Blood Diamond

Rated 4.0

Leonardo DiCaprio delivers his second great performance of the year (after Martin Scorsese’s The Departed) as Archer, a greedy diamond smuggler looking to make a big score and get out of Africa in the late 20th century. Directed by Edward Zwick (Glory), the film combines great action scenes with just enough political intrigue to give it some soul. Zwick and company look to shine a light on the practice of rebels enslaving civilians in diamond mines and using their finds to fund wars. While the film, perhaps, takes on too much for its running time, it’s always interesting and exciting, with DiCaprio brilliant in the lead role. He gives Archer a sinister edge, yet he flavors him with enough compassion to keep him likeable. Djimon Hounsou is also very good as Solomon, a man who is taken from his family to work the mines. When he finds and hides a freakishly large diamond, Archer finds out, and the two set out to make Archer some money and free Solomon’s family. One of the year’s better action pictures.