War Machine, a movie review

A movie review by: Lee Sonogan

(2017) 2h1min/Comedy, Drama, War


Sean Cullen: [voiceover] The thing about counterinsurgency is that it doesn’t really work. We tried it in Viet Nam. That went well… The British and the French gave it a shot trying to hang on to *their* crumbling empires… It just hasn’t worked. To me, it would seem kind of simple why. You can’t win the trust of a country by invading it. You can’t build a nation at gunpoint.

A 2017 American satirical war film directed and written by David Michôd based on the nonfiction book The Operators by Michael Hastings. Creator of the movie Animal Kingdom, this movie recreates a U.S. General’s roller-coaster rise and fall as part reality, part savage parody. The movie had a budget of $60 million and was released on Netflix on May 26, 2017.

An absurdist war story for our times. At the story’s core is Brad Pitt’s sly take on a successful, charismatic four-star general who leapt in like a rock star to command NATO forces in Afghanistan, only to be taken down by a journalist’s no-holds-barred exposé. On an unrelated note, Ben Kingsley makes a cameo appearance as President Karzai.

The film was filmed in different parts of the UAE including Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Overall, the war/comedy has an interesting story to tell with a narrator used well. The story brings out the positive sides of non-uniform wars and the meaningless of counterinsurgency. Also, a lot of its dialogue is well written. The ending sums up below average and dulls down in the last act of the movie. I recommend this movie to people interested in war and political power stories. Also if you wanna see Brad Pitt in a different sorta character that he does not normally act as.


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