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War Dogs (2016)

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Loosely based on the true story of two young men, David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a three hundred million dollar contract from the Pentagon to arm America's allies in Afghanistan.

Director:

Todd Phillips

Writers:

Stephen Chin (screenplay), Todd Phillips (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
1,358 ( 4)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Miles Teller ... David Packouz
Steve Lantz ... Security Guard
Gregg Weiner Gregg Weiner ... Massage Client
David Packouz David Packouz ... Singer at Hilldale Home
Eddie Jemison ... Hilldale Home Manager
Julian Sergi ... Rosen
Daniel Berson ... Rabbi
Jonah Hill ... Efraim Diveroli
Edson Jean ... Drug Dealer
Daimion Johnson Daimion Johnson ... Drug Dealer (as Damion Johnson)
Bethuel Fletcher Bethuel Fletcher ... Drug Dealer
Ana de Armas ... Iz
Kevin Pollak ... Ralph Slutsky
Gabriela Alvarez Gabriela Alvarez ... Club Girl
Dan Bilzerian ... Dan Bilzerian
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Storyline

In 2005, David Packouz lives in Miami, Florida, working as a massage therapist and living with his girlfriend Iz. Desiring an additional source of income, David spends his life savings on high-quality Egyptian cotton sheets, planning to sell them to Miami retirement homes, but this venture fails to produce results. At a funeral for a friend, David runs into his high school best friend Efraim Diveroli, who had moved to Los Angeles some years prior to work with his uncle selling guns. Efraim has left his uncle and formed his own company, AEY, which fills orders for arms placed by the US government due to the ongoing war in Iraq. David's life takes another turn when his girlfriend informs him that she is pregnant. Efraim offers him a job at AEY, and even though David and Iz both vehemently oppose the war, David eventually agrees, telling his girlfriend that he has begun selling his cotton sheets to the US government through Efraim's contacts..

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Money, corruption and the American dream See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, drug use and some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | Cambodia

Language:

English | Arabic | Albanian | Romanian

Release Date:

19 August 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

War Dogs See more »

Filming Locations:

Bucharest, Romania See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,685,305, 21 August 2016

Gross USA:

$43,034,523

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$86,234,523
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last name of Ana de Armas is Spanish for "weapons". See more »

Goofs

In real life, Efraim was obsessed with the movie Lord of War, not Scarface. See more »

Quotes

Efraim Diveroli: [while cutting through the line at the airport in Jordan with David] Sorry. Don't worry, I have to go first, I'm American.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood Express: Episode #14.34 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector
Performed by Darlene Love
Courtesy of EMI Entertainment World, Inc. on behalf of Phil Spector Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Entertaining true-life tale that doesn't have the nerve to go all the way
3 December 2016 | by tomgillespie2002See all my reviews

There were many shocking and quite unbelievable stories to emerge from the U.S. during the Bush/Cheney administration, but none were quite as fantastical as the overwhelming position 20-something minor-league arms dealers Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz found themselves in. Their tale is utterly preposterous, but entirely true, although events naturally have been dramatised for the film. Like something straight out of a culture-clash comedy from the 1980s, Diveroli and Packouz landed a $298 million Pentagon contract involving over a hundred million rounds of ammunition. The mishandling of the deal and the pair's subsequent falling out was covered in a Rolling Stone article by Guy Lawson, and later in a book by Lawson entitled Arms and the Dudes.

David Packouz (Miles Teller) is a pot-smoking massage therapist working in Miami, Florida, dividing his spare time between his girlfriend Iz (Ana de Armas) and trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to flog the high-quality Egyptian bed-sheets that he has invested in to retirement homes. At a funeral, he encounters his old best friend Efraim (Jonah Hill), who has made a success in Los Angeles trading in arms on eBay. They rekindle their friendship, despite Efraim proving himself to be a unpredictable loose-cannon, and David eventually joins his chum at his new business venture AEY. With the war raging in Iraq, the government has set up a website offering contracts for weapons and military equipment. David's job is to pick up the crumbs; those small orders the big companies ignore.

There are, as Efraim informs David, a hell of a lot of crumbs, and the two are soon making their fortunes while Efraim indulges in everything from prostitutes to copious amounts of cocaine. The two grew up loving Brian De Palma's Scarface (1983), and imagery from the film adorns AEY's office walls. The same unquenchable greed that possessed Al Pacino's character seems to drive Efraim also, and it isn't long before you can see the inevitable downfall on the horizon. Director Todd Phillips, on the back of those terrible The Hangover sequels, seems to be intent on making a semi-serious film, and wisely takes inspiration from some of America's great dark-side- of-the-American-dream cinematic works, such as De Palma's aforementioned drug-lord saga and Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas (1990). But, unlike Adam McKay's The Big Short from last year, Phillips doesn't have the nerve to go all the way.

Where McKay exquisitely balanced comedy, drama and satire to dazzling effect, Phillips seems too intent on focusing on the goofball antics of its hapless anti-heroes to deliver any real bite. This is a story that highlights many things from the government's irresponsible approach to warfare, the dangerous practice of allowing just anybody to legally deal in arms, and the devastating effects of blind ambition, but these themes are only touched upon. Packouz is essentially our lead character, but he feels like little more than an exposition tool, with de Armas getting the thankless role of the boring partner who must warn her hubby whenever his actions lead him into the dark side. Thankfully, Jonah Hill is a tour de force, cranking his loathsome character up to 11 without ever feeling unbelievable, proving once again what a versatile actor he is becoming. If you're looking for an intelligent satire of a fascinating recent event, then you probably won't find it here, but as a piece of entertainment, it certainly delivers.


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