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Parents' Guide to

War Machine

By Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Uneven war satire has violence, frequent cursing.

Movie NR 2017 122 minutes
War Machine Poster Image

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Kids say (2 ):

Nothing's harder than finding the fine line between satire and caricature, and though director and cast aren't fully up to the task, the film still scores some strong points about both ego and war. The foundation of the story told in War Machine is true. A year in Afghanistan from 2009-2010. Eager, cowboy-general moves in to take the town; reality rears its head and upends his path to glory; and finally, blind narcissism sends him packing. The messages -- about the impossibility of war in situations like modern Afghanistan, Syria, and multitudes of other countries steeped in chaos, and the hopelessness of rallying the locals against who knows who and who knows when, what, and where -- are clear. The tale of one general's self-destructive undoing is worth telling. Still, every character is one-dimensional (Anthony Michael Hall's performance is particularly grating); every situation is expected; and, for those familiar with the real Rolling Stone article, the "Oh My God" factor happened long ago. Too much violence and swearing for kids.

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