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War Story


Lee is a world-weary American woman who arrives in an Italian city. Her tangles with hotel staff, incessant smoking and her disregard of the persistently ringing telephone hint at her volatility brewing beneath the surface. Between fitful naps, she wanders the streets, snapping pictures of refugees as if her camera were both weapon and olive branch. Struggling to confront her demons, Lee resolves to help a beautiful young woman in need.

Actors: Catherine Keener , Hafsia Herzi , Ben Kingsley , Vincenzo Amato , Donatella Finocchiaro
Directors: Mark Jackson
Country: USA
Release: 2014-07-30
More Info:
  • Scott Foundas

    Anchored by Keener’s understated, psychologically acute performance, director Mark Jackson’s spare, quietly powerful sophomore feature demonstrates an impressive control of mood and tone and the ability to tell a story largely without words.

    Variety Full Review
  • Sheri Linden

    Keener's performance riveting.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Serena Donadoni

    Jackson and co-screenwriter Kristin Gore prize ambiguity, allowing for cathartic revelations but no easy resolutions.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Fronted by an outstanding performance from Catherine Keener, who is onscreen, often by herself, at almost every moment, this challenging but not difficult second feature from Mark Jackson parcels out its information in gradual increments, forcing the viewer to infer rather simply receive most narrative information.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Jesse Hassenger

    Jackson’s technique is undercut, if only a little, by story and characters that sometimes cross the line from minimalist to just plain underdeveloped. Yet as a formal exercise that gives Keener the space to really inhabit her character, War Story is effective.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Chris Michael

    Jackson is wise to keep Keener's pushy, desperate Lee in centre focus.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Sara Stewart

    Lee may not want to let anyone in, but it’s hard to engage fully with a film that doesn’t seem to want to, either.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Clayton Dillard

    Mark Jackson's direction strips much of the agency from any character's grasp by insisting that their dilemmas can only be revealed with stone-faced austerity.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    An excellent Keener commits reliably to the role and does give us moments worth savoring. But the underwritten script and misguided direction leave her stranded.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Christy Lemire

    There’s minimalist filmmaking that’s quietly intriguing, and then there’s emotional detachment that’s stultifying to the point of being nap-inducing. War Story falls into the latter category. Full Review
  • Mike D'Angelo

    Sincerity and good intentions are all it has going for it, alas, and the result is the cinematic equivalent of a plate full of spinach.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Jeannette Catsoulis

    Aiming for a moody portrait of psychological distress, Mark Jackson directs with a sluggish pace, an abstract style and a dismal aesthetic that rebuff involvement.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Rodrigo Perez

    Elusively told to the point of irritation, joyless and shot in chilly incarcerating rooms, War Story has the look and feel of an exhausted ashtray and borders on the pretentiously unclear.

    The Playlist Full Review

  • war photographer

  • photographer

  • blurred nudity

  • female protagonist