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The War Zone [DVD] [1999]


Price: £7.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The War Zone [DVD] [1999] + Nil By Mouth [1997] [DVD] + Love, Honour And Obey [DVD] [2000]
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Product details

  • Actors: Ray Winstone, Lara Belmont, Freddie Cunliffe, Tilda Swinton, Colin Farrell
  • Directors: Tim Roth
  • Writers: Alexander Stuart
  • Producers: Dixie Linder, Eric Abraham, Paul Webster, Sarah Radclyffe, Steve Butterworth
  • Format: Full Screen, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Vci
  • DVD Release Date: 29 April 2002
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004D0HT
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,072 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Tim Roth makes his directorial debut with this hard-hitting and controversial film starring Ray Winstone and Tilda Swinton. Having moved with his family from London to Devon, fifteen-year-old Tom spends most of his days killing time with his seventeen-year-old sister Jessie. Family life appears to be continuing as usual, but Tom soon begins to suspect that his father and sister share a terrible secret.

From Amazon.co.uk

As unflinching and bleak as it is beautiful, Tim Roth's directorial debut The War Zone is remarkably accomplished filmmaking. Adapted by Alexander Stuart from his own novel, the film centres on a family that has just moved from London to the wind-swept seaside during winter. The relative isolation soon reveals an ongoing incestuous relationship between the working-class father (Ray Winstone) and his 17-year-old-daughter, Jessie. The middle-class mother (Tilda Swinton) has just given birth to their third child and desperately avoids knowing the truth, leaving Tom, the younger brother, with the horrific responsibility of exposing the family secret. Fearless in its hard-fought depiction of incest, The War Zone pulls no punches; this vivid portrayal of abuse within a family and the scathed consciousness that results is not for the faint of heart. True to his theatre background, Roth doesn't explain how or where such brutal choices were first taken, choosing rather to let the actors bear the ambiguities and anguish of a terrible knowledge in the their body language.--Fionn Meade, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "thekvetch" on 30 July 2005
Format: DVD
This is one of the best films I have ever seen. The performances from all the cast are wonderful but I cannot praise Belmont and Cunliffe for their portrayals of the brother and sister. As Tom (Cunliffe) gives us our view of the drama, his performance is crucial but he truly excels. Jess (Belmont) has to go through some of the most difficult scenes in the film and express the most complicated emotions. These two young actors carry this film and make it the masterpiece it is.
Tim Roth's direction is also one of the best I have ever seen, especially considering this is his debut.
As others have said this film is not easy to watch, but it is very beautiful and contains some of the best performances I have ever seen.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By mikkibex@lineone.net on 23 Feb. 2001
Format: DVD
Fundamentally, The War Zone is a drama that follows the misfortunes of what first appears to be a functional working-class family, who have moved from London to a remote house in the country. From the outset the film is as real a piece of social documentation as you will find (I could compare it to the masterful ONCE WERE WARRIORS, or perhaps NIL BY MOUTH; maybe even something by Mike Leigh), penetrating the heart of one of our deepest taboos with a big barbed hook, and yanking it roughly out into the open for all to see. Ray Winstone (SCUM; NIL BY MOUTH; THE FINAL CUT; LOVE, HONOUR AND OBEY) gives a tour-de-force performance as the sexually abusive sweet-talker who suddenly finds his whole world falling apart around him when his son stumbles upon a shocking incestuous liaison that will change all their lives forever. From the car crash that heralds the arrival of baby Alice, to the final, gruelling conclusion, I was both wrapt and horrified by the no-holds-barred attitude of nascent director Tim Roth - formerly an actor of no little talent (MEANTIME; MADE IN ENGLAND; THE HIT; RESERVOIR DOGS; PULP FICTION) who seems to have turned his somewhat ruthless efforts to writing and directing. Creditable performances are made by the entire cast, but the prize goes to Mr Winstone, who we can always rely on to take us to the edge - in this case we get a helping hand by Mr Roth, and are consequently plummeted into the dark, dank recesses of the human condition with very little in the way of a safety net. I will definately be keeping a nervous eye out for what he comes up with next...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. J. Ralph on 18 Jun. 2009
Format: DVD
The War zone funnily enough was filmed not far away from where I live in Devon.The story involves a family,who locate from London to Devon.The film itself is see through the sons eyes,Tom.He spies on his sister and suspects his dad of sexual abuse towards his sibling.

The movie is very compelling and has alot of replay value.There will be people who will see it and blacklist it but the film is very true to life,forcing you to see it as in the here and now.Without spoiling anything the movie is shocking on a couple of scenes.Watch but only if you are strong minded.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sueb on 26 Jan. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Ilove Ray Winstones work.Nothing prepared me for this film,the subject matter is harrowing ,that said ,its one of his best,and i admire him for taking on such a disturbing role,not dvd i could see again tho since i have seen it,the film comes into my mind from time to time ,and iam sad for a few moments, sign of a film well made even if the theme is hard to take.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Flmfn on 14 May 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This intense family drama got dark and horrifying to the point where it was almost too hard for me to keep watching. Yet at the same time it was so compelling I watched it all the way through and kept thinking about it for days afterwards. This film definitely will not leave you feeling even slightly uplifted, but it will stay with you for a long time because of it's intense emotion and strange dark beauty.

Great acting as expected from the two leads, but the two young actors playing the brother and sister really blew me away. I'm sure it took a lot of courage (not to mention great direction from Tim Roth) for them to act this drama out in such a raw and intense way.

For lovers of dark, realistic arthouse-style drama. Definitely not for the fainthearted (as it contains graphic scenes of sexual abuse and violence).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pete Johnson VINE VOICE on 26 Jan. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Not for the easily offended, or people who don't rate Ray Winstone; this dark family drama gives Mr.Winstone yet another chance to play himself, at least his bad side. I like him, and think that he is over-criticised, but that's me. This film has a great cast. As well as Ray, we get Tilda Swinton, Colin Farrell, and terrific performances from Freddie Cunliffe, and Lara Belmont, as the teenage children, unhappy at being displaced to rural Devon. To say a lot more might get me into the territory of plot-spoliers, so I won't. This has distressing scenes, and scenes of a sexual nature. It is stressful, difficult at times, and yet remains a powerful, and emotional work, of some worth. Directed by Tim Roth, the well-known actor, this is a British Drama of the old-school, and all the better for that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ben Bottle on 1 Jan. 2011
Format: DVD
This film troubled me - really troubled me!
The story-line is uncomfortable; as incest SHOULD be!
But the performances are exceptional - particularly from the younger element; Freddie Cunliffe as Tom and Lara Belmont as the "victim", Jessie. It would appear that everybody is a victim.
I am NOT a fan of Ray Winstone, I just cannot hack the guy, but he excels as the "nasty element".
Also - this, (I assume), is one of Tilda Swinton's early roles - she plays the APPARENTLY indifferent wife and mother so well.
I hope that I have not submitted too many spoilers but one cannot hide from such a subject matter.
The film is almost "budget" in its presentation but relentless in its purpose.
Make your own mind up!
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