starring Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, Derek Luke
screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan
directed by Robert Redford
by Walter Chaw Stilted, awkward, an Ayn Rand screed complete with straw men and pontiffs poised to burn them down, Robert Redford's smug, self-satisfied liberal weltschmerz anthem Lions for Lambs is tailor-made for festival-season standing ovations. It's the prime example of why a lot of Republicans get away with calling Hollywood--the single highest concentration of Big Business and corporate interest outside the Beltway--a lefty hotbed of pinko nonsense carried on a cloud of flatulent hot air. It's a prime example, too, of why it's so hard to vote for Democrats even when the alternative is the GOP. Put this one on the shelf between Sidney Lumet's Fail Safe and this year's deplorable Rendition--movies so earnest in their chest-pounding pontification that it's impossible to imagine on the one hand who could be converted by them and on the other who could resist changing their party affiliation out of sheer embarrassment. In this one, the call is for activism in whatever form said activism might take just for the sake of doing something, damnit. To quote a guy writing in the 1920s, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."