Sunday, April 06, 2008


What’s that great line from No Country For Old Men when Tommy Lee Jones’s Sheriff is asked if a multiple body massacre is a mess?
If it ain’t, it’ll do till the mess gets here
When it comes to stories about America’s ill advised war in Iraq, it’s hard not to think of it is the real deal. You won’t have to wait for another to arrive. It’s a bloody unequivocal mess, no matter how much Orwellian spinning has gone on over the past five years in the nation’s media to convince us otherwise. If you’re a pessimist –or some would argue a realist, you may think this particular botch is forever, an intractable wreck that’ll only result in larger catatostrophes down the line. If it is, it’ll keep expanding till the other messes get here.

Stop-Loss, Kimberly Peirce’s first feature since her much heralded 1999 debut (Boys Don’t Cry), arrived in the marketplace last week like one of its weary soldiers. This would be yet another wounding tour through America’s seeming indifference to Iraq war dramas. Did anyone expect it to be a big hit? Most articles neglect to mention that only certain types of movies are critic proof. Those are the big-ticket genres like superhero films, action extravaganzas, animated flicks, big star driven comedies. When it comes to dramas aimed at adults, are any of them critic proof?

Read the Full Review @ Zoom-In


Anonymous said...

How about American Gangster? The reviews were certainly mixed, but the film performed well enough.

Good review on Stop-Loss. I'm not particularly looking forward to the film, but I'll probably rent it eventually.

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel is back and he's reviewing FILMS this time !

StinkyLulu said...

I loved Stop-Loss. Not a perfect film, but by far the most intelligently empathetic war movie I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Another bomb! Films about the war in iraq are bombs because they don't deal with every single aspect of the reality there. waste of money!

Tim said...

Amen, Nathaniel. It's got big old flaws all over the place, but my God, if it's not the most heartfelt film made about Iraq yet, then I just don't know what to say. The first time I've really been emotionally blasted by a film all year.

Anonymous said...

I loved "Stop-Loss" too. Oh well, whatever.

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

Maybe it's just me but that review seems rather short for a review written by Nathaniel. Stop-Loss isn't here yet but I'm becoming even more and more eager to watch it now.

Anonymous said...

Great review, Nathaniel. Short but incisive.

I was on the fence about seeing this film, as the track record of films about Iraq have been disappointing. In the Valley of Elah wasn't a bad film but it was hardly great. The excellent cast is what made it matter at all, particularly the superb performance by Tommy Lee Jones.

Despite the flaws that you and others have pointed out about the film it sounds like one that's worth viewing.