Blood Diamond (2006) Poster

(2006)

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10/10
A Hollywood movies tells an African story full of death and violence and presents it with impressive truth.
john_cberry4 December 2006
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 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.
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9/10
A great character film with two excellent performances.
A_Roode10 December 2006
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 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.
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8/10
Another Oscar worthy turn from DiCaprio
Margie243 December 2006
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 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.
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8/10
Diamonds, Nerve And Indifference
ccrivelli200528 January 2007
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 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.
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8/10
An action, political adventure at its best!
Nazi_Fighter_David22 August 2007
"Blood Diamond" is the kind of action film that makes you think that 'a moment of love, even in a bad man, can give meaning to a life...'

The film opens in Sierra Leone, 1999 when Civil war rages for control of the diamond fields…According to devastating reports, these stones are being used with both rebels and government forces to purchase more weapons and finance civil war…

Danny Archer—crazy for diamonds like everybody else—believes this pink gem holds his ticket out of this godforsaken continent… He is a smuggler, a former mercenary and weapons trader from Zimbabwe who bribes all, and supplies arms to both sides… He gets Solomon Vandy—captured by government troops—out of jail only because he overhears that the fisherman might have found a clear massive stone about the size of a bird's egg…

Vandy—forced apart from his family and sent off to work as a slave in the minefields—has hided the enormous 100 carat diamond from his captors and buried it in a secret place within the jungle… His son Dia is taking away by a brainwashing militia called the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) turning him with lies, drugs, and liquor, into a cold-blooded murderer…

Danny makes a deal to help the noble fisherman find his family if Vandy will lead him to the diamond… The majority of the story is their journey across the war torn country…

Leonard DiCaprio is both ruthless and charming as the cynical soldier of fortune who knows an opportunity when it presents itself… But he also is aggressive and selfish willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants… He illustrates the black side of the dirty diamond trade… On his trek to find the stone, Archer's eyes are opened to some enduring values that surpass his own self-profit…

Djimon Hounsou eventually realizes that Danny's connections and money are his only hope… He plays a helpless character totally passionate as the resolving and fiercely determined father desperate to learn the fate of his family…

Connelly is an idealist who wishes to display corruption… She thinks that with Archer's help she can get a unique story line surrounding the civil war but also revealing corporate malfeasance and cover-up behind the diamond trade…

It is also good to mention Arnold Vosloo in the role of Colonel Coetzee, head of the army unit also trying to claim the diamond… He's a great character actor and remains a powerful presence and one of the screen's most efficient scene-stealer…

Nominated for five Oscars, "Blood Diamond" is an action, political adventure at its best!
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8/10
Another fine piece by director Edward Zwick
forindcine9 December 2006
A few years back I had the pleasure of visiting Antwerp, Belgium, a place many deem "the diamond capital of the world." Never before or since have I been in a location where I was surrounded by so much "bling". Storefronts had so many diamonds on display you would think they should be better kept in some European version of Fort Knox.

The film Blood Diamond puts an entirely new spin on Antwerp, the diamond industry and that pricey stone you might be wearing around your neck, on your ring finger, or in your ears (mine are cubic-Zs). Set in the West African country of Sierra Leone during the 1990s, this historical-adventure-drama covers a time when the country was in turmoil. Warlords, smugglers and the diamond syndicate all play roles in a refugee exodus, and the killing and enslaving of men to work the diamond fields. The title refers to diamonds which are harvested, smuggled and traded to finance the purchase of weapons used in Civil War.

Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) stars as a fisherman who has his family torn apart and instead of being killed, is sent to work mining diamonds where he finds and hides a large stone. Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) a former mercenary, diamond-smuggler, middleman, you-name-it, is looking to score with that stone and exit the business for good. Writer Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly) is tired of writing shallow stories about less than newsworthy events; she is looking for information about major players in the diamond trade. They all come together in a fast paced, adventure packed piece of film-making that is brutal at times but never boring. The film has a pleasant, unanticipated ending, something hard to pull off in a film of this kind.

