2000s

Published on June 2nd, 2011 | by Chris

1

Battle For Haditha (2007)


Reviewed by:
Rating:
2
On June 2, 2011
Last modified:October 3, 2012

Summary:

I don't know the truth behind the story here. Maybe it really went down like this, I can't say. Only those that were there can really say for sure, but I can't say I recommend this picture to anyone, really, unless you enjoy getting more pissed off by the minute.

Battle For Haditha (2007)Battle for Haditha is a faux-documentary-style movie based on a true event, the November 2005 'retribution' attack on a group of Iraqi civilians after an IED attack. It really isn't *that* bad of a movie, but quite frankly, it just pissed me off... bigtime.

The first part of the movie is just build up to the actual attack. It's slow, to be honest. To the point I was starting to wonder if anything was actually going to happen. To their credit, the filmmakers pull off the "faux documentary" style thing quite well, actually (a lot) better than the similar (and awful) Redacted. It doesn't have nearly the stilted and staged feel to it that Redacted had.

But, the way that this story unfolds, and is told just really, really pissed me off. The Marines here are portrayed basically as bloodthirsty idiots, running around shooting anything that moves and appearing to enjoy it.

OK, sure, I will give you that it was a terrible, tragic event, that never should have happened. But the way its done here does nothing but sensationalize it further. Even the attempt to show remorse on behalf of the IED perpetrators comes across as only half-heart-felt. Leading me to believe that the purpose of this film is not solely a typical 'anti-war' treatise, but rather a Redacted-style "baby killer!" reaction piece.

One of the final scenes does show one of the Marines appearing to maybe, possibly, realize what they've done and offer a half-assed hand as an apology....

I don't know the truth behind the story here. Maybe it really went down like this, I can't say. Only those that were there can really say for sure, but I can't say I recommend this picture to anyone, really, unless you enjoy getting more pissed off by the minute. I don't question the motives behind this movie, they are painfully clear, but there's a point where you start shouting, "enough! I get it already!" The trailer below claims "There are many ways to see the same story," but quite frankly this only seems to be one of them.

On the plus side, I will give them points for production value, though. (and the only reason it gets a 5 from me) I'm not sure where this was filmed (I didn't spend a lot of time on research) but its pretty convincing, but I'm no expert.

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Description

Battle For Haditha -November 19th 2005, Haditha, IraqIraqi insurgents bomb a convoy of US Marines, resulting in the death of theirmost popular officer. Enraged by this loss, his young Marine buddies carry out abrutal retaliation...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)
Brand: Image Entertainment
Manufacturer: Fisher Klingenstein Films
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Matthew Knoll
  • Elliot Ruiz
  • Eric Mehalacopoulos
  • Nathan De La Cruz
  • Andrew McLaren

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Battle For Haditha (2007) Chris

Summary: I don't know the truth behind the story here. Maybe it really went down like this, I can't say. Only those that were there can really say for sure, but I can't say I recommend this picture to anyone, really, unless you enjoy getting more pissed off by the minute.

2.5


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)


About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



One Response to Battle For Haditha (2007)

  1. warmoviebuff says:

    I have seen this and went into it prepared to hate it since I support the U.S. military and despise the people who use IEDs to fight. I also had the distinct impression that it was an anti-American propaganda piece. My suspicions appeared to be confirmed when early in the film there appears written background that does not capitalize “Marines”.

    After finishing it, I immediately started researching. It turns out the lovers and haters are divided based on how they perceive the accuracy of the film. The haters consider it a slander on the Marine Corps and Al Qaeda propaganda.

    I finally found the transcript from the PBS Frontline ( a source I respect ) episode on the incident. I read the whole transcript. My verdict is that it is pretty accurate, but a little biased. The names were changed and most importantly the main character Ruiz does in the movie what the sergeant actually did. The five people in the car were indeed suspicious and apparently ran. The events in the two houses were most likely close to what happened. There was a cover-up and the video eventually was a key piece of evidence. I found the soldier talk and behavior to be a little over the top, but since many of the actors were ex-soldiers I guess it was within reason.

    Broomfield chose not to include a third house where four armed insurgents initiated fire and were killed. This is most likely because it did not fit his theme. There was nothing about the lover being shot because he was running. There was nothing about a Predator drone taking out an olive tree planter because he was carrying a hoe.

    I read several reviews that said it was unrealistic that the Marines behaved that way. I have read a lot on how soldiers react in combat and I believe it is plausible that they would react that way to an IED death. It reminded me of My Lai only in My Lai they had not taken casualties as they entered the village. Also, we should not underestimate how boring war is for the most part so when you do see action, with the adrenalin flowing, you will do things you might not otherwise do. This explains the kiling of the men in the car. However, absolutely nothing justifies what happened in the first two houses. Marines are supposed to be tough enough to take fire before firing back and once women and children were lying dead, a red light should have gone up.

    I was reminded of “Jarhead” where the main character was distraught over not getting a kill to justify all his training. This is what you get with a volunteer Marine Corps consisting of young men who are trained to kill and encouraged to “get some”.

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