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War Machine
Drama, War, Comedy
IMDB rating:
David Michôd
Anthony Michael Hall as Greg Pulver
RJ Cyler as Andy Moon
Keith Stanfield as Cpl. Billy Cole
Emory Cohen as Willy Dunne
Aymen Hamdouchi as Badi Basim
Meg Tilly as Jeannie McMahon
Daniel Betts as Simon Ball
Anthony Hayes as Pete Duckman
Alan Ruck as Pat McKinnon
Will Poulter as Ricky Ortega
Nicholas Jones as Dick Waddle
Topher Grace as Matt Little
John Magaro as Cory Staggart
Brad Pitt as Gen. Glen McMahon
Storyline: A general from the US 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.
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A satire
This film tells the story of an ambitious army general, who is posted to Afghanistan to run the mission to fight insurgents. It becomes apparent very soon that various parties have not aligned their goals and missions.

"War Machine" tells a story of an enthusiastic man who is stuck in a web of bureaucracies. The story unfolds slowly, and at times it looks like a satirical look at a system that is supposed to serve and protect the public. The cameos are plentiful, making me pleasantly surprised. Though I find the film a little uneventful, I can see that it parallels what exactly is happening in the story to the characters.
An amusing but tossed salad of a film
"War Machine" satirically depicts a fictionalized version of Stanley McChrystal,, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from his arrival in country to (spoiler) his sacking by the president..

The production value is excellent, with a lot of recognizable faces, many of them big (Pitt, Kingsley, and even a cameo by Russell Crowe). It uses real military and Afghan-specific military gear (how it got US Army support, I'll never know) and even gets the uniforms of coalition allies right. For vets, however, prepare to roll your eyes at the obligatory use of the salute as the perceived highest honor a military member can make.

The source material is the late Michael Hastings' book which I have not read, but having read his infamous Rolling Stone article on McChrystal, the figurative tone and voice of the narrator (based on Hastings) seems about right, cynical and contemptuous of his subject. Unless you lean way to the left or simply not a supporter of military use in Afghanistan, the narration gets pretty preachy and even downright wrong (about the success rate of insurgencies, for example),a somewhat unnecessary distraction.

Even for satire, where personalities are flattened and exaggerated and action is simplified, this film still struggles to add even a little depth. Pitt spends most of the film either looking confused, squinting, or saying "with all due respect". Anthony Michael Hall seems to just sneer, swear, and yell. Of course, Americans, particularly the military, are naively optimistic and openly disrespectful of other nationalities and their commander in chief. And wars and warfare can be summed up in glib and ideological oversimplifications.

The story manages to hit a bunch of themes and subject matters. There is commentary on the American way of war, the impact of deployments on marriage, the wisdom of military intervention, the politics of coalition building, and the dynamics of leadership. But the manner in which it chooses to do this constantly shifts.

I think it strives to be a dark comedy, but therein lies its ultimate shortfall. It doesn't know what it wants to be. Which is a shame because the funny parts are sincerely funny (Pitt's character defending the honor of his Afghan aide-de-camp as "the only Afghan in the room", Pitt and his White House (or SecDef?) civilian contact trying to end a video conference, and Ben Kingsly's hilarious (however infrequent) take on President Karzai all come to mind.) But the tone itself is multiple personalities. While it is always mocking (as satires are supposed to be) and skeptical, sometimes it's cutting to the bone, other times very light and whimsical, still other times deeply serious. I won't make the Roger Ebert mistake of speculating what the movie could have been about, but it seems to slink between being (1) a strident anti-military/anti-war/anti-America polemic or (2) a humorous parody of power and bureaucracy or (3) a character assassination of Stanley McChrystal.