Director/Producer Edward Zwick is probably the best in Hollywood at taking a big budget feature film with a historical theme and carefully relay a message without lecturing his audience. His earlier works include a story of the first all-black U.S. Civil War company in "Glory" a film, which resulted in Denzel Washington winning his first Oscar. Zwick takes credit for works like The Last Samurai, Shakespeare in Love, Traffic and Courage Under Fire. He is second to no one when it comes to balancing a historical event with action-drama entertainment. Edward Zwick is one of few L.A. directors who still works within the Hollywood establishment yet is able to put out good quality film.

Check out Blood Diamond, your "bling" may never look the same again.
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10/10
Makes you cry at the end..... simply mind-blowing
darkstar_14313 November 2012
I have never written a review but this film was so moving that it made me write in its praise....

well the film is awesome especially the cast has done their best job.... Leonardo is o flawless and so natural and so are the other main cast...

If you like moving film then this sure will make you cry.... It is one of those films that definitely make you cry like Saving private Ryan, gladiator,ip man, up pixar......

All in all great film, greater acting, one of Leonardo's best and absolutely a must watch.
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10/10
Faithful to the Sierra Leone civil war, but just a small part of it, like Hotel Rwanda
forhall8 December 2006
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 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.
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10/10
Blood Diamond is a Bloody Good Time!
guitargurunmu10 December 2006
First I want to say I went into this movie with hopes of it being great but had heard numerous slams against the acting, mostly Leo's accent. Wow were they DEAD WRONG! The movie delivers everything it should have and more. I like going into a movie and being entertained and learning something at the same time, especially at the ridiculous costs of tickets now days. I must say the movie was graphic at times but I think it needed to be in order to get the point across so if you have trouble watching terrible things happen to people including children then I wouldn't recommend this movie. Overall I hope this movie gets some nods when it comes around to Oscar time, Leo deserves a nod for sure whether it be from this movie or from The Departed. So if you don't have a problem with violence and want to learn something and be entertained at the same time then this is the movie you want to see! Kudos to Ed Zwick and everyone involved in making this wonderful film, it was a real treat to watch.
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10/10
The Best Movie of 2006
peter-19303 December 2006
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 shovel.

And, Jennifer Connelly's understated elegance & expressiveness is captivating.

Put this movie at the top of your list.
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8/10
Blood Brothers
RestlessRust11 December 2006
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 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.
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An Undeniably Powerful And Breathtaking Film
CalRhys4 September 2014
An undeniably powerful and breathtaking film from talented director Edward Zwick. 'Blood Diamond' is a beautifully shot war thriller set against the backdrop of the Sierra Leone civil war, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou in their Oscar-nominated roles. By far one of the best war dramas of modern times, 'Blood Diamond' is a powerful testament in the film industry boasting intense and well-executed action scenes and heart-wrenching drama. Zwick's vision truly outpaces his narrative in this compulsive and thought-provoking tale. An exciting and compelling tale, that stand as a great acting showcase for the two leads.
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7/10
Great effort, great message, too much Hollywood
kosta-pap20 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Blood Diamond is an excellent example of how Hollywood formulas can suck the essence out of a unique work of art. The film is exceptionally well done, with great performances, well-written characters, good research and, above all, shocking messages. To all those reviewers who thought it wasn't "interesting": Are you kidding me? Three of the most horrible tragedies of our times are shown in the film: - Africa's child-warriors - Militia-led smuggling supporting brutal civil wars and exploiting ancient hatred - The diamond monopoly and its ruthlessness. And the film shows how these are intertwined! If this doesn't touch you, I don't know what will.

But perhaps here lies the film's greatest fault. As other reviewers have eloquently mentioned, it apparently thinks it HAS to use Hollywood formulas in order to get the point across to a wide audience: so we have superstars, a romantic subplot, a cheesy ending, lots of action. And this, combined with the heavy messages of the plot, is just too much. It is no coincidence that so many reviewers used words such as "odd" and "confusing". They didn't mean they didn't follow the film, they just didn't know why it was going there (and back and forth again). Which was my feeling exactly. It's like listening to a beautiful song with great lyrics, and just as the text is about to grasp you, a cheesy sax-solo rises.

