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War Movies Challenge (Official, November 2021)

blocho
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War Movies Challenge (Official, November 2021)

#1

Post by blocho »

War Movies Challenge

Image
Image
Above: Hell is for Heroes, Amigo

In "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning," the journalist Chris Hedges wrote the following:
The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and carnage it can give us what we long for in life. It can give us purpose, meaning, a reason for living. Only when we are in the midst of conflict does the shallowness and vapidness of much of our lives become apparent. Trivia dominates our conversations and increasingly our airwaves. And war is an enticing elixir. It gives us resolve, a cause. It allows us to be noble.
I read Hedges' book during my first month in grad school, and it's stayed in my mind ever since. I thought about it when I did a research paper on the Pequot War and Metacom's War. I thought about it when I did another research paper on the WWI movies of the 1920s, which purported to offer viewers an opportunity to "see war as it was." And I think about it every time I see a war movie, a genre now more than a century old and one which may never fade in popularity. War offers the movies easy access to drama and excitement. And given that the movies themselves have been a dominant force in the creation of cultural meaning since their advent, war movies sometimes seem like bricks used in the construction of society itself.

Goal
Watch war movies/episodes. Discuss them.

Rules
- Challenge runs November 1, 2021 to November 30, 2021.
- A feature film (at least 40 minutes) counts as one point.
- 80 minutes of short films or miniseries/TV episodes counts as one point.
- Films/episodes must be watched one at a time, at single speed (not sped up), and in their entirety.
- Any movie or episode you post should feature war as a significant theme or major part of the narrative. Examples of movies that should not be posted include those in which the war is a metaphor rather than a physical conflict, those that depict the military solely in peacetime, those that focus on espionage or diplomacy apart from physical war. That being said, I leave eligibility up to the discretion of participants. I ask only for good-faith submissions.
- Not a rule but a request: When you post what you have watched, please include your reaction or at least a rating so that other people can learn about movies they might not know about. Also, the challenge is more fun and interesting when discussion is ample.

Stats & Formatting
- Title (Year) is the preferred format.
- New posts are preferred over edited posts.

Lists
101 War Movies You Must See Before You Die
IMDb Top War Films
ICM Forum's Favorite War Movies

Previous Editions
2019 - Led by PUNQ with 119 points.
2017 - Led by 72aicm with 143 points.
2014 - Led by 3eyes with 27 points.

Bonus Challenge #1 - Different Wars
See one movie or 80 minutes of episodes for each of the wars listed below. Once you have seen all of them, you win the challenge. If you see a movie that features more than one war, you have to pick which war counts towards this bonus challenge. Once you indicate your choice, you can't change it later. Indicate your choice in the same manner as the following notation:
3. Stalag 17 (1953) #WorldWarII
4. Pork Chop Hill (1959) #KoreanWar
Wars
Crusades
American Revolution
French Revolutionary Wars/Napoleonic Wars
American Civil War
Mexican Revolution
Russian Revolution and Civil War
World War I
Spanish Civil War
World War II
Korean War
Indochina Wars (this includes the Vietnam War)
Yugoslav Wars
Afghanistan War (any conflict since 1978)
Iraq Wars (Iran-Iraq, Persian Gulf War, and the current conflict)
Bonus Challenge #2 - Blocho's Recommendations
See the following movies:
Hell Is for Heroes
Amigo
The Rack
Eye of the Needle
Achtung! Banditi! -- Youtube link
Soldiers in Hiding -- Youtube link


Scoreboard
RankParticipantNumber of PointsNumber of WarsBlocho's Recs
1jdidaco46Completed!1
2flavo5000379---
3blocho337---
4Lonewolf2003306---
5sol27---5
6AB537226---
6peeptoad2261
8Arkantos2172
9PUNQ17------
10AssonFire134---
10DudeLanez135---
12shugs11------
12LaTierri114---
14maxwelldeux103---
153eyes93---
15hurluberlu93---
17kongs_speech7------
18Onderhond4------
19zzzorf21---
19ororama21---
19OldAle122---
22Lakigigar1------
2272aicm1------
Last edited by blocho on November 30th, 2021, 1:02 am, edited 21 times in total.
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#2

Post by blocho »

I wanted to start this topic a little early to solicit some feedback on Bonus Challenge #1. I’m open to adding to the list of wars. My criterion is that for any war I add to the list, there should at least be 20 accessible movies that depict that war. I can’t promise I’ll take all suggestions, but I’m open to ideas.
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#3

Post by 3eyes »

In, as much as my sight and energy allow.

