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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2007!
Directed by Peter Berg
Starring Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper and Jennifer Garner
PREMIERED Friday September 28th 2007
When a terrorist bomb detonates inside a Western housing compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, an international incident is ignited. While diplomats slowly debate equations of territorialism, FBI Special Agent Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx) quickly assembles an elite team (Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman) and negotiates a secret five-day trip into Saudi Arabia to locate the madman behind the bombing. Upon landing in the desert kingdom, however, Fleury and his team discover Saudi authorities suspicious and unwelcoming of American interlopers, into what they consider a local matter. Hamstrung by protocol--and with the clock ticking on their five days--the FBI agents find their expertise worthless without the trust of their Saudi counterparts, who want to locate the terrorist in their homeland on their own terms. Fleury's crew finds a like-minded partner in Saudi Colonel Al-Ghazi (Ashraf Barhoum), who helps them navigate royal politics and unlock the secrets of the crime scene. With these unlikely allies sharing a propulsive commitment to crack the case, the team is led to the killer's front door. Now in a fight for their own lives, strangers united by one mission won't stop until justice is found.
With all that's going on in the world right now… all the strife and conflict in the Middle East, "The Kingdom" really hits home on an emotional level. It shows us what things are like from many different angles… not just being on the ground in a hostile place, but also what it's like dealing with foreign laws and customs, dealing with U.S. policies and high level politicians trying to cover their selfish butts so they don't look bad during the next election, etc. Seeing it from all these different angles was really interesting. I could feel for those involved in this conflict. They all wanted to get in there and do the right thing; take out the bad guys responsible for the attacks… but they had so many hoops to jump through before they could even begin to do their jobs. I give many kudos to Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, and Ashraf Barhoum. They each did an excellent job and brought a lot of emotion and conviction to their roles. Kudos to Peter Berg as well for directing such an interesting movie… I was amazed to see how similar and yet so different the thoughts and beliefs of those on both sides of the conflict were portrayed. You'll see what I mean during the closing scene of the movie… I won't spoil it here. Overall, "The Kingdom" is a very provocative movie that offers more insight as to what's really going on out there. It's NOT based on a true story or anything, but the story still hits very close to home, especially when considering all the real-world conflicts we're currently facing.
We have had several movies come out since 9-11 and we have only had a couple on Iraq, however I think this movie is really the first in-depth realization of the Middle East and terrorism. I was hoping for a really good story, and when the trailers aired I was excited for this movie to be released, and I was not disappointed. The opening scenes, were very visual and it really started my heart in that same direction as when I watch the towers fall, and the tears welded up when Jamie Foxx's character is talking to the family (I had thoughts of my experience in the military and the Iraq conflicts.) The movie just got better from there. It has been a while since I have had such a wide range of emotions while watching a movie, and this rates near the top. The performances by Foxx, Garner, Bateman, and Cooper was incredible, the chemistry between them was really great.
Overall Rating: 4 lollypops (out of 5). Re-Watch Value: High (A definite purchase on DVD.)
Trivia: (1) Robert De Niro was originally pursued for the role of FBI Director Grace. (2) Jennifer Garner collapsed on the set in Phoenix twice due to the extremely high temperature, over 115 degrees Fahrenheit. (3) Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx) mentions the Terrell Tribune newspaper when discussing the terrorist attacks. Terrell, Texas also happens to be Jamie Foxx's hometown.