The film had too many sax-solos for its worth. It touched extremely important issues, but didn't have the guts to look the audience in the eye and scream out: "Are you finally listening? Look around you!" The Hollywood gutlessness is best shown in the final comments: They do explicitly mention the diamond industry's exploits, but then they advise the audience to "demand diamonds from peaceful areas". What? After having shown that the industry holds prices ridiculously high by convincing everyone that diamonds are valuable as such and oh so rare? And that you just NEED to buy or have diamonds as a sign of class, power, and, most importantly, love... And all the producers want us to do is to ask nicely for a "good" diamond?...

If that movie touched you, find out more about the diamond brainwash and the African civil war tragedies. Open your eyes.
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8/10
A Terrific Movie, Though Let Down Slightly By Its Ending
TheUnseenMovieLover30 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
In all of the movies that he has starred in (that I have seen), up until Catch Me If You Can, Leonardo DiCaprio has delivered reasonable but hardly block-busting performances. He had a superbly roguish charm in Titanic, and provided a considerable amount of tension in Gangs of New York, but these performances still didn't have the extra "oomph" that would boost the star to award-worthy levels.

However, since watching Catch Me If You Can, I have developed a deep respect for DiCaprio. Ever since that movie, his performances have just been getting better and better. And, just after the breathless exhilaration of his brilliant performance in Martin Scorsese's The Departed, Blood Diamond came out in cinemas.

Before I continue with the review for the rest of the film, I have something to say. As smuggler and former soldier Danny Archer, DiCaprio gives a rip-roaring, heart-pulsating performance of such breath-taking quality that he almost steals the movie from under the very talented noses of Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connelly.

With an absolutely top-notch accent and a gruff attitude that will undoubtedly insult a few Titanic fans, DiCaprio takes a huge risk with this role and ends up giving one of the best performances of his career. He is 100% believable in every minute of the film that he graces, and oozes crackling intensity. If I were asked to describe the performance in one sentence, I would say that it was undeniably Oscar worthy.

Sierra Leone, 1999. Fisherman Soloman Vandy's (Djimon Hounsou) life is destroyed when rebels invade his village and separate him from his family. Forced to work in the diamond fields, Solomon discovers a rare, pink diamond. He manages to hide it, but not before the leader of the rebels, Captain Poison (David Harewood) sees the diamond. Whilst being held in prison for being associated with rebels, Solomon encounters smuggler Danny Archer (DiCaprio), who says that he will help Solomon to find his family in exchange for the diamond. Together with reporter Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly), Danny and Solomon set out to track down both Solomon's family and the diamond, which is still in hostile territory.

I have only seen one other movie directed by Edward Zwick, and that was the flawed yet brilliant Last Samurai. True, Blood Diamond is flawed, but it manages to match and in some areas (such as the top-notch story and cast) even surpass The Last Samurai in sheer quality. Zwick does a marvellous job, crafting some compelling action to go along with smart ideas and realism.

The acting is the most impressive factor in the movie. In my opinion, the only cast member who is able to stand against the wrath of DiCaprio is Djimon Hounsou. As Solomon Vandy, Hounsou delivers a performance full of such true, raw emotion that he confidently ensures that DiCaprio doesn't blow him off the screen. There are some moments of Hounsou's performance which are so heartbreakingly human and turmoiled that you aren't likely to forget this exceptional performance for a long time. Praise also for Jennifer Connelly, who delivers an energetic, feisty and humane portrayal of the film's main female character.

