It's rare that you encounter a bad movie whose badness deserves no analysis, no interpretation, no exculpatory comments - nothing but pure, unadulterated derision. Lions for Lambs, however, is such a movie. Indeed, I fear that mere words can't begin to convey its unmitigated awfulness. I give it my best shot in the next NR, and I've been impressed by the efforts turned in by Chris Orr, Dana Stevens, and the Onion A/V Club. But I think John Podhoretz has really hit the sweet spot. I tried quoting the movie's dialogue in an effort to establish the film's utter risibility, but I think he's hit on a better method: Deadpan plot summary. Consider the following passage (spoilers below):
After Cruise gets a phone call informing him that the new strategy is already a failure because Redford's two students are bleeding on the mountain, he turns to her and speaks the truth. He is tired of America being humiliated, he says. She leaves his office, begins to hyperventilate, and tells her boss that Cruise is going to become the next president and use nuclear weapons on unsuspecting Muslims. Her boss tells her to write up the news without mentioning the whole nuclear-weapons thing. She says she will not be a vehicle for warmongering propaganda the way the entire news media were the last time. He says she'd better, or Streep's sick mother will no longer be able to receive 24-hour care.
This is not a right-wing critic trying to make an anti-war movie sound stupid. This is literally what happens in the film.
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