The Yellow Birds (2017) Poster

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5/10
A prime example of how NOT to make a War film.
EndeAbgrunds16 June 2018
For the first half hour or so I didn't know what to make of this film. The tone was all over the place and I couldn't tell if the filmmaker wanted to make a War film or a drama.

I'll do my best not to spoil anything, but it wouldn't matter if I did, as this film isn't worth your time. It was very clear throughout the film that the writers/filmmaker, either weren't very knowledgeable of the US Army and how soldiers address each other, conduct themselves, or what battle drills are or how they are conducted.

These two young soldiers we follow constantly refer to a non-commissioned officer as "sir". Anybody who has served knows that is a big no no and would earn them a nice smoke session(forced strenuous PT) until they address him properly. This is just one of many issues with the film.

I honestly have no clue when this movie is set. Based on their uniforms I assume it takes place during the early stages of the invasion of Iraq, yet bars and private homes have modern flat screen wall mounted tv sets? Also there is a scene near the beginning, of the two leads meeting each other at a shooting range, but I couldn't tell if it was supposed to be at bootcamp, or at their assigned duty station. This film is rife with this style of poor writing.

The War scenes should've either been cut entirely or presented more ambiguously. Because these actors and the director slept walked right through them. None of it felt earned or organic, which is partially due to the lifeless foley. The rifles, LMGs, explosions, hiss/snaps of incoming fire etc. all sounded like it was meant to be marketed to the elderly, so it wouldn't hurt their ears. I'm surprised nobody stepped in and told this director to get some kind of energy and passion out of the actors.

By about the fifty minute mark it was clear that they were going for a mystery/drama, but even that felt unearned. None of the dramatic scenes felt natural, it felt as though the writer was searching for something to keep the audience invested.

This wasn't the worst War film I've seen, but it's not a good one either. It tries too hard to be multiple different things at once, the acting was average at best, there wasn't enough build up to any of the plot points, the directing was weak for the most part. There is a good movie in here.... Somewhere. They just couldn't find it.
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5/10
Ridiculous
Tcarts7616 June 2018
The mechanics of this movie were good, the quality of the movie was good, the acting itself was just OK but a little bit lacking, for that it barely scratches a 5 for me. First let's get a pure aesthetic thing out of the way. If you are going to make a war film, get the actual equipment right. The U.S. Army uses Blackhawk helicopters and have for quite awhile now. Go to the military's public affairs office, find their office that works with Hollywood and the film industry and arrange for some Blackhawks not Huey's. The movie comes off as high quality enough to take that step. Oh, and you are not going to have those gun truck, Humvees with turrets, supporting you without someone in the hatch with some fire power.

Now. The acting here was just OK, not great, maybe good. The scenes though and the whole plot reveal at the end...it is just hogwash. Plain and simple. This is not how soldiers behave and not what I (as a veteran) can tell you, would even be imaginable. The platoon/ company/ chain of command dynamic is completely absent. The squad dynamic is altogether wrong, and those are huge plot holes. The writer has only a small vague understanding of how men and women in our armed forces behave, and interact with each other and how military operations work. I am trying not to give away any spoilers but the incident in the film is something that would be a million to one shot of happening in real life, and the way the follow on was carried out would have even longer odds. That doesn't even get to the odds that soldiers would think in this way, let alone carry out. Frankly, I can't even imagine a scenario where anything like this could actually even be conceived or even began to be carried out without hitting immediate large roadblocks that would cease it immediately in today's military. Again I can give it a 5 on some of it's cinematic merits but ultimately it doesn't overcome huge realistic obstacles. I don't believe it has any political/ideological objectives as far as being pro or anti-war. If it did it fails on that but I'm hoping that there wasn't one. Mostly this just suffers from a real lack of realism which draws in a lack of real connection and feeling. If they changed it into a more entertaining action movie that might make it more passable, but for the drama they were trying to portray it was overall lacking.
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7/10
Difficult to Watch at Times But Still an Important Film
larrys316 August 2018
Will not appeal to those looking for an action oriented war movie, as the film is a methodically paced and cerebral look at the devastating effects of war on soldiers both on the battlefield and on their return home.