Like your intro, Blocho.

I always try to watch films about as many different wars as possible for this challenge.
So far my list includes 15 wars (including revolutions, uprisings and undeclared conflicts of various sorts).

If you look for lists under War on ICM, there are lots of lists, some war-specific.
If I may put in a plug for one I made (with quite a bit of help from folks on this forum):
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/chil ... war/3eyes/

Another recommendation: The best ever film about conscientious objection:
Field Punishment No. 1
from New Zealand, set during WW I - and yes, a war setting
:run: STILL the Gaffer!
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#4

Post by LaTierri »

Looking forward to this - I've already watchlisted a lot of films.

I don't want to bog anyone down in definitions but a quick question - are fictitious wars (Starship Troopers) and the effect of war (Children of Hiroshima) ok?
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#5

Post by blocho »

LaTierri wrote: October 27th, 2021, 10:01 pm I don't want to bog anyone down in definitions but a quick question - are fictitious wars (Starship Troopers) and the effect of war (Children of Hiroshima) ok?
Yes.
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#6

Post by Lakigigar »

I'll watch a few movies i have on my list to watch (or at least try to). These that catched my interest are: Come and See, Brotherhood of War, The Thin Red Line, Das Boot, Ivan's Childhood, Platoon, Casablanca, The Hurt Locker, The Battle of Algiers, Lawrence of Arabia and Quo vadis, Aida). I probably won't see more, as it is a genre that is serious and depressing and doesn't isn't really fit to bingewatch and films are usually quite long, so i'll probably watch every 3 days a movie from this list, most of them being movies i probably should have watched a time ago, and this allows me to have time to participate a bit in the few other challenges (film noir, the other genre i have neglected a lot) and argentina/brazil.
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#7

Post by peeptoad »

Though I have nothing to add I like the bonus challenges, particularly #1. I look forward to this since it'll probably be my focus next month.
Thanks for hosting, blocho.
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#8

Post by flavo5000 »

As far as ones to add to Bonus 1, how about the Crimean War and the Hundred Years War?

Also I'm guessing Vietnam was left out since it was officially a "conflict" and not a declared war?
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#9

Post by blocho »

flavo5000 wrote: October 28th, 2021, 12:00 pm As far as ones to add to Bonus 1, how about the Crimean War and the Hundred Years War?

Also I'm guessing Vietnam was left out since it was officially a "conflict" and not a declared war?
I can't find that many movies about the Crimean War. The list on wikipedia only has 12, while the Crimean War tag on imdb has 24 (but many are clearly mislabeled). The Hundred Years War seems more promising (46 tagged on imdb), but most of them don't seem accessible. Still, thanks for these suggestions!

The Vietnam War was one of the Indochina Wars.
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#10

Post by flavo5000 »

blocho wrote: October 28th, 2021, 2:03 pm
flavo5000 wrote: October 28th, 2021, 12:00 pm As far as ones to add to Bonus 1, how about the Crimean War and the Hundred Years War?

Also I'm guessing Vietnam was left out since it was officially a "conflict" and not a declared war?
I can't find that many movies about the Crimean War. The list on wikipedia only has 12, while the Crimean War tag on imdb has 24 (but many are clearly mislabeled).
Well, that's what makes it a challenge. :P
The Vietnam War was one of the Indochina Wars.
Ah, ok. Wasn't sure what was included in that one.
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#11

Post by 3eyes »

Do the French Revolution and the War of 1812 go with the Napoleonic Wars?
- though good luck finding any films about the latter except Jean Lafitte and the Battle of N'Awlins, which happened after the war ended. (Well, there was one splendid Canadian documentary.)

Oh yeah, the Afghanistan War has been more or less ongoing since the 19th Century.
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#12

Post by flavo5000 »

3eyes wrote: October 28th, 2021, 5:32 pm Do the French Revolution and the War of 1812 go with the Napoleonic Wars?
- though good luck finding any films about the latter except Jean Lafitte and the Battle of N'Awlins, which happened after the war ended. (Well, there was one splendid Canadian documentary.)

Oh yeah, the Afghanistan War has been more or less ongoing since the 19th Century.
On the googles, looks like The Buccaneer (1958), Mutiny (1952) and Mohawk (2017) all take place during the war of 1812.
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#13

Post by 3eyes »

The Buccaneers is Lafitte, the others are new to me. Thanks.
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#14

Post by blocho »

3eyes wrote: October 28th, 2021, 5:32 pm Do the French Revolution and the War of 1812 go with the Napoleonic Wars?
- though good luck finding any films about the latter except Jean Lafitte and the Battle of N'Awlins, which happened after the war ended. (Well, there was one splendid Canadian documentary.)

