A General from the U.S. is sent to Afghanistan to "clean" the situation up after eight years of war in the country. He finds himself amongst tired soldiers and disillusioned politicians eager to leave. In this situation, he feels his mission is to "win" the war, something deemed impossible by everyone around him.Written by
President Hamid Karzai's name is mispronounced by Ben Kingsley who is playing him. Should be Haamed not Hameed which is a different name even though both names are transcribed in the same way as Hamid from Pashto they are written differently in Arabic. See more »
Ah, America. You beacon of composure and proportionate response, you bringer of calm and goodness to the world... What do you do when the war you're fighting just can't possibly be won in any meaningful sense? Well, obviously, you sack the guy not winning it and you bring in some other guy. In 2009, that war was Afghanistan, and that other guy... was Glen.
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War Machine - A satirical but honest look at the treadmill of war.
First off, Brad Pitt is essentially a caricature in this movie. I kept going back and forth on whether he was brilliant or miserable in his performance. I found myself feeling the same way I did when seeing him in Allied late last year. There are scenes when he is absolutely dialed in to the role and what's going on around him. And there are a handful of scenes where you'd think someone is just reading him his lines off-screen. He's been frustratingly inconsistent these last two outings.
I had no trouble deciphering the performance level of the surrounding cast, as they all came to play. From the big names of Ben Kingsley and Tilda Swinton, to still familiar names of Anthony Michael Hall and Topher Grace, I was impressed. My favorite performance would have to go to one of the smaller roles played by Lakeith Stanfield. I'd seen him earlier this year in Get Out, but he had a better opportunity to shine here as an absolutely emotionally broken marine.
The first half of the film is very quirky and actually has some pretty funny lines. The second half all but abandons the comedic tone and shifts into a full fledged war drama. The end result is satisfying, but that contrast is pretty jarring. It would have been more successful to mix the paint a bit more or just choose one color.
Netflix pulled out the big guns putting up $60 million for the distribution rights to the film. Later this year they are also backing a loose follow up to 2009's Moon (please see this underrated film if you haven't already) and breaking the bank with a $100 Martin Scorsese film with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in 2018. Netflix is quickly changing the game in the world of cinema. Don't be surprised to see the awards shows tweak their rules to allow for streaming content down the road.
So pop some popcorn and reserve your couch to see this film of grandiosity and failure. Not exactly your typical recipe to Netlix and Chill, but I'm not one to judge.
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