However, there are also scene-stealing turns from two members of the supporting cast; David Harewood and Arnold Vosloo. As the rebel captain who kidnaps Solomon's son amongst other things in order to find the diamond of the title, Harewood oozes a sadistic type of charisma. In one scene, after confronting a worker trying to conceal a diamond that he has just discovered, the captain calmly and smoothly shoots the worker in the stomach at point blank range, before walking away as if it were completely normal. He is an absolutely top-notch villain, perfectly realised by Harewood.

As a colonel and friend of Archer's, Vosloo gives a performance of gripping authority and commanding presence which makes the character much more than the caricature that he could have so easily become. His final scene is strangely poignant, due to the superb character moments between him and DiCaprio.

The settings, visuals and cinematography in the movie are also superb, adding a grand sense of grim reality and beauty to the proceedings. Its message is also pure and meaningful, and would have been perfectly realised if it weren't for the films only flaw. That flaw is called the ending.

There was the potential for an absolutely perfect ending. After being fatally wounded, Archer dies on the side of a cliff, whilst Solomon and his son fly to safety. That ending would have been the final factor that would have convinced me to give the movie full marks. But unfortunately, Zwick tries to bite off more than he can chew. His direction up until this point is always confident and assured, never becoming bogged down. But the ending feels like it has just been put into the movie as a last minute attempt to handle more political issues, which ultimately results in the betrayal of the rest of the movie. However, this is only one flaw (although it is reasonably significant). The overall result is a thrilling yet intelligent movie, with powerful performances, captivating visuals and and cinematography and effective emotional power. I highly recommend it, even if you just want to watch Leonardo DiCaprio or Djimon Hounsou.
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10/10
Absolutely Amazing Movie
fishingforbasses13 September 2008
This is seriously one of my favorite movies. Every actor in this movie played their part PERFECTLY. I've watched this movie like 5 times now in the past four months. I got it off of Utorrent, But I am getting a copy for my birthday. Lots of action, great storyline, stunning ending. All the perfect things you could put into a movie - in this one movie. I would recommend this movie to absolutely anyone.I have NO IDEA why it got so many bad reviews. Apparently, movie critics these days couldn't see a great movie if they were sitting on their butts watching it XD Watch it you won't be disappointed!!! Everyone that I've watched this movie with were obsessed with it.
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Not made to entertain
wtsimpsonsrule30 December 2006
Users keep using the word "entertain" in discussing this film, and I don't understand it simply because this movie was not meant to "entertain." Unlike many movies these days, it is meant to inform. Another claim I've read: "If you can get past the violence, it is a great film." Well here's a thought: you're not supposed to "get past" the violence. It is presented in such a way that makes us grateful for every second of our stupid American lives. If you want to be entertained, see Casino Royale. If you want to change the way you think about your own life, then see Blood Diamond. It will make you feel grateful for the life you live, and make your heart start pumping for the right reason. Blood Diamond will make you want to get involved in any organization that supports peacekeeping for conflicts like Sierra Leone.
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6/10
The Constant Gardener dumbed down to jungle adventure level
Flagrant-Baronessa29 January 2007
There is quiet intensity and explosive intensity. I was going to say that 'Blood Diamond' makes no pretense about subscribing to the latter, but the fact is that it does. On the one hand, it treats heavy, salient issues like diamond trade and the trafficking of child-soldiers in Africa, even including a few lines of warning in the credits, but on the other hand it is structured and executed like a generic adventure treasure hunt. It cannot decide what it wants to be, and regrettably botches through both paths.

Set against the backdrop of civil war and chaos in 1990's Sierra Leone, Blood Diamond follows Rhodesian mercenary (oooh, scary!) Danny Archer (Leonardo Dicaprio), Mende fisherman Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) and American journalist Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly) on a quest to find a rare pink diamond that Solomon first found when he was forced to work in the diamond fields. It intertwines bouts of blood-soaked encounters with child-soldiers, one of which is Solomon's own son that has been taken from him, and with emotional blackmail it cues us in to feel for the miserable conditions in Africa and the venality with which things are run.

