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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 1,813 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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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:

400 American soldiers carry out their mission from a bombed-out pleasure palace once owned by Saddam Hussein. This is their story. 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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 »
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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

The word "fuck" is used 42 times, the most ever used in a PG-13 rated film See more »

Quotes

SPC Billie Grimes: The kids are really funny 'cause at first they'll be like 'Mr., Mr.' and then they'll realize, oh, 'Mrs., Mrs.' and then they want to talk to you even more. Like you get swarms of kids just right in front of you. You try to be friendly to 'em while looking around, making sure no one's gonna shoot you. But the guys are even funnier. You have 'em walk by you and then you see 'em, their heads still turnin', about to trip over themselves tryin' to walk. Then you have some people lookin' and about ...
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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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