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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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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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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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 »
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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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Connections

Followed by The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ultimately one-sided
21 May 2005 | by (Lincoln, NE) – See all my reviews

This documentary is well worth seeing for one reason -- more than anything I've seen about the Iraq war, it gives the American soldier's point of view on fighting in Iraq. The news-bites and short glimpses of the war given the American public on television are filtered down so much by the time they get to your screen that you feel like you've seen nothing and gained no insight about what is really going on there. If you have a family member or friend fighting over there, you MUST see this film to better appreciate their perspective.

What this film does not do, however, is provide any sort of an Iraqi perspective on the fighting. Granted, there are interviews with Iraqi informants employed by the American military and and several shots of suspected insurgents being detained, but there is no attempt to show the average Iraqi's point of view about the conflict. In other words, this documentary is a very subjective and one-sided perspective, but it is still very worthwhile.

I went to see it with a friend whose brother is currently fighting over there, and she said it was remarkable how well it captured the soldiers' off-time activities and philosophies about the fighting. Her brother and his buddies had made some video footage of their own and it was very similar in that regard. What the documentary doesn't show, and what her brother's video did show, was the dismembered bodies, the hellish and disorienting firefights, and the horrified, screaming civilians. One should not go into a screening of this film believing that they will experience the war or see what it's really like. One has to be there to understand.


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