The problem is that every slightly serious scene—every moment—is interrupted by some loud explosion, gun violence or shouting and sometimes all three. This is irritating in the film and it suggests two things: the script is unbearably lazy and sees action galore as a plot device and way to avoid writing the end of 'difficult' scenes with conversation or character development or 'Blood Diamond' tells us that we should not take it seriously and just treat it as any run-of-the-mill action-adventure. The problem with this is that it lacks the charm and sparkle in the eye of 'Indiana Jones', and Dicaprio is much too moody and unlikeable as a protagonist.

I have not yet seen many of the Oscar nominated actors' performances, but Leonardo Dicaprio's interpretation of the hard-boiled mercenary is the least deserving so far. It baffles me that such an action-oriented adventure with such a testosterone-fuelled lead could snag nominations with the drama-favouring academy, and I suspect this is solely because of its hazy political core. In comparison, Dicaprio is like Daniel Craig in Casino Royale but without the serious, emotional scenes. Apparently his South African accent is fairly in-tune, according to South Africans, but it seems uneven, exaggerated and varying in pronunciation to me.

None of the other performances are noteworthy either. Djimon Hounsou, shouting does not a good performance make. Jennifer Connelly warms up slightly in her role, shifting from her usual emotionally numb and somber state to being a little smilier, but here she is at the mercy of an underwritten character and there are not many ways in which she can go. The supporting cast for 'Blood Diamond' may be rather one-dimensional caricatures of evil corporate white men and black hard-edged guerilla leaders with berets, but they serve their respective functions rather aptly, especially Michael Sheen's brief appearance. The only issue I have here is that African people speak broken English to each other. Even if they're from the same family.

In the end, 'Blood Diamond' snags the 6 out of 10 from me. The cinematography is gorgeous with a screen that is awash with dramatic colours and shots, the action is fast-paced and exciting and the atmosphere is admirably gritty and visceral in the deep jungles of Africa. It features a ridiculous, two-faced mix between heavy-handed politics á la Constant Gardener and adrenaline-pumping action á la... any action film. It should in all theory be possible to join these two sides, and 'Blood Diamond' possesses all the necessary ingredients to do so, but no blender in which to stir it.

6 out of 10
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10/10
Eye Opener
fmedeiros-24 December 2006
I saw this movie on Saturday and what an eye opener. This movie really moved me to tears. I thought actors Dicaprio,Hounsou,and Connelly gave the most passionate performance's I've seen in a long time. These actors should all get an Oscar nod for this movie no doubt. The cinematography is beautiful and the message for the movie is loud and clear. Edward Zwick once again has made a fantastic movie. The main thing is this movie hopefully will open everyone's eyes to the violence and abuse that blood diamonds cause. You can make a difference as a consumer in being knowledgeable in what you are buying. I don't mean to preach but I tell ya this movie really moved me and has made me look at things differently. Thanks for taking the time to read about my movie review.
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8/10
A diamond is not THIS girl's best friend
suzuspetals5 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Beautifully filmed. The three leads are at their very best. An incredibly stunning story that will stay with you for a long time after. For me, the one negative item in this beauty was the final scene. I don't know what compelled the filmmakers to shoot the final scene in what amounted to a gratuitously happy, Disney-like ending -- our long suffering hero surrounded by grinning journalists, politicians and do-gooders in a standing ovation. This detracted from the impact of the film when a simple caption stating Salomon's fortunate resolution over a stunning visual would have sufficed (they did this with other factual information anyway). Other than this very small item, Blood Diamond was well worth seeing. You'll never look at a diamond ring the same way again. I certainly wouldn't buy one.
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10/10
Blood Diamond..What a wake up call!
gathina20011 January 2007
Just saw this movie last night and I tell you I can't stop thinking about it. I didn't even know that this was happening on the other side of the world. I guess we are all too safe and cooped up in our superficial lives to realize that there is real war out there.

I will never look at a diamond the way that I did before..this movie has totally altered my attitude towards life and it's meaning. I will never again take for granted the freedom that we have here in Australia.

