The Kingdom

Jamie Foxx, Colin Farrell, Chris Cooper, Jason Bateman, Tom Bresnahan

Directed by Peter Berg
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3
Community: star rating
5 3 0
October 4, 2007

A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. But that's the only hint of Mary Poppins you'll find in Peter Berg's geopolitical thriller, with an emphasis on the thrills. The sugar for Berg, a genuine wild man, is action, and he heaps it on as FBI special agent Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx at his cool, mofo best) leads his team into Saudi Arabia to find the culprits behind a terrorist attack on a compound housing American oil-company employees and their families. The Saudi ambassador has given them only five days to investigate, and a U.S. diplomat (Jeremy Piven) would rather they just do a photo op and slink out. But Fleury is not one for slinking. With the help of an explosives expert (a forceful Chris Cooper), an intelligence analyst (Jason Bateman, nailing all of his smart-mouthed one-liners) and a forensics whiz (Jennifer Garner, never mind the sexy, she means business), Fleury goes John Wayne on their ass. Berg (Friday Night Lights) stages every ambush, gun battle and car chase as if his life depends on it. The Kingdom could have been a jingoistic CSI: Riyadh, and sometimes it is. Matthew Michael Carnahan's caffeinated script isn't much concerned with balance, but it gets some anyway, from the resonant images of culture clash that Berg catches on the fly and a remarkable performance from Ashraf Barhom, whose ravaged, sorrowful face as the Saudi police chief Al-Ghazi is a human map of the complex issues at stake.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    • Child of God
      star rating
      Well Go USA Entertainment
    • lucy
      star rating
      Universal Pictures
    • star rating
      IFC Films
    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Madame George”

    Van Morrison | 1968

    One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

    More Song Stories entries »