The Review: There is an undeniable standard to live up to in terms of Iraq war movies. Since the best in class had just walked off with an Oscar, there’s no shame in being second best. The fact that this doesn’t make the top three is then somewhat more surprising.
Most of the fault can be found in the script, which tries to be political discourse, history lesson, thriller and action movie all at the same time, and ends up not serving any of them well. You feel that the message, maybe polemic once upon a time, is now the accepted view anyway and consequently there is an almost Michael Moore preachiness at times.
Lots of solid actors are not given anything to stretch them, but there are some well executed if unspectacular set pieces that all have a familiar feel to them.
Sadly, most involved have done better, and nothing really lingers once the film is over, having reached a predictable conclusion, leaving only a missed opportunity where maybe greater things should have been.
Why see it at the cinema: Greengrass’ constantly moving camera can divide opinion and the big screen does make it easier to discern what’s going on at times. The geography of the chases is also important, and the cinema allows for more of the detail of this to come across.
The Score: 5/10