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The Kingdom

One of the best films about the greateset conflict of modern times.

With a spectacular opening sequence, audiences will be primed for the big show with a brief visual history of Arab-American relations. It is indeed a funky way to explain how all this shit started.

Most of the action (more than 90%) happens in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one of the richest places on the planet, and director Peter Berg does a great job of transporting us to the Arab world. Western audiences will need this immersion into the alien Arab culture. This works in establishing everything, because the authenticity of life in the Middle East is one of this film's selling points. This is not like the other movies that portray Americans and Arabs in black and white.

Jamie Foxx gives a good performace as the FBI special agent assigned to investigate a suicide bombing (check out the scene where the terrorist explodes). The ever-brilliant Chris Cooper plays the experienced old-timer on the team, while Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman (who will team up later in Juno) play the serious forensic scientist and the comic relief, respectively. Ashraf Barhoum also gives a very convincing performance, showing the American audiences that there is such a thing as a good Arab.

There truly is never a dull moment when you're an infidel in Arab land. Especially with bullets flying and bombs exploding.

Rating: Four and a half stars.


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