Mark Humphrys (politics)


Cinema and the war - Movies against the war


Early anti-war movies (2001 to 2007)

Love Actually

Enemy propaganda

Bourne and Bond

Anti-Israel movies

Clint Eastwood

The rush of anti-war movies, 2007 on

The anti-war films make no money

Long reviews of anti-war movies

Anti-war allegory - Avatar

Movies supportive of the war

List of movie "bad guys"

Cinema - Movies against the war

Cinema and the war discussed Hollywood's failure to cover the modern War on Islamism, the great story of our age.

Here I discuss the vast number of movies sneering at the war effort, and promoting enemy victory. I have moved some long reviews to a separate page.

In the four Jason Bourne films, the hero only fights against the CIA. He only fights against Americans.
And we're meant to find this heroic!
How strange the left-wing mind is. Scorning heroes. Admiring traitors.
Maybe the above guys are the target audience for the strange Jason Bourne films.
Photo of anti-war protest, San Francisco, 15 Mar 2003.

Early movies about the war (2001 to 2007)

Instead of proper movies about the great story of our age - the War on Islamism - we get this kind of stuff:


An unpleasant moment in the romantic comedy I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007).
Saoirse Ronan's character just assumes that everyone hates Bush and thinks the Iraq War is about oil.
And the film assumes this too. What a bubble they all live in.
Lyrics: "So hot. Must be 98. For December, that's not so great. While the North Pole is turning to slush, on my TV, there's President Bush. Isn't he moronic? Don't you think? Incredibly moronic. And yes I really do think. He's a pa-a-in, in the whole world's ass. He'd stab his mom for a gallon of gas. How can it be, we voted him in? I just don't see how it figures."


Love Actually

Love Actually (2003) was a pleasant romantic comedy spoiled by the simply unnecessary insertion of obnoxious anti-American politics.
It's bad enough that the world's movie makers are afraid to address the great War on Islamism - that this massive drama is played out on the news and we never get the chance to see it in a movie. But now we have crap politics being shoved down our throats in the unlikeliest of settings.
Are the movie makers in such a hermetic Guardian-reading world that they think everybody will like Hugh Grant's sad little anti-American speech? Sadly, probably yes.

Hugh Grant's sad little speech in Love Actually (2003).

Brilliant ad for the actual PM Boris Johnson and the Tories in the UK election 2019.
Parodying another famous scene in Love Actually.
I far prefer the real Boris PM to the fictional Hugh Grant PM!

Enemy propaganda

Seriously. If the enemy made propaganda (for infidel consumption), in what way would it look any different to these films?

Long reviews of anti-war movies

Bourne and Bond

How come the NSA found out Will Hunting hates America during the job interview and not before?

Matt Damon: Makes anti-fracking movie.
Lives in 12,000 sq ft mansion.

Anti-Israel movies

Clint Eastwood's failed movies

Not about the modern war, but Clint Eastwood's movies about Iwo Jima in WW2 betray a similar lack of understanding of reality as the rest of Hollywood.

The photo "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima".
See full size. From here.
This represents the reality of the heroism of free men standing against a tyranny.
Whereas Clint Eastwood's anti-war movies about Iwo Jima represent a fantasy of how he thinks the world should be.

The big rush of anti-war movies, 2007 on

At last, in 2007, a rush of movies about the war came out. Or, not really about the war. Rather, a lot of left-wing, anti-war, demoralising sermons and so on.

As you know, I'm obsessed by the war on Islamism, and I go to the movies a lot, and I'd love to see good movies on this topic, and I know I have this webpage and so I should really see these. But frankly my enthusiasm for seeing these is pretty much nil:

  1. Anti-war, anti-CIA movie Rendition (2007) - All jihadis are innocent family men targeted by the evil CIA. Obviously, stories about enemy POWs who may or may not be innocent are far more interesting than stories about the allied heroes actually fighting the enemy.

  2. Taxi to the Dark Side (2007) - Documentary about "Dilawar", a taxi driver allegedly tortured and killed by U.S. interrogators in Afghanistan in 2002.
    • The story does sound as if someone should be prosecuted, but why is this kind of thing the only type of film that ever gets made? Couldn't they make one movie about the heroic and awe-inspiring destruction of the entire Taliban regime in just a few weeks? Just one? It's years now and still not one film supporting the allied troops in Afghanistan.
    • As Libertas says: "it still grates that nothing given equal weight is ever produced to expose the evil of our enemy or the many, many selfless and heroic acts this country and her military is responsible for each and every day."
    • Taxi to the Dark Side won an Oscar.

