Generation Kill (TV Mini-Series 2008) Poster

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This goes beyond mere entertainment - this is simply the best contemporary television has to offer
gogoschka-127 December 2013
What you get to see here is a one-of-a-kind mini-series: this is as close to a documentary as it gets. The realities of modern warfare are shown honestly with no political agenda and you are left to draw your own conclusions.

When I watched this series I remembered a quote from another film, 'The Siege' from 1998, where Bruce Willis' character, a high ranking army official, says something along the lines of: "The army is a broad sword - not a scalpel. So trust me, you do not want to call the army, unless you have absolutely no other option".

From an artistic point of view what stands out the most is the ensemble of actors. Not once during the entire seven episodes did I not believe I was watching the actual characters - the performances and the direction in this production are flawless. I've never seen a series that felt as real as this.

This goes beyond mere entertainment - this is simply the best contemporary television has to offer. 10 out of 10.

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Absolutely Phenomenal Show
johnha-17 August 2008
As a former Marine who was deployed to the same place at the same time, I think this show did an excellent job of capturing the 'essence' of what the invasion of Iraq was like to the men who were there. This show comes closer to accurately portraying wartime Marines than any other show I've ever seen. I think this is as close as Hollywood can get short of being there and filming it live. Sometimes the special effects are a little over the top, but the dress, demeanor and dialog of the characters are very accurate.

The attitudes, bearing, and language of the Marines portrayed are spot on, as well as the day to day problems and trials they encounter. I guess what I really like about this show is the lack of cheesy moto propaganda. The films are light on pro- or anti- war propaganda and heavy on truth. I'm sure some people think that the 'get some' attitude of the Marines glorifies the war while others think that pulling no punches in the collateral damage department is anti-war, but that isn't the case. These films boldly show the invasion of Iraq for what it was, for better or worse. The Marines have 'get some' attitudes in this show because Marines really have that attitude. Collateral damage, chaos and confusion among U.S. forces are in the show because it really happens in warfighting.
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As Real as it can get, Entertaining & Educational.
Mayank Agarwal2 October 2015
Honest look at what went on in America's war for "Iraqi Freedom". The series is from the point of view of First Recon Marines. It gives us a realistic look of modern warfare, the combat is the most authentic i have come across, it doesn't hype the action for cinematic values. Be warned you won't get to see much of action but when it happens it's tense.

As in real life so in series the Marines are made up of unique characters, there are capable as well as dumb officers. The soldiers come from different background and races, there are Mexicans, South Americans, Blacks, Rednecks, some are educated, some joined out of patriotism, some were given choice between jail term or marine school. Everyone's brain tuned in differently, the only thing common between them are the unity of brotherhood and them being highly trained killers.For me the best part and the highlight of the series are the humors and sarcastic banter among the soldiers.

After watching the series I did some research and found out most of the names and designation are from real people and actual facts.In fact two of guys played themselves.

The series is pretty much controversy free which is surprising considering it shows some stuff which the Government would have liked kept out of limelight.

Do watch it, it's fun as well as education.
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Brilliant war drama
grantss18 December 2015
Brilliant war drama.

The story of 1st Marine Reconnaissance Battalion's participation in the second Allied invasion of Iraq, in 2003. Seen through the eyes of Rolling Stone reporter Evan Wright, who was embedded with the Battalion and upon whose book the series is based.

Though dramatized, this is pretty much a warts-and-all account of a military unit in combat. Hardly glamorous, it shows well the problems they face, both external and internal.

Not all drama and explosions - there are many great comedic moments, especially in the dialogue.

Accurate, engrossing and entertaining.
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throat cancer. just lucky i guess...
defcon_ronin14 July 2008
Every Marine that I know who's read this book, and the couple that have caught the first episode has nothing but good things to say about the material. David Simon and Ed Burns did a great job of sticking to the heart of Wright's story--and from what I've heard, even referenced Lt. Fick's personal account (One Bullet Away)--of that deployment as well. As an active duty Sergeant in the USMC, most of my enlistment has involved working with and managing the same kind of colorful personalities seen in GK. I lost track of how many times we laughed at random "unfunny" scenes because the accuracy of the mannerisms, terminology, or situations depicted.

The one thing that caught me off guard was, after watching all the HBO trailers, the lack of music. I kept expecting to hear that campy trailer music sprite up the background, but it never happened. Oh well, you can't win em all.

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I'm glad they're doing this right (mostly)
Jon McGarvey15 July 2008
I'm also glad there is no music. Music (though moving) would have taken away the grit to this story and given it a more artificial feel. It's amazing how much of the dialog and situations are straight from the book, and how perfectly spot on they are showing Recon Marine culture.

I'm glad Rudy and Kocher got to play themselves. Though I only personally know Pappy out of these characters, it's obvious they are working as hard as they can (within Hollywood's tradition) to portray it as it happened. I hope they continue this series at least until the end of the invasion. I can't wait to see the action at the bridge and the other ambushes.

Oh, and the Sgtmaj. harping on grooming standards during combat operations is so hilarious because it's so true!
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True to the Marines. on a personal level.
Anthony1 August 2008
Before some one comments on this mini-series they have to understand that is based entirely in truth. I first picked up the book while I was traveling home on leave shortly after returning from Iraq and read it in one sitting on the plane. One of the things that I find to be the most outstanding about the book and the series so far is that it is true to the people. I don't mean that it gives us something new and authentic to ponder. I can't think of any instance where the book or show goes into the political aspect of Iraq. And you know why. Because Marines don't make policy. They enforce it, regardless of there personal feelings towards it.

