Parents' Guide to

Mosul

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Constant war violence in excellent movie about Iraq War.

Movie NR 2020 101 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Without the background and developed characters, Mosul would still be a decent war movie, assuming one can overlook that it's based on the very real horrors of one chapter from the Iraq War. Without this, the movie would basically be little more than a reenactment of a first-person shooter video game. Instead, we get damaged characters trying to not only survive in what often seems like something from a movie set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but also to find a way to salvage and reclaim their hometown. These aren't heroes in the cliched action movie sense of the term, but are human and flawed characters driven to extremes by extreme circumstances. By doing this, a different kind of heroism emerges, and a powerful sense of the resilience in the Iraqi people, a resilience that can't be conveyed by a two-minute action movie montage with a Survivor song playing in the background.

It isn't easy to develop three-dimensional characters in movies centered on constant warfare, and most action movies take the easy way out and don't even bother to develop their action movie characters much beyond giving them an easy to remember nickname like "Casanova" or "Einstein." That we get such a powerful sense of what's at stake and why these characters are fighting in Mosul is a testament to the quality of the writing and acting. The action never really slows down, and when it does, it doesn't really feel like it because there's always an expectation that a bomb is about to go off or a drone is about to strike. This balance between story and action in such an action-heavy movie is what separates Mosul from lesser efforts, as well as its focus on Iraqis in the Iraq War instead of Americans.

Movie Details

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