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Gunner Palace (2004)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,777 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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Title: Gunner Palace (2004)

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Cast

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

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Release Date:

5 September 2004 (USA)  »

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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

Under normal circumstances more than one use of the word "fuck" would get a film an R-rating. In this instance, the MPAA reasoned that a person old enough to be recruited by the army should be allowed to view a documentary on actual army life. However the rating also carried the notice that it was awarded on appeal to provide a better cautionary warning to parents concerned about what their children are viewing. See more »

Quotes

SPC Devon Dixon: I couldn't sleep for a while, you know, the first time I ever had to kill somebody, so I know for me ... you know, it tore me up pretty bad. But after a while, you know, I learned to deal with it, 'case you gotta look at it as, you know, it's either gonna be him or it's gonna be me, and, you know, I'm not doin' the wrong thing, I'm just following orders, so I'd rather it not be me. So, I had to, you know, I learned to live with it.
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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.


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