Battle In Seattle Review

BattleThanks for checking out our review of Battle in Seattle.

The General Idea

Plot Outline from IMDB: Activists arrive in Seattle, Washington en masse to protest a meeting of the World Trade Organization. Riots and chaos ensue as demonstrators successfully stop the WTO meetings.

The Good

People should always make the most out of their right to express freedom of speech. If you disagree with something, and a protest is forming – you should chip in and be a part of it. This film reminds us of our responsibility to fight the man, and that is something that we all need to be reminded of.

The WTO protest was covered on international news and was my first heads up to the international body. The protesters brought the issue front and centre, and introduced their critiques of the WTO through this event (that was paid for by tear gas assault on their tender faces). This is an event that deserved its own film and I was glad to see the tale told on the silver screen.

The Bad

This event is a fantastic subject for a film; sadly the story sucked. To recount this tale, we follow a group of protesters (focusing on 2 lovebirds?!?), the city’s Mayor (Ray Liotta), a police officer on the scene (Woody) and his wife (Charlize Theron). This film used the different characters to show different perspectives of the event, but the bias was so obvious that it was a waste of time and effort. I would have much preferred an honest and focused story from the perspective of the protesters alone.

Why a love interest was introduced to a film about a WTO protest boggles my fucking mind. This was unnecessary, and totally watered down the message with a hack romantic interest for the king of the protesters. The only love interest in this film should have been between people and freedom. Making a film more marketable or appealing by adding a tacked on love story is especially insulting from a film that seems to be trying to convey a message.

The narrative was structured in a way to give us all the facts of the event, and in doing so – it seemed like they were acting out a laundry list. I would’ve much preferred if this film was a documentary with no actors, and just recounted the tales of the event with narration and footage from the day. The film begins with a great introduction and if the style was kept for the duration of the film; it could have been an great, stylized documentary.


The subject was good but delivery was poor. Enough was enjoyable that the film wasn’t a total bore, but I really didn’t care for the story and out of 10, I would give this film a 5.

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4 thoughts on “Battle In Seattle Review

  1. I just saw the movie and I think it’s amazing! Townsend does a great job as director and the ensemble cast is incredible! “Battle in Seattle” is a powerful film that inspires you to learn more about the WTO and to take action. I think everyone should see it!!!

  2. just came back from watching the film at the Toronto International film festival, and I absolutely loved it. It is brilliantly made and brilliantly acted. Stuart Townsend is a very talented man; he is sure to win a few Oscars before the end of his career. Battle in Seattle is a great work which simply tells the story of the WTO riots in Seattle, without an obvious bias (at least in my opinion). The film also uses real footage during some parts which really help those who were not present during the riots see that the film isn’t exaggerating how horrific people’s actions were (on both sides). I highly recommend this film for anyone who loves films that entertain and teach.

  3. Wow, riding on the coat-tails of his “wife” cough, eh yeah, Charlize – Stuart couldn’t even make a decent film…The movie was soooo boring and technically flawed…basically a piece of garbage. It takes talent to make a movie, a director, a REAL director – not a washed up pot smoking actor who is losing his looks. Go get a day job and save your money.

  4. I live in Seattle and suffered some of that tear gas. I’m really curious to see this movie, but I can’t believe they shot it in Vancouver! It’s also hilarious that Ray Liotta is playing a fictional Seattle mayor. The real mayor at the time, Paul Schell, looked more like Philip Baker Hall.

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