Green Zone is a 2010 action thriller centered around the war in Iraq. Starring Matt Damon of The Bourne Identity/Conspiracy/Ultimatum, it brings much of the same look and feel of the Bourne movies to the war in Iraq. The movie takes its name from the Green Zone, a specially secured area in the center of Baghdad which included Saddam Hussein’s palaces and the government buildings.
Damon plays a US Army officer who smells a rat when his unit’s search for weapons of mass destruction comes up empty. Believing his information to be based on faulty intelligence, he strikes out on his own in a search for the truth.
Green Zone did not do very well in the theaters. It just missed making enough to cover the costs of production, and for all the publicity it got, it might as well have gone straight to DVD.
While the movie is an action thriller, it nevertheless manages to take an honest look at many unsavory aspects of the war in Iraq. Much of the story is fictionalized, but the basic elements are quite recognizable and true to reality: faulty intelligence driving the search for weapons of mass destruction, high-ranking Pentagon officials closing their eyes to reality in order to make the case for war, and an anti-Baathist purge in the Iraqi military that made the conflict far more costly and complicated than it had to be. The most powerful aspect of this film is that it provides a ground-level view of these things through the eyes of soldiers on the field over in Iraq.
Because of this film’s honest portrayal of the war in Iraq, it has generated a great deal of political controversy. If you are a supporter of Bush and/or the war in Iraq, then you will probably not like it very much. But if you like Matt Damon and the Bourne movies, then you will probably like this one.