We complain about mindless things everyday forgetting that there are bigger problems in this world. We have it good and don't even know it. We constantly strive to make ourselves better, look better have nicer material things but where doesn't it get us and does it make us really happy??? NO it doesn't...it just makes us more empty because we didn't find that something to fill the void! I applaud Leonardo for bringing forward such an important issue. It's movies and actors like him that make a difference to our existence.

My world will never be the same again..I thank you for that ...It makes me want to be a better person!

Peace Liz

If you would like to comment please do so at lilucjo@yahoo.com
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6/10
The movie tries to tell a story but it gets muddled in into its sentiments, action sequences and other Hollywood clichés.
Boba_Fett11384 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The problem with "Blood Diamond" is that it tries to tell an important and powerful story and even tries to make a statement but it does this too much in an Hollywood kind of way, with over-the-top and far from believable dramatic plot lines, of course a misplaced love-story, lots of action and a happy Hollywood ending. Had the movie been done more in a "Syriana", so to speak, kind of style, the movie without doubt would had been better, more powerful and definitely more realistic. No doubt that the movie would then had been one of the year's best.

I must admit that I have a weak spot for Edward Zwick movies. His movie are always over-the-top with its dramatic moments and action (for instance; "Glory", "The Last Samurai") but it's always done in such a beautiful and effective way that you immediately forgive him. This unfortunately really wasn't the case with "Blood Diamond".

"Blood Diamond" is a movie about a true and also still relevant subject about the lust for diamonds (mainly from the West) and the power struggles and fighting it takes with them over the diamonds in African countries, in this case Sierra Leone. The common African person is being the victim of it all and they're actually being enslaved to work in diamond fields and mines or to join the rebel, fighting the government over control of the diamond business. This is already a good, powerful and effective premise on its own, so it really is to bad that the movie feels the need to put in sentimental, personal plot lines and lots of action sequences, while it should had focused more on the bigger picture of it all.

The movie also doesn't always flow well. I mean, it's day and night and day again, sometimes in a matter of seconds. It's something that too often is that case with movies that run over 2 hours long.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a good main lead for this movie and he adds another good role to his impressive list. He especially did a very good job with the accent. Djimon Hounsou is also good in his role, but I still think that he should stop playing roles like this. Ever since his "Amistad" he's been typecast over and over again, with this movie forming no exception to that. He's a great actor that truly should concentrate more on more different serious, carrying roles. The movie also features Jennifer Connelly, Arnold Vosloo and Michael Sheen, among others, in good roles.

The movie tries to be emotional and even shock, by showing some of the cruelties that are going on and also with some sequences involving child-soldiers. Problem is that the movie tries to be too realistic with it all, while the movie its approach and style really don't make this a realistic or powerful movie to watch. It also causes the more serious and sentimental sequences to not work out halve as powerful or confronting as intended. The movie features also far too many action sequences to take the movie really as a serious one but rather as an entertaining typical Hollywood movie, with dramatic elements in it.

At the end the movie even makes a statement by literally telling us (us being the Western World) not to buy conflict diamonds. This is not the way to give us this message. If you really wanted to make a statement, you should had made the movie more effective and powerful Mr. Zwick. That way the images and story would already speak enough for itself and you wouldn't had even needed this kind of text at the end, right before the credits.

The movie is definitely well made in terms of its style and the way the sequences are build up and constructed. The movie still shows that Edward Zwick is a great director, who just should had chosen a different approach with its story.

But you just can't rate the movie negative. It's too professionally made and looking for that. Especially the action sequences know to impress. It's good looking all, with some good camera-work and good looking landscapes and environment. It definitely helps the movie that it was shot mostly on location in Africa.

A well made, good looking movie but with a message that due to the way of film-making and storytelling just doesn't come across. A missed opportunity.

6/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/
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8/10
I didn't buy a diamond, after researching the facts.
eve-taylor-15 January 2007
I watched this film the day before me and my fiancé were going to go an choose an engagement ring! I am so glad I did, whilst watching it, was increasingly concerned about the subject matter, and logged on to get some facts.

