Battle in Seattle
(R, 1:39:13, Released 2007)
|Genres:||Drama, Action & Adventure|
|Release Date:||Sep 19, 2008|
|DVD Release Date:||Mar 10, 2009|
|Starring:||Charlize Theron, André Benjamin, Martin Henderson, Woody Harrelson, Ray Liotta, Jennifer Carpenter, Michelle Rodriguez, Channing Tatum, Joshua Jackson, Connie Nielsen|
|Directed by:||Stuart Townsend|
|Synopsis:||Actor-turned-filmmaker Stuart Townsend makes his screenwriting and directorial debut with this ensemble film set during the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle and presenting the riots that swept through the streets during the five-day conference from the perspectives of police, protestors, and city officials. A typically laid-back Northwestern city, Seattle would erupt into violence when, for five days in 1999, tens of thousands of protestors flooded the streets to voice their disapproval of the high-profile World Trade Organization conference. Among that sea of protestors are Django (André Benjamin), Sam (Jennifer Carpenter), Jay (Martin Henderson), and Lou (Michelle Rodriguez) -- each convinced that the stakes go beyond politics and equally determined to make a difference by ensuring that their voice of dissent is heard by the masses. At first the demonstration is peaceful, but in an instant the streets explode and the WTO is paralyzed. As a full-scale riot commences and a state of emergency is declared, the residents of Seattle are caught in the crossfire between protestors and police. With beleaguered mayor Jim Tobin (Ray Liotta) scrambling to diffuse tensions and riot cop Dale Anderson (Woody Harrelson) racing to protect his pregnant wife, Ella (Charlize Theron), everyone involved is forced to make difficult decisions that are sure to change their lives forever. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi|
|Full movie details|
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Other Top Reviews
January 18, 2010
I consider this movie more like documentary more than a real movie although it's based on true events. I thought this movie was intriguing but vague in certain ways. It has some very good actors in it though that make it interesting...
Its November 1999, and five days are about to rock the world as tens of thousands of demonstrators take to the streets of Seattle in protest of the World Trade Organizations Ministerial Meeting. Among them are Django (Andre Benjamin), Sam (Jennifer Carpenter), Lou (Michelle Rodriguez) and Jay (Martin Henderson). Each has a unique story, but they're united in a common desire to be heard and to make a difference in the world. For these four protesters, this is very personal and the stakes are higher than mere politics.
A peaceful demonstration to stop the WTO talks quickly escalates into a full-scale riot, and soon a State of Emergency is declared by the Mayor of Seattle. The streets are mayhem, and the WTO is paralyzed. Caught in the crossfire of civil liberties and keeping the peace are Seattle residents, including its beleaguered mayor (Ray Liotta), a riot cop on the streets (Woody Harrelson) and his pregnant wife (Charlize Theron). The choices they all make will change their lives forever.
Writer/Director Stuart Townsend brings together this talented ensemble to intertwine different points of view from protesters and police to delegates and doctors -- each of whom intentionally or accidentally find themselves on the streets of Seattle in those last days of the millennium. Townsend seamlessly merges footage of the real event with his fictional narrative. Ultimately, Battle in Seattle illustrates that even against incredible odds, ordinary people can change the world.
January 12, 2009
"We are still fighting the Battle" Actor-turned-filmmaker Stuart Townsend makes his screenwriting and directorial debut with this ensemble film set during the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle and presenting the riots that swept through the streets during the five-day conference from the perspectives of police, protestors, and city officials. A typically laid-back Northwestern city, Seattle would erupt into violence when, for five days in 1999, tens of thousands of protestors flooded the streets to voice their disapproval of the high-profile World Trade Organization conference. Among that sea of protestors are Django (André Benjamin), Sam (Jennifer Carpenter), Jay (Martin Henderson), and Lou (Michelle Rodriguez) -- each convinced that the stakes go beyond politics and equally determined to make a difference by ensuring that their voice of dissent is heard by the masses. At first the demonstration is peaceful, but in an instant the streets explode and the WTO is paralyzed. As a full-scale riot commences and a state of emergency is declared, the residents of Seattle are caught in the crossfire between protestors and police. With beleaguered mayor Jim Tobin (Ray Liotta) scrambling to diffuse tensions and riot cop Dale Anderson (Woody Harrelson) racing to protect his pregnant wife, Ella (Charlize Theron), everyone involved is forced to make difficult decisions that are sure to change their lives forever. Review What a surprise that there are actually people interested in making films like this. I must question, however, as the head activist did in the film, what these activists actually accomplished? I believe it is better to work with one's brains than actually provoke such direct antagonism in order to achieve the goals which this film so proudly and courageously professes. A general strike would be the vehicle to get people's attention, but I am not sure that these are the kind of groups with so much hatred which would attract a general demographic. They should try to become calm and rethink their long term strategy. The correct overview of the ensuing five years of the convention at the end of the film points to the fact that no significant gains were made. That, and work with young people, not old, to get them thinking and about and acting on the problems of our world. It would be great if they could be reached before high school, but most probably in high school and college is where the ideological education must be perused. All in all a very good film which does make people feel as well as think.
