A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow Marine recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting set in 1968 in Hue, Vietnam.
Three stories told simultaneous in ninety minutes of real time: a Republican Senator who's a presidential hopeful gives an hour-long interview to a skeptical television reporter, detailing a strategy for victory in Afghanistan; two special forces ambushed on an Afghani ridge await rescue as Taliban forces close in; a poli-sci professor at a California college invites a promising student to re-engage. Decisions press upon the reporter, the student, and the soldiers. Written by
Release prints were delivered to theaters with the fake title 'Barrie'. See more »
The title of the movie relates to a quotation noted by Robert Redford's character. However both the title and the comment by Redford's character are incorrect. The quote probably originates back to the Crimean War but was popularized during WW1 when a German General named Erich Ludendorff in complimenting the bravery of the opposing British soldiers yet criticizing British military command said "They are lions led by donkeys." See more »
Lt. Col. Falco:
Suffice it to say the enemy is getting stronger and the enemy is getting uglier. We're going to put our foot on their throats.
See more »
I went to see this movie with contrasting feelings, because I read a few reviews in advance. Many of them blamed it for being too didactic, thus lacking the basic qualities a movie should have. Many others praised it in a very ideological way, thus raising in me the fear it was a piece of propaganda. Well, after I spent the 80 minutes watching the movie I thought not even 60 had elapsed, and my attention and empathy didn't ever fail for a single minute. There is no doubt that a movie so extensively based upon dialog is very unusual: but this turns out to be one of its most valuable asset and proves the great value of the script. It is not an action movie in any of the conventional ways: yet I followed it with the attention, the suspense and expectations feelings that usually an action movie raises. I think that indeed it is a sort of intelligence action movie - as such it stands out over the best stuff that visual media performances are usually producing today. The second point I most appreciated has been its ability in portraying the main characters' different viewpoints in a very complex way, as it must be: there were no all round villains nor all round heroes. Doubtless there is a very much defined view and attitude, but it is not supported in a mere ideological way. In fact, it has no clearcut, simple answers to offer to a damningly complex situation full of contradictions as it actually is. It is full of subtleties, in dialog not less than in body languages and settings. It is often moving without ever slipping into cheap rhetoric. It's a movie that in a way "should" be seen and re-seen and reflected and discussed upon to wake up people from all sorts of addictive indifference as well as of addictive "I'm right, they're wrong" self complacency. Last but not least, in my opinion this movie is a good instance of what is needed to roll back anti-American feelings that have been spread out due to the American government policies and behavior in the last decade. May I offer my apologies for my English to the readers that will have had the patience to go through my comment.
81 of 126 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?