  3. Lions for Lambs by Robert Redford (2007) - It's all evil neo-cons or something.
    • Libertas review: "I think you get the point that Lions For Lambs is the most expensive manifestation of Bush Derangement Syndrome yet. There's no other explanation, because you would have to be whacko out of your head to fund, produce, star, and distribute a film this embarrassingly bad. What Lambs is is a 2,000-plus screen monument to liberal stupidity. Seven-years of BusHitler raging within, and this is it? This is the manifesto? This?"
    • I finally watched this terrible film (I waited until it was on TV). One thing that struck me was how the brave US troops are portrayed as idiots - helpless, pathetic victims, dying for neo-con plans they do not understand. The film portrays them as worthy of pitiful sorrow and compassion. Oh shed a tear for these fools being led to slaughter by politicians! The film thinks it is paying some kind of tribute to the troops, and it has no idea that it is simply insulting and patronising them.
    • In reality (as opposed to Hollywood-land), most soldiers in the all-volunteer, ultra-professional US military are intelligent, educated, skilled, brave, selfless, loyal, moral and focused. Most of them know exactly why they joined, what they are fighting for, and what the broader geo-political implications are. And they are right, too. The average American soldier understands what this war is about far better than Robert Redford does.
    • Robert Redford was executive producer of the pro-commie The Motorcycle Diaries (2004).
    • The Company You Keep (2012), film by Robert Redford sympathetic to the 1960s-70s left-wing terrorists.
    • Robert Redford defends 1960s-70s left-wing terrorism.

    Lions for Lambs, the most annoying of all the crap leftie anti-war films?

  4. Redacted (2007) - Wartime propaganda for the jihad that will encourage the killing of Americans. In no other war in history were enemy propaganda films like this made while the troops were still fighting in the field.

  5. The documentary No End in Sight (2007) - American errors led to the Iraqi fascist "resistance" (rather than, say, the widespread tribal, sectarian, totalitarian and Islamofascist beliefs in the Middle East).
    • I'm sure America didn't do everything right after the liberation of Iraq in 2003. But probably nothing could have stopped the fascist resistance. These ideologies simply need to burn themselves out. The problem is the ideology itself, not the civilized people who have to deal with it. No normal, well-meaning people would have responded to any American errors with violence. You don't suicide bomb children and mosques because of something the Americans did. You do it because that's the type of person you are.
    • The director is angry: "That after five years, there are 4,000 Americans dead, half a million Iraqis dead, 5 million refugees. That the country is still in chaos, and there's no sign that it's going to be in decent shape any time soon. That it was monumentally bungled by an incompetent and dishonest administration." Again, such displaced anger. Why is he not angry at the Iraqi resistance? Bush didn't cause all the above to happen. The Iraqi resistance did.

  6. Standard Operating Procedure (2008) by Errol Morris, a documentary movie about Abu Ghraib. No, not about Abu Ghraib when Saddam killed thousands there, silly.
    • Libertas: "this is simply Hollywood's same old, same old, blowing a mistake of ours completely out of context to hurt the war effort and refusing to even for a moment reveal the brutality of the enemy we face."
    • Libertas review: "One of the MPs .. served 8-months in prison after being found guilty of pouring bottled water on a prisoner and then hurling a Nerf football at him. To underscore the heinousness of this crime, Morris .. stages an ominously lit slo-mo shot of a Nerf football bouncing off a prison floor set to [a] score .. usually saved for the last reel of a Halloween flick. ... contrary to the filmmakers' intentions, I left the theatre feeling good about a country, where, if anything, our laws are too easy on prisoners during interrogations."
    • Errol Morris, July 17, 2008, defends his nasty, disloyal movie after its (inevitable) total failure at the box office: He says it's hard to make money from Iraq movies because "People like redemptive stories, the light at the end of the tunnel. There is great difficulty in finding redemptive elements in the story of Iraq."
    • In fact, there is no difficulty in finding such stories (and here and here). It's just they wouldn't suit your politics. So you have deliberately crippled your art (and your profits!) to suit your cynical, disloyal politics.

