelry store.As for the actors, Djimon Hounsou shows again what a powerful actor he is, and Leonardo DiCaprio has never been better. He has had a great year between this and The Departed, and is becoming better at his craft every time he appears in a film. I love Jennifer Connelly, but she makes little impact here.Edward Zwick continues to make powerful films. Glory and The Last Samurai are two of my all-time favorites, and now I add Blood Diamond to that list. It is the most important movie of the year.
Another Oscar worthy turn from DiCaprio (by Margie24)
Leonardo DiCaprio has become one of the premiere American actors. With a set of natural instincts that lends a non-showy, believable quality to all of his performances, versatility, and movie star size charisma that fills up the screen and emotionally hooks the viewer into his character and story, it is hard to think of another male American actor with the exception of Johnny Depp who is consistently giving an audience its money worth; these two gentleman have taken the reins from Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, as those two Oscar-winning future legends of the silver screen gracefully age <more>
into more mature roles.In Blood Diamond, it is Mr. DiCaprio's performance that raises this film above it's standard Hollywood fare of a script although it is a solid script into something memorable. His performance here as an opportunistic diamond smuggler equals that of the one he gave earlier in the fall as "Billy Costigan" in The Departed, although the two characters couldn't be more different from each other. It may be his best performance yet, and in terms of sheer charisma and memorability it certainly rivals his mega-star making performance as "Jack Dawson" in Titanic. I liked Blood Diamond a great deal, but do not think it is a great film. A good movie? Yes. Very mainstream and formulaic, but it is raised up quite a bit by DiCaprio's character and his terrific realization of it. If I had read this script beforehand, I never would have thought of Leo for this role- possibly George Clooney or some other star known for "roguish charm," but not Leo. But now, having seen it, I can't imagine anybody else as "Danny Archer;" it is a fully realized, winning performance.Mr. Hounsou was wonderful as well, and I liked the chemistry between the two men in their scenes together. He was able to make the audience feel the gamut of emotions his character experiences during the course of the movie- pride and hope, fear, outrage, resignation, mistrust, desperation, and determination, and beautifully rises above the somewhat limiting way his role was written.I thought Ms. Connelly did as good a job as possible in her role as "the idealistic journalist who wants to make a difference." Her part was just a larger version of Joaquin Phoenix's in Hotel Rwanda. As always, I find she brings a certain dignity and intelligence to her performances and does not allow her incredible beauty to overshadow her acting. I thought she and Leo worked wonderfully together, as well, and along with Mr. Hounsou they make an engaging trio you can't help rooting for.In comparing it to other recent films about Africa, I didn't think this was quite as good as as Hotel Rwanda, but better than The Interpreter, The Constant Gardener, and The Last King of Scotland. I felt an emotional engagement with the characters I didn't experience in the latter three films. I found the script allowed my care for the characters to grow as the story progressed, and was not overly manipulative. At times it veered too much into standard action movie territory, with much violence and many "close calls" but would then be brought back into the realm of compelling human drama by a wonderfully acted, intimate scene.After reading some early negative comments, I was pleasantly surprised at my response to it. Compelling characters and the skillful use of a truly gripping global issue as the plot line make this a satisfying viewing experience- one that I would happily see again.
What does it take to turn someone into a killer? The answer is different for each character involved in this movie. For some it is survival. For others it is the hope of escape from a life of hell. For some it is family. For others it is greed. Caught in the middle of it all are the children who have such little desire to kill for any reason that they must be brainwashed into becoming the instruments of their masters who claim to offer freedom.Every few years an action movie comes along that has amazing depth. Terminator 2 and The Matrix are such movies, and so is Blood Diamond. It is full of <more>
characterizations we've seen before, but it's the interaction that raises this film above the masses. Each character has an agenda that forces him or her to distrust everyone else. The paths that some relationships take to develop trust are believable, while others are equally believable in remaining eternally antagonistic. And through it all is the realization that while some characters may change their methodology and morals, none ever change their dreams. Each character fights for the goal to the bitter end. Such is human nature, and such is the conflict of Blood Diamond, the conflict of Africa. In the end, we are left to wonder if peace can ever be attained in such a world. And somehow we are left believing that maybe it can.
Diamonds, Nerve And Indifference (by ccrivelli2005)
The torturous road of South African diamonds to the greedy fingers of an indifferent world makes this new Edward Zwick movie one of the most powerful Action/Adventure/Dramas to come out of Hollywood in a long time. The perfect balance between entertainment and a thoughtful social commentary helps the center of the story to have a real heart and a palpable respect for us, the audience. All this praise and I still have not mentioned Leonardo Di Caprio or Djimon Hounsou but I'm going to. Di Caprio opens a new door, introducing us to a character who is a first in his already extraordinary <more>
career. He startled us as a very young man with "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" before he fell with a serious case of Titanictis. Now, after a three a long and serious Scorsese cures, this spectacular actor makes me believe that we haven't seen anything yet. Remarkable. As remarkable as the soulful Djimon Hounsou who manages to give the film a visible soul. I was moved and yes, I must admit, surprised. Apart from the visual and interpretative prowess of "Blood Diamond" there is a realistic view of a third world country as shattering as the unforgettable one in "City Of God" Don't miss it.