November 16, 2007, - 4:05 pm

Wall St. Journal’s Liberal Movie Critic: “Redacted” is “Dismal”, “Propaganda”, “Speculative and Utterly Unconvincing”

By Debbie Schlussel
Back in February, I was the first to blog about Brian DePalma’s and Mark Cuban’s anti-troops movie, “Redacted.” Six months later, a number of other conservative blogs, and then Bill O’Reilly, discovered America and jumped on the bandwagon. And now, nine months later, the movie has debuted.
As I’ve written, the movie focuses on an anomalous incident in which American soldiers allegedly raped an Iraqi girl. No prob that this is a blip and completely unrepresentative of the majority of our troops, sacrificing to help those many in Iraq who hate us. Mark Cuban e-mailed me that this movie is actually “patriotic.” Um, sure doesn’t sound like it.
Well, now that “Redacted” is hitting theaters, even the most liberal of mainstream movie critics hate it. Take the Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern. His headline in today’s paper:


“Redacted” Is Dismal

And his review matches the headline:

Brian De Palma’s “Redacted” argues that the horrors of the Iraq war are being kept from us by inept or venal news media and the government’s propaganda machine. That’s a tenable premise for a provocative documentary; the horrors of every war elude description, and Mr. De Palma is clearly desperate to get a purchase on the chaotic nature of this one. But his film isn’t a documentary. It’s a work of propaganda in its turn, a digitally photographed meditation on our media-saturated age in which our men in uniform, like the news crews that cover them, create their own realities by shooting digital video of their exploits. The film’s core is a speculative and utterly unconvincing reconstruction of an incident that reportedly involved, among many horrors, the rape and savage killing of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl by members of a U.S. army squad. The Americans are portrayed with varying degrees of loathsomeness, but there’s not much variety in the film. It’s all an awful aberration.

Remember, this is a liberal’s review. Yep, exactly as I predicted back in February. As I wrote back then:

Why not make a film about the many rapes of Iraqi women by their fellow Muslims? Or about how many U.S. troops have saved countless women from the mass raping of Uday and Qusay Hussein or the rapes by their fighting Sunni and Shi’ite co-religionists? Well, DePalma would never do movies on those things. Because, hey, they aren’t anti-American. And that would portray the Muslims, not American troops, in a bad–and truthful–light. And we can’t have that in Hollywood.

And, again, this sure doesn’t sound “patriotic” to me, Mark.

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10 Responses

Ignore this trash? ABSOLUTELY!!!!!

countywolf on November 17, 2007 at 11:31 am

Mark Cuban e-mailed me that this movie is actually “patriotic.”
why doesn’t he try going to iraq and personally give a free screening of the movie to the troops there.

j. marzan on November 17, 2007 at 11:59 am

Unmentiond in accounts of soldier sins is the fact that soldiers are punished for their criminal acts with penalties harsher than in civilian life.

Walter E. Wallis on November 17, 2007 at 12:26 pm

When I go to movie sites and see the ratings for this movie, half give it an A and half give it an F. It’s obvious the reviews and ratings for this movie are politically motivated (including the review for WSJ); so I’m going to see the movie to come to my own conclusion.
BTW Debbie, how’s that project for Mark Cuban coming along? I’m sure Cuban would love to make a patriotic movie based on your screenplay.

Norman Blitzer on November 17, 2007 at 2:46 pm

Mark Cuban is a self-absorbed, egotistical legend in his own mind. He thinks because he owns a loser NBA team and has lots of bank to throw around that qualifies him to be a credible authority on movies.
Yeah, he’s patriotic…only to himself and those cerebrally challenged dolts who buy into his BS.

1shot1kill on November 18, 2007 at 9:46 am

As a veteran with some experience in a soggy war, let me suggest this *movie* isn’t worth the time of day. As a standard by which to judge the military, how about comparing the incidence of civilian rape/pedophilia/murder in a similar civilian population (130,000) back here in the USA versus the uniformed population (130,000)in Iraq, both over three years?
I don’t know the numbers offhand, but I’ll bet $500 that this movie’s civilian audience’s incidence per capita is higher than the military in Iraq. So just who is *hiding* what revelaing information from whom?
That’s my real emial addy in the profile if you’re game to bet on it.
If I win both principle and proceeds will go to the Fisher House Foundation. Zachary & Elizabeth Fisher would be honored even from beyond.

Zoyadog on November 18, 2007 at 1:06 pm

This movie has been done before, “Casualties of War”, which was a masterpiece, perfect casting, a female did the costumes so well that you would never know she wasn’t a Vietnam Veteran. That movie was well received in my Infantry Unit. So what could be the purpose of trying to tell the same story without the benefit of fifteen post-war-years to get the story balanced and authentic? Dale Dye’s portrayal of the Bn Commander ripping into Michael Fox was very believable, with the attention to detail and casting -a powerful movie.

code7 on November 18, 2007 at 1:41 pm

When are these Hollywood idiots ever going to get a clue that no one is interested in watching their anti-american movies? Who on earth would waste $9-$10+ to see the rubbish they produce where American soldiers are portrayed as villians invading a territory and islamic jihadists are venerated as heroes for resisting our troops?

Jew Chick on November 18, 2007 at 7:58 pm

oreilly has been attacking the movie even though he hasn’t seen it yet. guess what bill, the movie’s worse than you think.
most of the marines are portrayed as either slow dimwitted stoners, arrogant redneck a-holes, or dumb racists. and the rest are helpless victims of the war.
two of the MAIN characters (villains) are ugly americans, and all they think about is: sex or killing.
iraqi women are considered as “spoils of war” and there’s a character named Rush (Limbaugh?) who likes to grope at young iraqi students when they conduct body searches at checkpoints. he’s also the leader of the pack who led the raid the house and raped the 15 yr old girl.
I believe roger ebert gave it a very high recommendation, so i guess you can tell where he leans politically (Kos-sian wing?)
as for cuban’s comment that movie is “patriotic”, i don’t know about that, but i do know that this film is going to do grievious harm to the US troops there in iraq.
as to what de palma’s intentions are in making this film, watch this vid.

j. marzan on November 19, 2007 at 2:42 am

Really nice posts. I will be checking back here regularly.

Kelli Garner on September 25, 2009 at 4:40 pm

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