It's a watchable and entertaining film with a good look, lots of questions, and steady acting. At end, however, I feel like the conflicted character Marine corporal Billy Cole who states his dilemma, which incidentally is restated in the song playing over the end credits, "I'm confused." Yep, so is the movie and so am I.
Good plot shows reality but bad acting.
Yess the movie is not upto expectation. But i am rating this movie 8 just because i like the plot. This movie kind of shows the truth on ground. Recently war is glorified too much. And American have their own version of war. But war is worst thing. The only solution to any problem is through peaceful negotiation.

This movie showed the ground realities of Afghanistan. how American Gov and army is working there and how Local gov is failing to prove anything. i hope people learn from this movie.

Watch this movie with open mind.Main point this movie tries to prove is you cannot build a nation on gunpoint. p.s acting is not good by bradpit :/
Baffling !! What was it all about?
This movie is billed as a satire but it surely isn't one as it won't make you laugh. What's the movie all about, Well Brad Pitt is made the head of counter insurgency forces in Afghanistan. Being a decorated American soldier he plans to change thee Afghanistan war through his old school ways. But as the movie progresses he founds out how far away he is from reality and gets sacked.

Brad Pitt tries hard, actually too hard and the character looks artificial. All the supporting actors were really boring. The satires didn't entice any laughs.

A boring, drag of a satirical attempt.
Don't bother
This is not a war movie. This is not a comedy. It's barely a drama. This is a two hour movie filled with virtually no plot and absolutely no interesting characters. The movie gives no attempt to develop the characters, with all but Bitt's character being entirely one dimensional, and even though Bitt does have a character, it's a poor and uninteresting one. He gives a laughably over-the-top and often cringe-worthy performance, showing that he was absolutely not right for this role.

As said, it completely falls short as either a war movie or a comedy, both of which it's listed as here on IMDb. There is only one action scene, and I use the term loosely - all it is is a two minute scene which only shows one side shooting a few bullets, and that's it. The comedy on the other hand is totally unfunny and virtually none of it lands. I honestly spent the entire film but knowing this was meant to be a comedy.

So we are left with a film that has no suspense, no tension, no action or effective comedy to take it off the ground. Ultimately this is a dull, lifeless effort at satirizing war that offers almost nothing in terms of entertainment or drama. Don't waste your time.
Not what I expected
4 star General, i give this film 4 stars. The reason for this is, even though the characters went on a merry jaunt the movie just didn't want to do the same. It had some interesting and at times harsh views on governmental actions but it just seemed like it was missing pieces, much like a bucket of Lego that a four year old has. I am a fan of Brad Pitt and that is what kept me watching in hope. All in all War Machine let me down. Not a war or a comedy film in my opinion, just a bit boring.
Throwing Deadpan Bricks
This film will generate anger because it throws a "deadpan" brick directly towards cultural dysfunction and mass delusion. "War Machine," and Brad Pitt, even exceeded the deadpan message of "Being There" a film from a less cynical time in history but still relevant to this day.

"War Machine" does a great job illustrating how disconnected the every-man has become in relation to reality. We live in a time where facts are now selectively chosen to support forgone perspectives rather than being absolute, universal, and irrefutable.

We live in a time where personage, perceptions, and public relations matter more than overview, objectives, conclusions, and endpoints. Reality has been set adrift.

It was a brave thing to produce this film because it speaks to a very narrow audience. Most people won't be entertained by the communication mechanism (deadpan) nor will the understand the message. Few people will be open to perspectives other than those which are preconceived. Some people are not aware and thus cannot acknowledge the wounds and damage that political lies have done to the American process and psyche.

To conclude our failed state of affairs, the affairs of a failed nation state (our nation state) I am not with him because he is certainly not with me no matter how much he tells me otherwise. The cohesion of leadership, truth, and the American way has left the building.

It is more of a shame that people won't understand this film, or won't want to. And that is how far we have fallen. Perhaps Rome fell the same way on the sword and misadventure of its own lies and delusion.
War Truth
War Machine is amongst that special breed of movies that defy categorisation.