Oh yeah, the Afghanistan War has been more or less ongoing since the 19th Century.
I'll incorporate the French Revolutionary Wars with the Napoleonic Wars (good call). I can't find enough movies about the War of 1812. And you're entirely correct about Afghanistan -- typically American of me to only think of our Afghanistan War. I'll change that to include all conflicts since the 1978 coup.
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#15

Post by RogerTheMovieManiac88 »

I'll try to dip in to this, blocho.

Would the English Civil Wars perhaps be a good addition?
That's all, folks!
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#16

Post by blocho »

RogerTheMovieManiac88 wrote: October 28th, 2021, 9:38 pm Would the English Civil Wars perhaps be a good addition?
Seems like the same case as the others -- too few accessible movies.

I feel bad. I asked for suggestions, and I'm shooting down what I'm getting. I guess we have to face the fact that 90% of all war movies are WWII movies. But thanks to everyone for the ideas.
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#17

Post by 3eyes »

Well, ain't no reason we can't watch stuff that doesn't qualify for Bonus 1.
(Heck, the Afghanistan movie I turned up was set in 1897. Oh well.)
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#18

Post by 3eyes »

For what it's worth, I append a list of movies I've seen representative of miscellaneous oddball wars, chronologically arranged to the best of my ability.
Not intended to be complete.
Spoiler
Coriolanus (UK 2011) - Romans vs Volscians, 3d cent BC
Scipione l'africano (Italy 1937) - 2d Punic War, 218-201 BC
Cadfael (UK 1994-8, TV series - esp. S1 ep 1) - English Civil War (Matilda/Stephen), 12th cent
The fall of Otrar /Gibel Otrara (USSR/Kazakhstan 91) - Mongols vs Moslems, 13th cent
The Last of the Mohicans (several versions) - French & Indian War (18th cent)
Gunga Din (1939) - British Raj vs the Thuggees, 19th cent
Zulu Dawn (UK 79) - Anglo-Zulu war, 1879
'Breaker' Morant (Oz 1980) - Boer War (ca 1900)
Ararat (Can 2002) - Armenian genocide, 1910s
Beau Geste (1926) - French Foreign Legion vs Tuaregs, N Africa early 20th cent
Lion of the desert ( Libya/US 81) - Italy vs Bedouins in Libya, ca 1930
Warriors of the rainbow (Taiwan 11) - Indigenous Taiwanese vs Japanese, 1930s
Red sorghum / Hong gao liang (China 1987) - 2d Sino-Japanese war, 1930s
L'ennemi intime / Intimate enemies (Fr 07, 110m). - Algerian War, 1954-62
The Act of Killing (Den 12) - Indonesian genocide in 1960s
*Tears of the sun (US 03, 121m) - Nigerian civil war, 1967-70
Some mother's son (Ireland 1996) - Northern Ireland conflict, 1960s-90s
White material (Fr 09, 106m) - Rhodesian bush war, 1960s-70s
Kilomètre zéro (Fr /Iraq 2005) - Iran/Iraq war, 1980s
Rachida (Algeria 02, 100m) [Algerian civil war]
Pray the devil back to hell (08) - 2d Liberian civil war, 1999-2003
:run: STILL the Gaffer!
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#19

Post by peeptoad »

re: bonus 1- where would the 30 Years War fit in?
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#20

Post by Arkantos »

I don't see it specifically mentioned so I'll ask: rewatches are kosher or no?
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#21

Post by blocho »

peeptoad wrote: October 31st, 2021, 11:53 am re: bonus 1- where would the 30 Years War fit in?
It does not. Unfortunately, as with the other suggestions, it seems there are too few accessible movies. But, as 3eyes mentioned, don't let that stop you from watching whatever you have in mind (a Cyrano adaptation, perhaps).
Last edited by blocho on October 31st, 2021, 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#22

Post by blocho »

Arkantos wrote: October 31st, 2021, 12:23 pm I don't see it specifically mentioned so I'll ask: rewatches are kosher or no?
Of course.
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#23