October 26, 2008
A really political drama which doesn't quite delve to deeply into the politics... which I think was criticised by some, but I found it was probably better off without.
The story is based on the 1999 Seattle riots over the WTO meeting. While the characters are not factual, they are built up quite well, especially Martin Henderson's character who was outstanding I think.
The cast is an ensemble of familiar faces, from Hollywood A list to TV stars, Veterans and Young stars, international and domestic. This is a great ensemble, they pulled it off so well, I was suprised by the efforts of the young and up coming stars like Henderson, Andre Benjamin and Channing Tatum and expected no less from the likes of Liotta, Sherbedziga, Neilsen and Woody Harrelson, whom Ive missed in the movies' and they all delivered some of their best performances. The movie was about the characters and the emotional and physical trauma of the events of the battle, and they did great. A near perfect cast for a movie which I think can appeal to a wide audience.
The secrets of this movie?
First of all, it opens up interestingly enough around 10 stories high. XD! Yep, protesters doing their job. And within 20 minutes, the movie had sped up to the start of the main event. No lounging around, no beating around the bush or whatever people use terms for boredom. This I really appreciated, as these type of movies tend to have a slow start. A speedy entrance could have spoiled the quality and left blanks, but in this case, it began simply and effectively, the movie exploring the events of 4 days of turmoil through the eyes of protesters , police and the embattled Mayor played excellently by Liotta. The movie's pace only begins to slow down in the final 25 mins, which I guess is appropriate, as the excitement and drama subsides, and to a clear and cut ending of half week turmoil.
The cast and their respective roles were tailor made and fit like the proverbial gloves. You cannot help but sympathise with, laugh, cry or feel the anger, pain and other emotions they bring out, the movie brings out and raises your awareness tenfold.
The script is absolutely outstanding. Everyone in their pivotal moments said the right words perfectly. They were simple, straightforward, easily comprehensible and very effective. My favourite lines was Sherbedziga losing his cool at the leaders walking out on his speech for introducing better medical for third world nations, and the awesome ownage delivered at the end by Isaach De Bankolé (made famous in Casino Royale) a scalding attack on the First World representatives at the WTO meeting which led to the fall out of the event.
The simplicity of how a politically tense, natured and really confusing issue was well done. I don't see how anyone can fail to understand the messages and the different views being delivered here. I guess the high energy and emotions coupled with the great script made this possible.
Choosing your side or view. the multi viewpoints from the Mayor of Seattle to the government, the police, the protesters whether peaceful or violent, the innocent, portrayed by Charlize Theron, the confused or simply, just don't care. But one way or the other, you will have decided on a view by the end of this movie. To have a movie giving you so many choices to understand, to see the characters making those choices themselves only brought me further into the movie, engaging me on all levels from entertaining to intellectual. Greatly appreciated this subtle viewer engagement by the director.
The vivid and sharp camera work was good. Not particularly great, but good enough so you don;t miss any of the action and drama. Based on real events, some great real life footage is thrown in, and the slide show at the end was amusing, thoughtful and eye opening as well. Gotta love movies based on real events.
For Stuart Townsends directorial debut, this is a complete surprise and a wonderful effort for anyone. The topic and issues, interesting and original. The clear messages of the WTO and Townsend's views do come through clear, but I don't mind. The movie is a work of art, and each artwork is biased, opinionated and delivered. what makes a good work of art is how it is portrayed and delivered... and this is definitely well delivered.