At times laugh out loud funny - at others devastatingly, gut-wrenchingly tense and moving. This film takes us on an interesting journey through the mind of a 21st century US General. Maybe he genuinely believes in the hopelessly futile mission he's inherited ("winning the hearts and mind of the people"). Certainly he's portrayed as a man nearing the end of a distinguished career, ever more desperate for that decisive battle that would guarantee his name passing into US military folk-lore alongside the likes of Lee and MacArthur.

He appears to be a humanitarian, seeking to minimise civilian casualties, but this could be purely because this is one of the key planks of his driving strategy – counter insurgency. Brilliantly played by Brad Pitt, and ably supported by a motley crew of assorted military aides, the General appears to display more disdain for politicians and his US "allies" than he does for the "enemy". The only reason he appears to be so supportive of the Afghan president, another amusing portrayal by the great Ben Kingsley, is that he is a key ally in the General's counterinsurgency strategy.

Yet the General's blinkered, one-track strategy, which only the most loyal of his followers appear to support, is not the most fascinating aspect of this movie.

The most incredible thing about this must-watch, ramshackle romp through the General's tenure as the top military man in Afghanistan, is that it is based on true events.
Not really fulfilling in terms of both drama and comedy, yet there is some appeal to it
"War Machine" is a very recent release from Netflix and the newest movie starring Oscar-nominated actor and Oscar-winning producer Brad Pitt. Most recently, he has been more in the headlines because of his divorce from Angelina Jolie, but here we have something new from him in the field that really counts: the movie industry. The film runs for slightly over two hours and this includes a great deal of credits. Writer and director is David Michôd, the man who is mostly known for the Oscar-nominated "Animal Kingdom", but no doubt a film starring Brad Pitt will exceed the latter in terms of popularity for sure. Pitt has a tendency right now to appear in war-themed films and this one adds to that tendency. Here he plays a renowned army general who is ordered to Afghanistan to "get things right again". Or you could replace that term with another dozen of really vague statements what his task there actually is. It never becomes clear throughout the film, but that is absolutely intended. Basically they do not want him to cause any trouble and show to the outside that they care about the US involvement there and that the best men are in charge, even if their real intentions are clearly different. One example for that is a scene when Pitt's character is instructed why heroine is cultivated instead of cotton.

All in all, this was a fairly good watch I must say. i did not like some of Pitt's other recent military-based stuff, but this one really is more about politics than about the war itself and war movies just aren't really to my liking. Pitt himself gives a performance that is always on the verge of gimmicky, but it is still memorable somehow looking at the character he created. You can never be sure if he is just a tool of the powerful and mighty, a man with a mission, a good guy, a smart guy or the exact opposite and that adds something interesting there. One can certainly not complain about a lack of layers in the central character. Oscar winners Ben Kingsley and Tilda Swinton play important characters for the film, even if they only appear in one scene each. They did make sure that nobody takes away any attention from Pitt, that much is safe. Also as evidence for that it can be said that all the supporting players with a solid deal of screen time are played by actors who really aren't that famous. It is all about Pitt's character from start to finish. The reception I see was probably not good enough to turn this into an awards vehicle in an attempt that he finally gets his first acting Oscar. By the way, this is a Netflix production and the name Pitt in here shows that they really can get everybody they want these days. But if quality films like this one here are the outcome, then I don't mind it at all. As a whole, it was fun to watch Pitt from start to finish and the story was also good enough for me to give this one a thumbs-down, even if I would say that here and there the film could have been cut shorter, perhaps down to 105 minutes. Nothing too bad, however, go see it.
All over the place, but well done.
The main criticism I see of this movie is that it didn't know what it wanted to be -- but that's what I liked about it. It really gave you a holistic view of Mccrystal's tenure in Afghanistan. Brad Pitt was very good, I feel like some people just hate Brad Pitt because it's a popular opinion. Anthony Michael Hall really shined as Greg Pulver, one of Pitt's right hand men.

It's definitely worth a watch, it's different than most movies about Iraq and Afghanistan.
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