Post by peeptoad »

blocho wrote: October 31st, 2021, 2:05 pm
peeptoad wrote: October 31st, 2021, 11:53 am re: bonus 1- where would the 30 Years War fit in?
It does not. Unfortunately, as with the other suggestions, it seems there are too few accessible movies. But, as 3eyes mentioned, don't let that stop you from watching whatever you have in mind (a Cyrano adaptation, perhaps).
Okay, thanks blocho. Just wanted to check. And, I will... A Jester's Tale (1964). :thumbsup:
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#24

Post by Arkantos »

blocho wrote: October 31st, 2021, 2:05 pm
Arkantos wrote: October 31st, 2021, 12:23 pm I don't see it specifically mentioned so I'll ask: rewatches are kosher or no?
Of course.
:cheers:
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#25

Post by zzzorf »

Well I guess it is up to me to kick this challenge off. I happened to watch a war movie earlier today, could be the only one this month as it is one of my weakest genres.

1. Valkyrie (2008) - 7/10 #WorldWarII
That is a weak 7 but overall it was a well handled film and not what I expected.
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#26

Post by hurluberlu »

1. Malena (Giuseppe Tornatore, 2000) [#World War II] 4+
casus belli
1. Malena (Giuseppe Tornatore, 2000) [#World War II] 4+
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#27

Post by sol »

And with this, all three challenges this month have gotten off to a disappointing start. Ouch.

1. Fury (2014)

Image

This has scattered memorable moments, such as a training scene in which our young pacifist protagonist is physically forced to hold his weapon and point it at a German. At nearly two and a half hours though, the film takes a very long time to make its point and none of the characters ever developed beyond stereotype. It is only really in the final half-hour that the action truly builds up and intensifies; even so, for a tank war movie this pales against Lebanon.
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#28

Post by Arkantos »

1. Hyena Road (2015, Paul Gross), rewatch, #AfghanistanWar
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#29

Post by blocho »

Arkantos wrote: November 1st, 2021, 8:25 pm 1. Hyena Road (2015, Paul Gross), rewatch, #AfghanistanWar
Any good? Would you recommend?
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#30

Post by peeptoad »

1. Dunkirk (2017) 7 #WorldWarII
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#31

Post by LaTierri »

1. Saints and Soldiers (Ryan Little, 2003) 5/10 #WorldWarII
2. Last of the Mohicans (Michael Mann, 1992) 8/10

I don't know much American history - does the French and Indian War in which LotM was set fit into any of the bonus challenge wars?
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#32

Post by maxwelldeux »

LaTierri wrote: November 1st, 2021, 11:36 pm 1. Saints and Soldiers (Ryan Little, 2003) 5/10 #WorldWarII
2. Last of the Mohicans (Michael Mann, 1992) 8/10

I don't know much American history - does the French and Indian War in which LotM was set fit into any of the bonus challenge wars?
No, that predates (slightly) the American Revolution.
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#33

Post by DudeLanez »

1. Voyna (War, 2002, Balabanov) 6/10
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#34

Post by blocho »

1. Threads (1984) - Fictitious War
A few months ago, when I was in Iceland, I couldn't resist walking by the Hofdi House, a former diplomatic building, even though there's almost nothing to see there. Only a small unadorned plaque noting that this was the location of the 1986 Reykjavik Summit between the United States and the Soviet Union. If you believe the legend, this was the meeting where Gorbachev and Reagan achieved some sort of mind meld and nearly achieved world peace. The story goes that they went back and forth talking about arms limitations, and as they became increasingly impressed by the concessions the other was willing to make, they kept suggesting lower and lower limits. And then finally one of them said why don't we just get rid of all nuclear weapons, and the other said that sounded fine, and at that point military aides all but dragged them out of the room. You can always count on the military to act quickly whenever there's a chance of peace breaking out. It's not a true story, at least not entirely. Communications about eliminating all nuclear weapons had been going back and forth for months, and it seems unlikely either party was really serious about it. There was no scramble by senior officials to rein in Reagan and Gorbachev. But while no agreements were made in Reykjavik, a year later the two countries signed a treaty that put limits on certain kinds of missiles. And that was followed by more sweeping treaties in the 1990s that put significant limits on ICBMs (the missiles that really matter).

