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18 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
A Whole New View, 16 February 2012

I started off watching this documentary honestly because I was bored one night and wanted to watch a documentary. Being fluent in Oscar news, I decided I would be cultured and try to watch one of the documentaries that was nominated. After some searching around I had success in finding Hell and Back Again on Instant Watch. I was a little skeptic at first, because I am not big on the whole Afghan War documentaries. I hate how directors try to shove their ideas down my throat about the war, but I found Hell and Back Again much different.

I was entranced by how many ways the movie was pulling the opinion of the war. It first shows an injured Marine named Nathan who is crippled because of the war. Yet, the moment I began think it was an anti-war movie, Nathan is talking about how he wants to get back onto the front lines! I had to pause the movie and try to wrap my head around this and decide whether this was pro or anti-war. Then it hit me like a sack of bricks, this movie is not pro or anti, it's an actual documentary. It's what a documentary is meant to be, a picture of real life and a gap for the viewer to decide what is right or wrong. I un-paused the movie and continued to watch.

The rest of movie was as gripping and emotion provoking as the first fifteen minutes. The director managed to flip between the footage of the war and the home life of Nathan. You could see Nathan back home still recovering physically from the war while at the same time the 'flashback' clips of the war lets the audience remember that there is more going on than we can see. As an audience you are spell bound. You see Nathan playing Modern Warfare 3 and you wonder what is going on in his head. You see Nathan playing with a gun and you move to the edge of your seats and begin to think that something very real could happen right here. The sheer tension created in this documentary is massive and is not lost on audiences.

One of my favorite scenes in this movie is when Nathan and his wife are looking at a new house and Nathan opens a door. At that moment the movie flicks over to clips from Nathan overseas as he and his fellow soldiers are kicking down doors and then the movie flicks back to Nathan back at the new house where he is looking like he is about to throw up. The raw emotion in that scene really got me going. Overall I was pleasantly surprised at this movie. As a documentary it filled the requirements of not only being entertaining and thought provoking, but also being available to the public. The story was interesting and the people in the story were very real to me. I am giving this movie a 10 out of 10 rating and highly recommend that if you can spare 80 minutes of your life for this movie, then watch it.