The three leads here Tye Sheridan, Alden Ehrenreich, and Jack Huston give fine performances, with strong support from Jennifer Anniston and Toni Collette. You'll have to wait till the end of the movie to find out how the mystery of what happened to Private Murphy (Sheridan) unfurled, amidst the film's numerous flashbacks.

Overall, this movie, despite being most difficult to watch at times, is still an important one illustrating the horrific effects of war on many soldiers.
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5/10
Take Full Metal Jacket, The Hurt Locker, a Six-Pack of Beer and some Hot Moms-Put It In A Blender and Run It On High
PurpleCrayon201420 June 2018
Take Full Metal Jacket, The Hurt Locker, a Six-Pack of Beer and some Hot Moms-Put It In A Blender and Run It On High

Although the concept of the main story might be original, it is lost within the inspirations of other films portrayed here.

The casting of Jennifer Aniston, Jason Patric, Toni Collette and Lee Tergesen is a complete waste of their talents as The Yellow Birds does not carry enough impact to warrant their inclusion. The film spends the majority of it's focus dealing with the effect upon the character Brandon Bartle, leaving all other characters insignificant to the main story.

The Yellow Birds strikes me as one of those 'first time' films, which is close as this is the second full length film directed by Alexandre Moors. What I see as another issue that convoluted the story is The Yellow Birds was burdened by thirty-five producers -that's 35 for you numbers folk.

Skip this film or save it for after you've binged everything else on Netflix.
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8/10
Very thought provoking
r_p_d21 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Okay so there are military technical errors throughout the movie, just deal with it. The story itself is a nice change from your usual take on this war it attempts to show the human side of things and for my money succeeds. I enjoyed the movie for what it is.
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10/10
Solid ANTI-war movie
benitobananas-118 June 2018
The negative reviews seem to be mostly from Gun-buffs who are probably disappointed by the lack of Hoo-Ra yanky-doodle-dandy action.

It's a very good anti war movie. It shows very well the ugly realities of war - how it affects young men. How it pulls apart families and the very fabric of society when those men go home. And how the industrial military war machine chews up and spits out everything it passes through.

I'm giving it 10 stars to bump up what I see as a very unfair rating. Realistically it should be about 7-8 stars.
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3/10
not a good one!
hosseiniahoora16 June 2018
I don´t know if this movie was trying to create another american-hero based stories or just tried to be against war! We´ve seen many times that how HW tries to justify Iraq´s invasion as a helping mission. Or show american soldiers as heroes and enemy as terrorist which is understandable propaganda by US movie industry. But this one wasn´t even clear about that, nor it was clear if it wants to show bad things about war.
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A powerful story
Gordon-1131 July 2018
This film tells the story of two young soldiers and their mothers, who are devastated by the war in different ways.

It is a powerful anti war film, even though most of the time there is no blood and gore. The psychological effects of war on the soldiers and the families are profound, and the film portrays the feelings effectively. I'm also very glad to see two very famous actresses in this film.
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4/10
Army, not Marines and Airforce
cav624 June 2018
Can the morons that make these movies try to research a little before the make these inaccurate wastes of our time. Army Soldiers dont call Sergeants Sir, thats the Marines, and the Army has Posts, not Bases, thats the AirForce. The movie was very slow and boring. Maybe OK to watch on free tv or cable, but dont purchase it on Pay Per View.
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7/10
Have absolutely no idea what these with the bad reviews are talking about !!
Aktham_Tashtush14 August 2018
The movie was really good ,, wasn't perfect and yes maybe some errors here and there ,, but over all the movie was purposeful , based on a true story and really emotional ,., makes you think how you really can't feel what these who have been to war have felt back in Iraq or when they got home ..

The casting was also good ,, wanted to see more of Jennifer Aniston and Toni Collette but again it's not their story to tell ,, it's the soldiers. Tye Sheridan, since his X-men depute back in 2015 he's been doing great ,, and Alden Ehrenreich did good too,.