Why was Reagan willing to do this? He was a man, after all, who once famously described his foreign policy toward the USSR in the most simplistic, bellicose terms: "We win. They lose." But Reagan was also our most cinematic president, not merely because of his acting career or because, like Nixon, he loved watching movies, but rather because he seemed to freely imbibe their ideology and their mannerisms and then replicated them in his public persona. He had seen enough sci-fi movies in the 50s and 60s to think seriously about the possibility of planetary destruction. And he was also very influenced by a cycle of early 1980s movies about the effects of nuclear war, of which Threads was but one example. A BBC production, it offers a docudrama examination of the build-up to nuclear war and then the effects of the attack and the aftermath on Sheffield in England. This is a movie with almost no narrative art. The escalating hostilities are conveyed mostly through overheard radio and TV reports. Information about the aftermath is sometimes just shown through text on the screen. And there's a voiceover narrator filling in the details. But narrative and cinematic style are not the point here. The point is plausibility. And in that regard, the movie is a tremendous success. And it's still terrifying. The movie was first broadcast a couple of months before I was born. Thirty-seven years later, those bombs are still in their silos and on those submarines under the seas. As paranoia and common sense converge, the world goes insane.
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#35

Post by LaTierri »

maxwelldeux wrote: November 2nd, 2021, 12:56 am
LaTierri wrote: November 1st, 2021, 11:36 pm 1. Saints and Soldiers (Ryan Little, 2003) 5/10 #WorldWarII
2. Last of the Mohicans (Michael Mann, 1992) 8/10

I don't know much American history - does the French and Indian War in which LotM was set fit into any of the bonus challenge wars?
No, that predates (slightly) the American Revolution.
No worries, thanks.
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#36

Post by sol »

War of the Worlds
1. Fury (2014)
2. Duck Soup (1933) REVISION iCM Forum's Favourite War Movies #118

Image

With its portrait of two nations brought to war simply by the insulted egos of its leaders, this works well as a political satire and a commentary on unjust and senseless wars. It is also very funny, and even after six viewings the gags work. The comic timing is amazing, especially with Groucho's insults that fly by so quickly by that Dumont remains oblivious to how she is being mocked and buttered up. And then Harpo and the vendor have a war of their own...
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#37

Post by OldAle1 »

Not really planning on focusing on this challenge this month, but as the first film I watched for the noir challenged also happened to fit here, why the hell not? I may watch some of them bombastic American 50s-60s war movies also, just because my nostalgia overwhelms me these days -

1. They Gave Him a Gun (W.S. Van Dyke, 1937)

World War I

Half a war movie, half a film noir, with a bit too much melodrama for it's own good. Starts out with Spencer Tracy helping out Franchot Tone, who doesn't want to go to war and seems to have a sort of muddled pacifism, through basic training. Tone finds out he's good with a gun, which will come in handy when the two end up over there in France in WWI. Tone becomes a hero by wiping out a German machine-gun nest and Tracy falls for his nurse, Gladys George. But through various plot devices, back stateside Tone is married to George and engaged in a mysterious "insurance" business, while Tracy is back to his old job as carnival barker. When they meet up again, Tracy soon figures out that Tone has descended into FILM NOIR NO-GOODNIK territory and as his old buddy, figures he should help him - or at least wife George, who he still loves - out of it. Things don't go so well of course. This gets a bit into the whole notion of war breeding killers - hence the title, which is repeated near the end of the film - but it still feels more a 30s-era buck-up-the-spirits film than a true noir experience. Tracy is an uneasy fit in noir I think - though he did a few - but Tone very much feels at home in the second half. Overall just all right.
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#38

Post by flavo5000 »

Image
1. Voyna i mir a.k.a. War and Peace (Sergey Bondarchuk, 1965) #Napoleonic Wars
Spoiler
1. Voyna i mir a.k.a. War and Peace (Sergey Bondarchuk, 1965) #Napoleonic Wars
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#39

Post by Arkantos »

blocho wrote: November 1st, 2021, 10:37 pm
Arkantos wrote: November 1st, 2021, 8:25 pm 1. Hyena Road (2015, Paul Gross), rewatch, #AfghanistanWar
Any good? Would you recommend?
I own it on blu-ray and rewatch it every year so I would say yes. I recognize that it's not a perfect film by any means, and therefore caution ymmv. Rossif Sutherland and Niamatullah Arghandabi put up performances that could probably best be compared to an oak tree. And the non-Sutherland members of the sniper team seemed to function solely as placeholders with not much substance to their characters. But Paul Gross's spook character, either on screen or in those voiceovers, I thought was pretty engaging and is what brings me coming back to this one.
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Lonewolf2003
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Post by Lonewolf2003 »

1. Fury (2014, David Ayer): 6.8 #World War II
2. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987, Barry Levinson) rewatch: ? > 8.0 #Indochina Wars
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