The music score I was indifferent about, it was not as engaging as the rest of the movie. I guess Massive Attack doesn't engage me any more, or he was probably the only real mistake of the film. I just didn't pay attention to the music, it didn't click. Not to say it didn't work for the movie, but I appreciate a good score to the movie, and I guess this is where it failed for me. it did take the shine of what is probably a great movie.
I don't know how, but this became one of my favourite movies of the year, and its going on my favourites list. I don't think many would react as I would to this, but Im a fan of ensembles and fast paced movies, and the realism probably was the thing that made up my mind to watch this. I remember the Seattle Riots back in High School, and I remember in latter years coming to understanding it and the issues better and better, and its great to see this come to the big screen.
One reviewer said he thought it was a bad TV movie.... but Townsend made it awesome. Luckily this didnt become a mini series, it would have just been inundated with useless facts, issues and scenes which would have made it boring, dull, and no entertainment value.
Two thumbs up and a must see.
October 27, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]While "Battle in Seattle" may not exactly be in the same league as "Bloody Sunday" (using unfamiliar actors would have definitely added to the realism), it is still an impressively effective dramatization of the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle with footage of the actual events mixed in. In order to make us understand what there is to protest, the movie starts with a brief history of the World Trade Organization(WTO). Trust me. It is not pretty.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]What however is, is the first shot of the movie of a protester(Michelle Rodriguez) hanging from a crane over downtown Seattle, successfully hanging a banner under the direction of Jay(Martin Henderson), the coordinator of the peaceful protests which the mayor(Ray Liotta) has allowed under the false presumption that they cannot halt the WTO meetings which are meant to give the city some prestige. On the first day, the protesters outflank his police and disrupt downtown, even as Dr. Maric(Rade Serbedzija) of Doctors without Borders, and Abassi(Isaach De Bankole), an African representative, hope to get their voices heard inside the barricades.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]While "Battle in Seattle" tells the story of these fateful days from a variety of viewpoints which also include a television reporter(Connie Nielsen) and a policeman(Woody Harrelson) whose pregnant wife(Charlize Theron), a store clerk who is caught up in the mayhem in downtown, the main focus is on the protesters(But nothing on the anarchists, though.) with some unnecessary backstory added in. The question should not be why the protesters were there but why there were not more people since a citizen's responsibilty does not simply end with the vote. And a protest is not about winning or losing, but about making one's collective voice heard by an organization that is uninterested in listening to the common people. This particular protest was the start of something special, as one character remarks that this is the first protest of the age of the internet.[/font]
September 13, 2009
I was very impressed with Stuart Townsend's directing for this film. The film had a style and look similar to films like Syriana and 21 Grams. Great performances by this ensemble. It was shot and edited well. I definitely recommend this powerful film.
fb721890245May 5, 2009
Something just doesn't gel here. There are some good performances but the message gets lost. More background on the role of the WTO played out on screen rather than in the prologue and ending would have made this tale more poignant.
September 27, 2008
It presents both viewpoints somewhat, more so at the beginning, and all the pieces were there but a typical L.A. douche bag audience nearly ruined it for me.
April 3, 2008
A tremendously contrived docudrama set during the 1999 WTO riots in Seattle.
July 14, 2010
Phenomenal depiction of the most memorable event in modern U.S. history: the 1999 WTO protest in Seattle. It was initially organized to be held as a peaceful protest but later unraveled in chaos. Encountered as a riot, individuals caught within the protest zones engage and counteract with the city police. Stuart Townsend takes the lead as director and producer, and does a remarkable job accomplishing the overall sequences of events. Martin Henderson, Andre Benjamin, Michelle Rodriguez, Jennifer Carpenter, Charlize Theron, Woody Harrelson, Channing Tatum, and Ray Liotta stars. Definitely worth seeing!
April 29, 2009
Although the event was an important lesson for future manifestations across the globe, director Stuart Townsend fails to illustrate what his purpose in making the film is. However, as viewers, we understand that the demonstrators are fighting for the population whereas the political leaders are only interested in money.
Another important aspect in the film is that it depicts the WTO issues which are widely criticized, but not everyone is aware of its consequences.
Overall, two things. 1)Townsend should have made a documentary because there is much more to this WTO subject. 2) This film is a big smack in the face with this modern economic crisis!
