Live from Baghdad (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Live from Baghdad2002

Live from Baghdad (2002)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Live from Baghdad Photos

Movie Info

As America geared itself for another possible armed conflict in Iraq, the HBO cable service offered a dramatization of events surrounding the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Originally telecast on December 8, 2002, Live From Baghdad recounted the efforts by the CNN network to be first on the scene when hostilities broke out in the Gulf in late 1990. Inaugurating round-the-clock coverage of the warfare with the invasion of Kuwait, dauntless CNN producers Robert Wiener (Michael Keaton) and Ingrid Formanek (Helena Bonham Carter), aided and abetted by on-the-scene reporters Bernard Shaw (Robert Wisdom), Peter Arnett (Bruce McGill), and John Holliman (John Carroll Lynch), among many others, represented the only American news service on the scene during the first night of bombing on January 16, 1991. Not only does Live From Baghdad celebrate the heroism (and meticulous fairness) of the CNN crew, but it also vividly demonstrates how a tiny but tenacious basic cable channel managed to out-scoop the Big Three networks, thereby becoming one of the most powerful and influential journalistic forces in the world.


Michael Keaton
as Robert Wiener
Helena Bonham Carter
as Ingrid Formanek
Lili Taylor
as Judy Parker
Robert Wisdom
as Bernard Shaw
Joshua Leonard
as Mark Biello
David Suchet
as Naji Al-Hadithi
Bruce McGill
as Peter Arnett
Jason Antoon
as Mr. Mazin
Clark Gregg
as Eason Jordan
Michael Murphy
as Tom Johnson
Tom Amandes
as Joe Erlichman
Hamish Linklater
as Richard Roth
Murphy Dunne
as Bob Vinton
Matt Keeslar
as Nic Robertson
Michael Cudlitz
as Tom Murphy
John Carroll Lynch
as John Holliman
Mark Arnott
as Bob Furnad
Inny Clemons
as CNN Deskman
Chet Grissom
as Will King
Val Lauren
as CNN Technician
Kurt Hargan
as Control Room Manager
Paul Tranghese
as Stage Manager
David Kaye
as Ben Dupont
Jimmy Palumbo
as News Producer
Thomas Crawford
as Nigel Babcock
David Shatraw
as Joe Wilson
Lee Dawson
as Raymond Page
Shaun Toob
as Saddun Al-Jenabi
Brian George
as Al Rasheed Manager
Mahryah Shain
as AL Rasheed Writer
Jerry Haleva
as Sadaam Hussein
Michael James Kacey
as American Hostage
Craig Anton
as American Hostage
Jay Harik
as Sadaam's Translator
David Franco
as Sadaam's Security Gu
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News & Interviews for Live from Baghdad

Critic Reviews for Live from Baghdad

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4)

... not only are we permitted to watch on a cable channel that doesn't even have a news division, but we are encouraged to be nostalgic about the first assault on Saddam Hussein just in time for the second.

January 30, 2018 | Full Review…

The teleplay from Wiener, Richard Chapman, John Patrick Shanley and Timothy J. Sexton is mostly taut and exciting, except when it pauses for a minimally romantic time out between Wiener and Formanek.

February 13, 2003

As a movie, Live From Baghdad constitutes another first-class production from HBO.

January 6, 2003

One of the best movies I've seen about electronic journalism.

December 2, 2002

In any event, one finishes watching the HBO product as enlightened or as ignorant about the 1990-91 events as one began.

February 15, 2021 | Full Review…

Nothing fascinates the media as much as itself.

July 3, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Live from Baghdad

This was an interesting look behind the scenes of CNN's efforts to bring the 1991 bombing of Baghdad into the homes of TV viewers. It brings to light the heroic sacrifices made by journalists, camera crews and producers to keep us informed while working in hostile dangerous areas. A good effort from Keaton, & Carter, help make this a really decent film..

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic] "Live from Baghdad" takes place after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, when executive producer Robert Wiener(Michael Keaton) volunteers to be sent by CNN into Baghdad, having nothing else to cover in Berlin since the wall came down. His superiors approve, even though Wiener has a bit of a reputation for taking chances. So he suggests Ingrid Formanek(Helena Bonham Carter) to partner with him and to keep him in line, disavowing any rumors that their relationship goes deeper than work. But first they have to buy all the booze and cigars they can find in Rome...[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Live from Baghdad" is an enjoyable and intelligent dramatization of CNN's coverage of the First Gulf War, said coverage making the fledgling network's reputation.(At the time they were the only 24 hour news channel around.) But before that happened, their crew in Baghdad has to find real news stories(the prize being an interview with Saddam Hussein) while not offending their hosts so much that they are kicked out of the country on the first day while in the long run staying alive. This is especially tricky when both sides are trying to exploit them for propaganda purposes. To do all of that, Wiener cultivates a relationship with the ministry of information(See, this is where the cigars come in handy.) to keep the lines of communication open to possibly avoid a war.(Well, that didn't work out too well, did it?)[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]You don't have to be crazy to be a journalist covering a war but it helps. And while Michael Keaton and Helena Bonham Carter definitely play to the psycho part of their respective ranges, the viewer can also detect the concern on Keaton's face at each decision his character has to make, none of them easy. [/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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