Again, don't really care if there wasn't flat screen TVs in 2003 ,, just you know first flat screen came out in 1997 and become popular in the early 2000's ,, I actually noticed the Hajjis in the movie they speak Moroccan accent not Iraqi , i know because i know the language but again it didn't matter... the story itself was good and had a goal ,, War hurts everyone and keeps on hurting even after it ends, so don't start one in the first place.

finale thought,, watch it , it is recommended and sometimes you need to read more than one review.
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about war
Kirpianuscus17 October 2018
Not a war film. But a film about war. Not the best. But decent. And good reflection of good intentions. It is a drama presenting two young men in Iraq war. Theirs mothers. The traumas. The choice of one. And the confession of the other. Sure, it is not real convincing. But, after so manyy great war films, "The Yellow Birds" has the purpose to remind the frame of heroism , sacrifice, lost of the other. And, in this sense, it does a good job. Because, against its status of sketch, it has the virtue to present, in the right nuances, a tragedy who, in this case, escapes from the circle of special effects and easy melodrama or heavy patriotism. A decent film. With few great scenes.
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4/10
Not A Strong Storyline
tstanmoysamanta16 June 2018
This movie is an movie to show how not to make a move of two line story.How could you stretch a such a small story for half an hour ,yeh that educational for student.The actors were good that's the only thing that is good about this movie.
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The Fog of War
lavatch19 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
In the bonus segment of the DVD of "The Yellow Birds," the film artists described how they approached the tragedy of war. There was no overt political discussion of the futility of America's wars in the Middle East for the past fifteen years. But that message nonetheless comes across in the depiction of a war where there are no heroes and the reality on the ground is nothing like the young soldiers had imagined when they signed on to serve their nation. In an early moment of the film, one of the soldiers recalls of the war that they "didn't tell us what is was that brought us there or what it (the war) wanted" of them.

The film is based on Kevin Powers' novel which drew upon his personal experiences in combat in the Middle East. In the DVD bonus segment, Powers observed that the three central characters of Sterling, Bartle, and Murphy, who get lost in the fog of war, were different facets of himself. The two characters of the mothers are crucial for the emotional undercurrents of the film. In the DVD bonus clip, Powers observed that the decisions of the policy makers in Washington, D.C. have unexpected consequences for ordinary Americans like the two caring mothers in the film.

The film builds dramatic tension in the story of what happened to young Murphy. The film offers a thoughtful window in the confusion that takes place in trying to understanding decisions made on the ground that leave no trace other than the memories of the participants. The film is successful in demonstrating how some horrific incidents may be "fixed" in order to distort the truth and how the veterans do not return whole from their traumatic war experiences.

This film was well-acted and well-photographed with graphic realism in the realities of the moment-to-moment experience of war and the life-damaging effects on human lives. It was especially poignant that there was a festive send-off for the young soldiers, but no fanfare whatsoever in their return, other than the memories that will haunt the survivors forever.
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6/10
Not the best movie to watch but it's decent
SafReviews7 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I've not watched many war films and i only watched this because Jennifer Aniston was in it and she and all the other actors acted well in this movie. However, One of the problems i found with this movie is that i felt like some parts of the story where not realistic enough such as the part where the army base gets bombed out of nowhere and at the end where the 2 soliders decide to bury their dead soldier mates body into the sea; why would any soldiers not take back their mates body so that their family can see and say their last goodbyes???