October 19, 2008
Battle in Seattle is based on the true story of how protesters stopped the WTO meetings seen threw the eyes of a bunch of different people the protesters as they fight to be heard while being attacked and arrested by police, the police trying to stop the protesting and do what it takes to calm the city, the mayor of the city as he tries to keep things from getting out of hand and the representives of the countries in the WTO meetings. A really well done movie with a perfect cast should be checked out.
July 25, 2012
A kind of liberal protest to the WTO. It manages to humanize the cause, but still seems to miss the point of the protest and the bigger picture by weaving a story of people that are inconsequential on the whole. Regardless, it still raises awareness about important issues that most have no clue about, and it is for this reason that it is a successful film with a strong cast and a cameo by the Grenadian flag.
May 17, 2010
Fascinating story. I was only 12 at the time, so I don't remember reports and certainly wasn't there, but regardless of the accuracy of the film, I am interested in learning more about the events for myself.
February 24, 2010
Battle in Seattle (2008)
I live in the Northwest, so obviously, I was very aware of what was going on in Seattle in 1999. There were about 44,000 demonstrators, peacefully protesting the World Trade Organization's shady dealings. Naturally, they were completely ignored by the corporate-owned and commercial-backed news media. Nothing to see here folks, up until some protesters starting throwing rocks into windows and the turmoil couldn't be ignored. Now all of a sudden, despite the news media objecting to show us this, they had to, or the coverage would come from their competing news services.
Stuart Townsend did an excellent job of showing us the whole story of this and what the WTO is all about. They covered the event from all of the different angles, from the WTO representatives who were trying to make a difference, to the city officials who wanted the WTO to meet in their town, but also wanted Americans to have the freedom to voice their concerns, to the police who were trying to keep the peace, but weren't above kicking some tree-hugger butt, to the various protesters for what they stood for and what they were willing to have done to them to get their message out to the public.
I haven't even mentioned the great acting from many of the actors and actresses. Yes, the movie is a lot more left-leaning, but the more you investigate the WTO, the more you understand what this was all about. This was just a well done movie that I think that everyone should go see.
February 21, 2010
BOOM! Hits you straight onward of how a peaceful march could catch the lives of so many and lead into something like chaos.
Such powerful acting from all fronts.
September 21, 2009
A movie mixed with documentary elements dealing with the massive protests against the WTO back in 1999. I agree with public demonstrations being a useful tool to enact change and obvious media distortions shown of the ?Left's? intent (and, more recently, the ?Right?), but, as shown in the film, these professional leftists are annoying as hell. More ineffectual than anything. Plus, by adhering to the false Right-Left dichotomy they are playing into the hands of those who control 90% of the world. There are plenty of people just like me, who would be called ?Rightest? on a simple 2D plane, protesting against the exact same things. Also, the portrayal of the anarchists was rather one-dimensional when in fact there are groups even I support.
August 10, 2009
A fantastic representation of the WTO protests. I didn't know much about the subject matter going in but knew enough coming out. The demonstrations depicted are the catalysts for the characters in a wonderfuly fulfilled fictional depiction. Sure feels real to me, could have happened, hope it didn't. It's not a lighthearted film. Hardships are had but not sensationalized or hammed up. All that practical praise aside this movie's got Michelle Rodriguez and I unashamedly award it brownie points as a result. She's at her best here. Woo!
June 4, 2009
This was a fantastic movie. It made me feel completely oblivious to what happens in the world and violently angry at people in authority.
April 7, 2009
It's pretty cool watching this anarchy, battle for needs, basically war on our own turf. I really enjoyed people's stories.
March 13, 2009
I don't know really what to say about this! It was good acting, ad a decent enough story, but i was still bored out of my effing mind!
November 30, 2008
The ratings for this movie were very high and it had a really good cast, but that doesn't mean that you will like it. Most of the time you can go by ratings and what other people say but not always as by evidence of this movie, at least in my opinion. I thought this movie was a little boring and needed a little more going on. I thought the actors did a pretty good job but there were so many star actors and so many stories to tell in a short period of time that they couldn't really develop each character very much. I think other than those points it was an ok movie but not something I would watch again. Like I said before, maybe you'll be one of the people who will love this movie or maybe you'll be like me and not like it very much, but either way you should see it so that you can come up with your own opinion.