Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. Illuminating, disturbing, evenhanded.
  2. 100
    At the very least, it's more honest and involved in its portraiture of American soldiers in Iraq than anything TV news of any political persuasion has given us.
  3. 90
    A nerve-jangling work of visual poetry and ironic juxtaposition, and a powerful human story of a group of brave young Americans.
  4. Rousing, provocative film.
  5. 88
    A riveting and indispensable record of the war in Iraq because it comes from the men who lived it.
  6. 88
    A ground-level documentary, messy and immediate, about the daily life of a combat soldier in Iraq. It is not pro-war or anti-war.
  7. The ironies and contradictions that give the first half a dark humor give way to gravity and respect as soldiers are killed (off camera).
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. MarcR.
    Mar 9, 2005
    8
    It's not a bad movie, but they could have done more with it. I suppose with all the embedded coverage of the war, and after the ABC reality series which they pulled off the air after like 3 episodes, this sucker wasn't all that original. However, that being said, it was refreshing to get to know at least a handful of American soldiers. Sure, they rapped, blew off some steam, and had some fun, but I was proud that this film confirmed for everyone that these men and women are solid folks, good people who are put into and extremely difficult situation and making the best of it. If you're hesitating seeing this film because you think it's going to be political - don't. It's not overtly pro war or anti-war. Probably the most interesting segment was an interview with one of the soldiers who described in detail how they don't fear bullets, mortars, RPGs or anything else conventional -- fear stems solely from the IEDs which are hidden in garbage, and "this whole country is covered in garbage." I guess I had assumed that it wouldn't be overly difficult to spot suspicious looking boxes, etc. in the street, but that segment drove home just how precarious any drive becomes. [They should put the hardened prisoners on "Street Sweeping Duty."] The film also brilliantly showed the heroism of the Iraqi informants like "Ray" and "SuperCop" who risk their lives daily by assisting the Army with intelligence about insurgents and terrorists. SuperCop explains that the insurgents have never known a world free of war and they are afraid to live in such a world -- it's merely a fear of the unknown. The Iraqis who assist the coaltion can envision an Iraq that is free of fear and terror - a place where they can hang out with their friends and family, where they can laugh and be together without that collective pit in their stomachs. Once this way of thinking is spread to the Iraqis at large, we'll be able to leave them, knowing their country is in good hands. Full Review »