By Owen Gleiberman
Updated February 20, 2008 at 05:00 AM EST
California Newsreel

In Sierra Leone, a 6-year-old boy is kidnapped, drugged, and brainwashed into becoming a killer for the civil war. (He is then played, as a teenager, by Mamoudou Turay Kamara.) That’s a traumatically vital topic for a docudrama, yet rarely has the gulf between relevance of subject matter and ineptitude of execution been greater than it is in Ezra. Static and diffuse, the film is so committed to its view of Ezra as a pawn in the psychotic game of postcolonial Africa that he is never allowed, as a character, to become more than a pawn. C-

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