Parents' Guide to

The Kill Team

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Morally complex, violent wartime story of right and wrong.

Movie R 2019 87 minutes
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This war drama, written and directed by Dan Krauss and based on his own same-named 2013 documentary, is tense and compact but also morally nuanced. It stays complex rather than finding solutions. With The Kill Team, Krauss has fictionalized real events that took place in 2010 in Afghanistan, but he's kept the consequences. The movie digs deep into the code of honor that quickly forms among soldiers in war zones; their brotherhood becomes more important than anything else, and to betray it is the ultimate crime. So Briggsy's choice to try to do what he thinks is right is never seen as an easy one -- nor one that eases into a clean, final conclusion.

Krauss builds the movie almost as a suspense thriller, with Briggsy trying to go about his duties without ever knowing just how much his comrades suspect. In the lead role, Wolff is asked to juggle a great deal, a subtle combination of looking guilty and suspicious for the audience, while also trying to put on a poker face for the other characters. It's a difficult role, and Wolff mostly pulls it off. Skarsgard, with his startlingly soft-spoken demeanor and cross between fatherly assurance and psychopathic menace, is the movie's ace in the hole; he's superb and almost singlehandedly responsible for generating the movie's tension. The Kill Team is clear on one thing: It shows the murders indirectly, from the point of view of the victims' loved ones, and these reactions tell their own story.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: October 25, 2019
  • On DVD or streaming: December 24, 2019
  • Cast: Nat Wolff , Alexander Skarsgard , Adam Long
  • Director: Dan Krauss
  • Studio: A24
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 87 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: language throughout, violent content and drug use
  • Last updated: June 20, 2023

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