John Erick Dowdle
“No Escape” stars Owen Wilson who plays a father relocating his family to an undisclosed county in Asia for a new career opportunity. Upon arrival, Wilson’s character Jack, his wife Annie (Bell) and their two daughters make their way to a hotel and, despite some reservations, settle in to their new home.
The peace of the first few moments with the family is quickly shattered, though, as a revolution begins and rebels with anti-western motives start attacking the hotel. The film then follows Jack and his family’s attempt to get away from the hostile city and find safety.
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After a few stumbles like “Jersey Boys” and “Hereafter,” Clint Eastwood has once again found his directing groove with “American Sniper.”
Real life Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle’s life is explored in the film, which mainly focuses on Kyle’s four tours of service in the military during the Iraq War. While the movie gives a full look at what Kyle experiences in battle, there is also a view of how it affects him when he goes home.
The movie transitions back and forth between Kyle’s life overseas and how it affects him when he returns to his family in the states and has to deal with post traumatic stress disorder.
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“Unbroken” tells the true life story of World War II veteran and Olympic athlete Louis Zamperini (O’Connell). Following his competing at the 1936 Olympics, Zamperini joined the war effort and served as part of a bomber crew. On one of the missions Zamperini’s plane fails and only he and two other members of the crew survive. The three are left to survive in the vast Pacific ocean for weeks upon weeks until they are spotted by the Japanese armed forces.
The film then shows Zamperini’s time in a prisoner of war camp in Japan, where he comes into contact with a strict, brutal guard nicknamed “The Bird” (Ishihara).
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In “Fury,” Logan Lerman plays Norman Ellison, a rookie soldier who gets brought into an American tank unit in the waning days of World War II. As Norman arrives at the front, he gets teamed up with an experienced crew that operate a tank called Fury.
The leader of this tank crew is nicknamed Wardaddy, played by Brad Pitt.
Norman’s new crew also includes Boyd (LaBeouf), Gordo (Pena) and Grady (Bernthal). As the tank pushes into German controlled territory, Norman is faced with challenges he has never seen before as he sees the horrors of war.
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“Lone Survivor” really puts the phrase “war is hell” in your face.
The film dramatizes the events of a true story, based on the accounts from Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell (played in the film by Wahlberg).
The movie introduces Luttrell and three other Navy SEALs, played by Kitsch, Foster and Hirsch, who go on a mission to possibly take out a Taliban leader in Afghanistan.
During that time, the mission goes wrong as they come across some herders who inform the Taliban of their whereabouts.
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“Zero Dark Thirty” is based on the true story of the manhunt for Osama Bin Laden, starting with the attacks on 9/11. It takes an in-depth look at the tracking of Al Qaeda during a 10-year period through the eyes of a CIA operative who is part of the task force to find its leader and the No. 1 target of the United States.
The CIA operative, Maya, is played by Jessica Chastain. Maya travels much of the Middle East in the movie, interrogating a number of different detainees and using the extent of U.S. technology to try and put the puzzle pieces together. Through the film, she sticks to the hunt and becomes obsessed with Bin Laden.
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Mike McCoy & Scott Waugh
Should’ve just been called “Call of Duty: The Movie.”
“Act of Valor” is a new film about war, centering on a unit of Navy SEALS, played by actual military personnel. The film starts with them in training back in the states. However duty calls and the team must go across the world using all of their combined efforts and technologies to hunt down and stop a terror cell from striking inside the United States.
The plot of this film is amazingly weak, with it barely having a structured narrative. The film constantly flips back and forth to different locations (with an annoying map display every time it does) making for a very disjointed experience. I said it could’ve been a movie of Call of Duty and the reason is that that’s the way it plays out. There’s the mission and then a cut scene followed by another mission.
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It’s like the horse version of Forest Gump.
War Horse tells the story of a horse (surprise surprise) named Joey. The horse is bought by a poor farmer and raised into a powerful creature by the farmer’s son Albert. As World War I starts, horses begin to be bought and Joey is sold among them. After this Joey goes into different battles and places around Europe during the course of the conflict.
Along his way he is met and taken care of by soldiers and civilians of all nationalities and many who come across the horse are impressed and become attached to it. Eventually, Albert joins the war as well and sets out to see if he can be reunited with his horse from home.
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