If you're to easily scared or if you want to watch a war movie that has a good story and lots of action, i wouldn't recommend watching this. Anyway it was tough and gruesome to watch the end seeing what happened to the soldiers body and i hope that this has happened in real life to any soldier.
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3/10
I don't get it (spoiler)
mishalorenzo19 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
So you found your soldier mate naked and dead. Why not report it? Why would kill your self? It's not your fault he wondered around and got killed
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6/10
It's a little drawn out
sunnya-306473 July 2018
Sometimes you start a movie and have to know it's going to drag some . With that being said you have to be in the mood to deal with that. It wasn't a bad movie it just seemed to jump around a bit too much . And I didn't understand at times what was going on . Probably end up being the young need to watch it twice type of movie to pull it together.
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4/10
Acting is great, story is not
v-ley16 September 2018
The acting is great if you can understand what they are saying, I couldn't and kept going back to a few important lines. It is confusing at times since we don't know the full story until the end, even then it is not exactly what it should have been. It's heartbreaking, especially for those that are serving our Country no matter the date or place. The toll is so high for these men and women and often to benefit others that should be there instead. I was disappointed in the telling of this story and the understanding is not that clear. I'm sure to vets it will be and their families.
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8/10
From Novel to Film, Hit's all the Right Spots
torstensonjohn4 September 2018
This is a strong and compelling adaptation of Kevin Power novel involving the Iraq War. It has driven and poetic moments, and versatile and strong acting, but does have the almost jumpy feel to it as we go back and forth from real time to different engagements in the film. . The strength of Director Alexandre Moore elicits centered performances from his cast, including strong support by Aniston as a desperate mother, Collette as an exasperated one, and Huston as a veteran leader who defies the easy dramatic classifications of "good" and "bad." The strength and passion of the film lies with the two leads who are outstanding. Sheridan (Mud, Joe, Ready Player One) is a soulful actor who deftly conveys Murph's naïveté and eventual break and crisis. He's instantly sympathetic. Ehrenreich, who has swung hard from impressive work (Hail, Caesar) to less so (Solo: A Star Wars Story) is focused and settled as the damaged young man at the story's center. His Bartle is a true everyman -- without direction, not a star soldier, not a failure. The difference in him before and after he reaches his personal breaking point is clear; the sometimes-poetic narration seems to come from somewhere that didn't exist until it was unearthed by his experiences.

The levity of the film comes from the emotional and compelling performances. War pictures come across many ways and mostly with action and eye popping cinematography. This film comes at you in a completely different way and tells the story of what men and women see, feel and think in times of battle. Many are fearful, scared and become soulless to the graphic scenes they see. I like the film and feel it deserves many accolades. A superb story and perfectly captures the feel of war. A solid 8 out of 10
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3/10
Very hard to stay interested
randyunseen25 June 2018
I was really hoping this was gonna be a great Iraq movie, that had some meaning. This movie is really slow and very difficult to stay interested. What's the point? War is bad? Really... I have no clue what the director wanted to get across to the audience? Boring!
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3/10
Meh!
Stark_1910 October 2018
The movie was OK. Nothing special. I slept right in the middle of it.

Just a remark, It felt weird watching a movie where locals speak Moroccan and it was supposed to be in Irak.

Many people speak many languages, please don't insult us. I speak 5 languages. Makes me remember when actors speak German in movie. Most of the time, it has nothing to do with German.
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7/10
solid cinema
thefitchboi3 October 2018
Just a good flik. not a powerful war flik, not a moving love story, not an action flik, just very well made and moving...big thumbs up
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10/10
Absolute best movie!!
jakskidshaw21 September 2018
Best war movie ive seen since hurt locker but 10 times better. Wish i had seen it in cinemas when it came out. 100 out of 100.
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1/10
I can't rate this below nothing
mike_gregory-4783230 September 2018
Well as a former member of 2/3 ACR I want to say this movie is a flaming piece of fecal matter that makes the Hurt Locker look like a Time/Life war documentary. I just want to thank the producers and directors for making a failure of a film that is so inaccurate to the real world that I can say I have seen car insurance and payday loan commercial that had better military advisors. Brave Rifles ... Naw that's burnt waffles. Waste of 5.99.
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5/10
Watchable
kissmint_ca3 September 2018
It was okay. This is one of those now-then-now-then-now type of film. Don't know if the book was written that way, but not a fan of that type of book either. I was confused at the beginning thought I missed something until I figured out the format. My major disappointment was the story itself. I felt the ending was a little rush. It didn't make sense.
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2/10
How not to make a war film
stephencwrenmil27 August 2018
Hollywood again demonstrates they do not care enough about the military to take the time to try to learn how to present it in film. If they hired a military adviser to ensure the military dress and traditions and the NCO Corps were presented correctly the film could have been pretty good. The story was good. But, the Soldier playing the NCO wouldn't make it as a private in the Army. He was ridiculous. He was so out of uniform and acted so unprofessionally it severely detracted from the story. I know most people watching have no military experience so they wouldn't recognize the gross inaccuracies about military conduct and dress. But, military folks will be the best promoters when the film is good. This movie should be a 7 or 8 star film but really missed the mark for me. Advice, hire veterans to help make the movie authentic.
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