I am personally tired of hearing the comments about the show being cliché' If they spend anytime around the military they will find that most of characters portrayed are just like the young men serving. Marines are a different breed. They are asked to do different things that most of society would not understand. Enjoy the show and try not to get your mind wrapped around it to much.
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A nice introductory first episode
rsp_k6915 July 2008
I enjoyed this immensely, and without revealing my views on the war on Iraq, I must say that I fail to see where these anti-war propaganda/war mongering commentaries are relevant.

Understandingly the Iraqi war has deep-set emotions with the American Public, but I did not feel that this in any way glorified, nor vilified the US troops. Nor did it so for the Iraqis. How anyone can regard this as left-wing anti-war propaganda is beyond me, as it seemed most of the characters had very human and sympathetic traits. As all of us who have served in the military know, there are often extreme personalities(i.e racist, militant, fundamental religious beliefs etc), by the sheer fact that the armed forces are a cross-section of any country's inhabitants, but they all showed camaraderie and discipline more than hostility towards humanity in my point of view.

although I said I wouldn't reveal my views regarding, I now feel compelled to do so. I am a huge opposer of the war in Iraq, and I feel great resentment towards many of the US foreign policies, but that does not mean that I do not enjoy the story on a personal level, nor that I can not sympathize with a country in war. By entertainment standards, this is some of the best television I've seen in a long while, and I can't WAIT for the next episode.
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Pretty Good
MDBum23 July 2008
First off, viewers should realize that this series is about a marine recon team. This is not about the army, navy, air force, etc. Most armed forces members will tell you that the people in the Marines are a different breed from other members. They are often by nature, more aggressive, angry, patriotic, racist, need to prove something, excited to kill something, etc. If you get annoyed by that, then don't watch Generation Kill. Regardless, the series is good because, although the series isn't a deep philosophical "thin red line",(judging by the demeanor and mentality of a lot of the soldiers in the film it would seem a bit unrealistic), it is an honest portrayal of the mindset, expectations, and mentality of these specific groups of soldiers. Another strong point is the relatively lack of action. This is also an honest portrayal. Much of war is 95% of sitting around, doing random chores, getting bored out of your mind, mixed in with 5% of terror and serious fighting which can shake anyone's mental foundation and nerves. . I feel this series captured this rather well.

The only downside to the film was David simon's typecasting of the obnoxious character from season 2 of the wire (wire fans will know what im talking about). It was good once, but not twice. Additionally, Skarsgard acting is rather wooden and questionable, particularly his accent, which ranges from southern, to standard, to something I've never heard of. I've lived in Scandinavia for quit some time so i've come quite accustomed to hearing their English, which is mostly excellent, but there are still hints.

Agree with the war or not, this series shows the bravery, albeit at times maniacal nature of men, who go into action when called upon.
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Captures The Full Chaos and Absurdity of War
bayardhiler11 July 2016
I had heard of "Generation Kill" when it premiered in 2008, but was unable to view since I do not have HBO. So I forgot about it for a while until some time ago I was looking around at the local library when I just happened to sight this little, television masterpiece, and decided, especially in light of what the result of our adventure in Iraq has been in the last few years, to give it a chance. And though I can't say "Generation Kill" was necessarily my favorite viewing experience, I'm glad I did. Based off of the memoirs of a Rolling Stone reporter embedded with the 1st Marine Recon Unit during the first days of the US invasion of Iraq, it begins on the eve of that faithful event by introducing the viewer to the men of 1st Marine Recon (many of whom are based off of real life Marines), their code, standards, and every day experience. When they learn that the invasion is going ahead, they also learn that a reporter from Rolling Stone will be coming with them. Initially reluctant to having a greenhorn tag along with them, they warm up to the young writer when they learn he used to write for Penthouse, a magazine many of these young, red blooded males are familiar with! Through the production, we see the course of events through the eyes of the Marines and their "hang around" in a the most unsugar coated method possible, and we come away with no illusions about what war is really like.

What makes "Generation Kill" so different from other war productions is the fact that it strips away the unnecessary fluff and puff and presents the story in an almost character ensemble/documentary style. In "Generation Kill" there is no music score or opening theme, only the crackle and chatter of voices over the radio greets us at the beginning and end credits of each episode, multiple units and men sounding off into the dead of night, which truth be told, is far more effective than any music theme could be (That being said, the final scenes of the last episode feature a most appropriate use of Johnny Cash's "The Man Comes Around", the only recorded song used in the entire series). There is also not much in the way of heroics or glory for the simple reason that in war, there is none to be found. There are no eagles soaring, or glory sounding tunes, or any other BS like that; only following the orders of your superiors (Even if they're complete fools or incompetent), hurrying up and waiting, and of course, death and destruction.

And that last part is especially evident in "Generation", as the series pulls no punches in regards to the civilian "collateral damage" that occurred in Iraq during our invasion, and thus shows the cost civilians pay when armies, even with the best of intentions, come charging into their environment in a combat role (To those who think US troops patrolling troubled neighborhoods would be a good idea, I challenge them to watch this and then try to argue for that idea!). All of this is effectively shown through the tremendous efforts of the directors, producers, show runners, writers, and actors such as Jon Huertas, Alexander Skarsgard, Lee Tergesen, Stark Sands, Neal Jones, Michael Kelly, Chance Kelly, former real life 1st Marine Rudy Reyes, James Ransone, and many, many more who I don't have the space for. To round it up, "Generation Kill" is a mini-series that leaves nothing to the imagination when it comes to the chaos and absurd nature of conflict, be it Iraq or anywhere else. As one former Marine commented here, this is the closet thing to war short of going there and actually filming it. For a former service member to say that, you know they did something right here. If you want to see what the reality of conflict without actually being there, then check out "Generation Kill". Stay frosty.
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