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Gunner Palace (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Documentary, War  |  5 September 2004 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,814 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 32 user | 58 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

American soldiers of the 2/3 Field Artillery, a group known as the "Gunners," tell of their experiences in Baghdad during the Iraq War. Holed up in a bombed out pleasure palace built by Sadaam Hussein, the soldiers endured hostile situations some four months after President George W. Bush declared the end of major combat operations in the country.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Bryant Davis ...
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Devon Dixon ...
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Javorn Drummond ...
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Elliot Lovett ...
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Nick Moncrief ...
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Jon Powers ...
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Richmond Shaw ...
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Terry Taylor ...
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Stuart Wilf ...
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Storyline

American soldiers of the 2/3 Field Artillery, a group known as the "Gunners," tell of their experiences in Baghdad during the Iraq War. Holed up in a bombed out pleasure palace built by Sadaam Hussein, the soldiers endured hostile situations some four months after President George W. Bush declared the end of major combat operations in the country.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some war stories will never make the nightly news. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 on appeal for strong language throughout, violent situations and some drug references | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

5 September 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Palac Gunner  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$63,520 (USA) (4 March 2005)

Gross:

$607,502 (USA) (17 June 2005)
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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During a raid on a house, several Iraqi men, brothers, are captured. One of them protests, saying (in English) that he is a journalist. Some of the soldiers tell him to shut up, and he is taken away. As it turns out, this man was indeed a journalist, Yunis Khatayer Abbas. He spent time in jail, some at Abu Ghraib, suspected of plotting to assassinate British PM Tony Blair. After nine months of imprisonment, he was released, and the US has not charged him with any crime. By coincidence, Michael Tucker, the director of "Gunner Palace," heard about Mr. Abbas' story, and worked together to make his latest movie, "The Prisoner, or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair." See more »

Quotes

SPC Tom Susdorf: This morning, um, the Shiites were having their holy day, doing their usual walks around Baghdad, and their pilgrimmage to some of the holy shrines in the area and they went over to Kadhimiya, and, uh, a couple explosions went off. The doctors at the hospital say at least seventy-five people were killed, thus far. When the QRF from the Knights and Dakota went over to assess the situation and try to help with medical support they got there only to be pelted by rocks and sticks and bottles and ...
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User Reviews

 
Fair and balanced -- REALLY
26 January 2005 | by (Seattle, WA) – See all my reviews

The first thing I will say about this documentary is that regardless of your thoughts on the current war in Iraq (or the current influx of anti-war film propaganda), this is a movie you should see. The material is presented in a non-partisan manner, allowing for the audience to draw its own conclusions.

The film follows soldiers who call Gunner Palace home. Gunner Palace is one of Saddam's son's abandoned, bombed out, former residences. These soldiers are shown doing their duty on a daily basis, whether that means checking a carelessly tossed garbage bag to see if it's a possible explosive, or doing routine intelligence follow-up by raiding suspected bomb-makers' houses.

Some of the scenes are hard to watch, though the viewer is spared from any gratuitous violence or gore. There are scenes of soldiers spending time with local orphans and introducing them to the finer points of American pop culture, shots of suspected terrorists being brought in for interrogation and footage of local Iraqis being trained by (American) soldiers to defend their own homeland.

Most scenes are impactful simply for their ordinariness—the boredom and repetition that come from keeping the peace and trying to rebuild a nation who, for the most part, doesn't want your help. While the work can be intense, it is also slow and steady, done by many who are just out of high school and outside of their hometown for the first time in their lives.

One soldier makes the remark that though he had idealized army life more as defending his own country on its own land, he is still proud to be a solider, doing the necessary work.

What you don't see on the television news is the soldier's perspective. We all talk about educating ourselves on what is happening in Iraq to our men and women in service; well, here is your chance.


46 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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