The War Zone (1999)

R  |   |  Drama  |  11 June 1999 (Italy)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 7,851 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 129 user | 90 critic | 21 from

An alienated teenager, saddened that he has moved away from London, must find a way to deal with a dark family secret.



(novel), (screenplay)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

9 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Nil by Mouth (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The family of Raymond, his wife Val and her brother Billy live in working-class London district. Also in their family is Val and Billy's mother Janet and grandmother Kath. Billy is a drug ... See full summary »

Director: Gary Oldman
Stars: Ray Winstone, Kathy Burke, Charlie Creed-Miles
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After the death of her husband, the mother of Julie, Jack, Sue and Tom begins to suffer from a mysterious illness. Aware that she is going to have to go into hospital she opens a bank ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Birkin
Stars: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Andrew Robertson, Alice Coulthard
Gemini (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A domineering mother with a seemingly perfect family in Argentina is unaware of a taboo relationship happening with her youngest children.

Director: Albertina Carri
Stars: Cristina Banegas, Daniel Fanego, Maria Abadi
Close My Eyes (1991)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After some years of tension, Richard begins a sexual relationship with his sister Natalie, who is now married. The relationship between Richard and Natalie proves dangerously obsessional. ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Poliakoff
Stars: Alan Rickman, Clive Owen, Saskia Reeves
Alpine Fire (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A year on an Alpine farm: an older couple have two children, Belli, who wanted to be a teacher, and the younger Franzi, deaf, and although he works like a man, child-like. Belli teaches him... See full summary »

Director: Fredi M. Murer
Stars: Thomas Nock, Johanna Lier, Dorothea Moritz
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Living in the rural Texas panhandle is a dysfunctional family: an abusive dad, a Vietnam vet with a war wound that's left him impotent; a compliant wife and a son of about 20, who have an ... See full summary »

Director: Antonio Tibaldi
Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Nastassja Kinski, John Savage
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Finbar and Danny are close childhood friends who live in a depressing neighbourhood in an Irish town. Finbar gets the chance to play soccer in an international soccer team abroad but can't ... See full summary »

Director: Sue Clayton
Stars: Luke Griffin, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Sean Lawlor
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Daniel and Ana, brother and sister, best friends. Both are at pivotal, defining moments in their contented lives. Ana is about to be married, Daniel is a gregarious teenager discovering his... See full summary »

Director: Michel Franco
Stars: Dario Yazbek Bernal, Marimar Vega, José María Torre
The War Zone (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Latino gangs and their neighbors, who made their 2010 home in "The War Zone" of Albuquerque New Mexico.

Director: Stefan Lysenko
Stars: Kids, Stefan Lysenko
Luna (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

While touring in Italy, a recently-widowed American opera singer has an incestuous relationship with her 15-year-old son to help him overcome his heroin addiction.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Stars: Jill Clayburgh, Matthew Barry, Veronica Lazar
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

After failing school, 18 year old Irish leaves his small town of Kerry to find work. In London, he finds a job at an oil refinery and befriends a crude Scottish worker, but soon starts ... See full summary »

Director: Owen McPolin
Stars: Andrew Scott, James Quarton, Eva Birthistle

A social worker in New York takes an active role in saving children from dangerous situations at home.

Director: Tim Roth


Cast overview:
Freddie Cunliffe ...
Nick (as Colin J. Farrell)
Aisling O'Sullivan ...
Megan Thorp ...
Baby Alice


Tom (Freddie Cunliffe), an alienated 15 year old boy, finds the that opportunity for close observation of his father, after their move from London to rural Devon and the birth of a new baby, reveals a world run through with darkness and pain. Tom is unable to reconcile the life he's known what he sees with his own eyes, and blames his 18 year old sister, Jessie (Lara Belmont). Both Tom and Jessie struggle to find some path to truth and sanity as the human forces around them work in polarity with their isolation to either assist them, or destroy them. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When the worst of men hides in a family with no history.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, some involving molestation, and for nudity, language and a scene of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

11 June 1999 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Tim Roth's The War Zone  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$18,335 (USA) (10 December 1999)


$237,029 (USA) (31 March 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to director Tim Roth, the bunker scene was so difficult to film that the sound man almost ruined a take by crying into his microphone. Ray Winstone also found acting the scene upsetting and nearly left the production because of it. See more »


Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #2.1 (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Father Knows Best
17 January 2000 | by (Houston,Texas) – See all my reviews

A melancholic boy faces the prospects of adapting to life in a craggy, rugged English countryside separated from the London he knows. We soon discover things are going to go from bad to worse. "The War Zone" is a special film about incest taken entirely from the perspective of the teenage son, Tom, and his sister, Jessie, giving it a quality of children versus their parents. Incest has been broached before in other films like "Celebration" and "The Sweet Hereafter" but never with such all encompassing realism as "The War Zone". You feel like a voyeur prying in other people's business. Director Tim Roth presents scene after scene of stark, uninviting, seashore landscapes as well as a mesmerizing movie score that vacillates between rushed crescendos and unnerving calm to give "The War Zone" a cold, somber tenseness. The acting is outstanding but Freddie Cunliffe as Tom and Lara Belmont as Jessie carry the film with their brave, demanding portrayals. Tom must weigh the secret he knows with preserving the stability of the home. He is so perplexed about normal love and the mere act of lust that when he comes upon attractive neighbor, Lucy and the set-up vixen, Carol, he becomes stupefied rather than attracted to them. Jessie must walk a fine line between the sex act she craves and her sense of right and wrong. Indeed, at one point, we sympathize with her less because she doesn't seem to mind her predicament. "The War Zone" ends in a way some will find unsatisfying but it is very consistent with the film's theme - lost children who will never find their way back.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
was the baby sexual interferred with irismcmurrough
In the last scene, what is the meaning of closing the bunker door? tripijb
More movie Recommendations ? winningi
anti-white propaganda judantis_vaizdas
understanding the daughter ron-o-1
Domestic Violence Lindz1986
Discuss The War Zone (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: