A young woman joins the military to be part of something bigger than herself and her small town roots. But she ends up as a new guard at Guantanamo Bay instead, where her mission is far from black and white. Surrounded by hostile jihadists and aggressive squadmates, she strikes up an unusual friendship with one of the detainees. A story of two people, on opposite sides of a war, struggling to find their way through the ethical quagmire of Guantanamo Bay. And in the process, they form an unlikely bond that changes them both.
Downbeat Prison Movie
- Camp X-Ray review by Alphaville
With its documentary style, washed-out colours and obsession with operational detail, this unconvincing film about Guantanamo Bay guards and detainees was never going to be a cinematic masterpiece. With its left-wing political agenda, the plot about new guard Kristin Stewart’s growing sympathy for the plight of one detainee (naturally innocent) springs no surprises. With its confined spaces, where most conversation takes place on opposite sides of a locked cell door, it’s more suited to the stage than cinema.
It also has to be said that Kristin needs to rein in her staccato mannerisms, which served her well in Twilight but here make her acting and hence her character unbelievable. This is her most unfortunate performance too date, although one suspects she was ill-served by the director as few of the other performances are believable either. It all gets a bit wearing, especially as there’s no doubt where the plot’s going. It even ends with a nauseatingly plaintive ballad on the soundtrack. Politics aside, it’s best viewed as an information film.