Essentially, no one can guarantee that a diamond is 'conflict free' even now, with the Kimberly process in place. Diamonds can be smuggled to the countries that are signed up to the process. Figures range from 0.2% to 5% of diamonds sold are blood diamonds, so I didn't want to take any chances, whatever the percentage, (and how can anyone really know?) My fiancé bought me a simple, beautiful Burmese sapphire ring without diamonds instead (note. it is preferable not to buy sapphires from Bhutan).

I can see that the diamond trade are worried about this film and are back-tracking like crazy - trying to be top of internet searches so that we will support the diamond trade, but until it is 100% tight, I will not be buying diamonds.

The film asks that you insist the diamonds you buy are conflict free, and but there are no guarantee's. When buying the Sapphire, we insisted that the shop supported the Kimberly process in any case, even though we were not buying them - as it is a step todays limiting 'conflict' diamonds.

I am glad this intelligent, dramatic film has raised the profile of the trade in blood diamonds, so that the 70 year marketing campaign by the diamond trade, trying to get us to buy that 'special' diamond engagement ring is shown for what it is.

Not every girl does want a diamond (or blood) on her hand.

Thanks for reading.
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8/10
Good Not Great
vinylg8 December 2006
I liked it ... I liked it a lot. Leo has grown up. The scenes between the native Africans work extremely well. The relationship between Leo and Jennifer doesn't jump off the screen but it works. The movie is exciting, emotional, and provocative. The problem I have with the film is one of logic. There are a few times I just didn't believe the characters would be doing what the script was calling for them to do. If those moments had been removed ... or if Zwick had shown those moments from the POV of the characters so we could understand WHY they were doing what they were doing, it would be a better film. I gave it an 8 ... but really it's a 7.5.

The other thing is that this film is ABOUT something. It's about an important political issue that has often been overlooked. That is what is IMPORTANT about this film. The subject matter. I hope that this film will create an awareness about the horrible plight in Africa and the Western exploitation of their resources and their people.
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3/10
African Diamonds - Hollywood Style
madbeast19 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is a laughable little piece of nonsense where the very real dilemma of of the inhuman treatment of diamond workers in Africa is given the ultra-slick Hollywood treatment. Leonardo DiCaprio is the living embodiment of a clichéd soldier of fortune that has populated Hollywood films since the days of Clark Gable: a mean stone-cold killer who can blow away whole armies of militia single-handedly while still displaying enough sensitivity to melt the heart of Jennifer Connelly, surely the most gorgeous investigative reporter to ever set foot on the continent.

Djimon Hounsou is the film's only contact with reality, giving an earnest performance as a diamond mine worker who finds and hides a priceless 100 karat pink diamond and tries to use the windfall to find his family, who have been separated by the brutal militia that have forced him into slave work in the mines. But DiCaprio and Connelly's characters are silly, slick products of the Hollywood oil factory, and nothing that they do or say has any plausibility or packs any emotional resonance. The sacrifices Leo makes at the film's comic book finish are the acts of a movie star who requires a heroic ending in his contract, not the behavior of a genuine human being.
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A must watch
Gordon-1114 October 2013
This film tells the story of two young men who are involved in the diamond trade, one willingly and the other one reluctantly.

"Blood Diamond"is a tough film to watch. There are many scenes portraying monstrous atrocities that are so disturbing. I can hardly believe that in some countries the political situation it's do unstable that people just drive around with machine guns, killing innocent citizens whenever they want to. The country and the economy cannot develop under those circumstances. It's horrifyingly sad to see such things happening, and it's even more sad to see such crimes against humanity is fuelled by people's demand for diamonds. Diamonds have such a noble image that no one could even imagine how dark the origin of the gem is.

The film is well made, the script is engaging and the pacing is tight. We see the two leads depending on each other to get what they wanted, and the ultimate sacrifice they have to make is shocking. "Blood Diamond" is a must watch for anyone with a heart.
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