  7. War, Inc. (2008)

  8. Battle For Haditha (2008) by Nick Broomfield. Not about allied bravery (of course), or jihadi crimes (of course). Rather about the Haditha massacre.
    • Interview with Broomfield, Mar 2008. He patronises the brave and smart volunteer professional troops in Iraq, saying they are "the poor and dispossessed ... Puerto Ricans and white trash". He means to have sympathy for them, but we can all see the real contempt.

  9. Infinite Justice (2007) by French-Pakistani writer and director Jamil Dehlavi. About a Jewish reporter captured and murdered by Islamist terrorists in Pakistan (like Daniel Pearl). Sounds full of moral equivalence. Tagline is the leftist slogan: "With every battle that you win, you make another enemy". Well that wasn't exactly true in 1945.

  10. Memorial Day (2008) by Josh Fox - Abu Ghraib (*) again. And again. And again. Forever and ever until the end of time. Boring! Change the record you weasely traitor.
    • (*) No, not Abu Ghraib under Saddam, silly. You know, the other thing. Where all those people were killed. Loads of them killed. Or something.

  11. Body of Lies (2008)

  12. Traitor (2008) portrays a black CIA operative working undercover with a terrorist group.
    • "This is in no way jingoistic." "The movie deals with the subject of terrorism evenhandedly. It's not black and white but gray and religious-based." Sounds crap. More of the same old, same old. Couldn't they make a black and white film for a change? Just one?
    • Negative reviews here and here and here and here.

  13. Green Zone (2010)

  14. Holy God, another Valerie Plame film! Who's going to watch this stuff? Fair Game (2010) stars anti-American moonbat Sean Penn.
    • "I just couldn't take my eyes off this material, it was so compelling", said writer Jez Butterworth. Um, right. To me, stories of heroism fighting the evil jihad are compelling. This story is so boring I can't believe anyone would even remember it several years later, let alone make an entire film about it.
    • Scathing preview: "a film that seems destined to sputter and die right out of the gate. ... If the American people can't be lured into cinemas to sit through Hollywood's leftist morality tales even by a Bourne-style thriller featuring proven action star Matt Damon, then what chance at box office success does another smug, elitist, anti-war diatribe featuring the unlikable Sean Penn have?"
    • I sympathise with this comment on an article about this film: "I care so little about Plame, let alone a movie about her, that I couldn't even read this article. Sorry."
    • More people slagging it off here and here.
    • Kyle Smith, 4 Nov 2010: "Bored? Don't blame me. You can't make a compelling drama about l'affaire Plame ... As Liman "urgently" shakes his camera and brings up tribal drumbeats on the soundtrack, his cast ruminates on the thickness of aluminum rods used in centrifuges and whether Novak's column was syndicated overseas. It's like watching C-SPAN set to "Survivor" theme music. ... After seven years, this phony frenzy for a 21st century Watergate has ended."

      Fair Game.
      "another smug, elitist, anti-war diatribe featuring the unlikable Sean Penn".

  15. Kingdom of Dust (2011). Also titled as Hostage.
    • I made the error of picking this crap up somewhere, thinking it was an action movie. Instead, jihadis and a hostage sit around talking. And the jihadis talk how left-wingers think they talk. And they have the motives that left-wingers imagine they "probably" have. The jihadi hates the Jews and beheads innocent people (and will later rape little Yazidi girls) because ... he has personally suffered when Americans bombed a wedding and killed his son. Yeah, right. That's not why jihadis fight. At that point I turned it off. Guys, if you're interested in jihadis, why not take the time to find out what motivates actual jihadis?

The above is as good as it gets in actual depiction of the war. There are also a whole bunch of anti-war, anti-victory films set at home:

  1. In the Valley of Elah (2007) by Paul Haggis. A returning U.S. soldier is murdered by members of his own platoon after a rowdy night on the town. Because that's what U.S. soldiers do. Another soldier drowns his dog and then his wife in the bathtub. Oh yes, and in Iraq they drove over children in their way on the street.

  2. Home of the Brave (2006) - U.S. soldiers traumatised by the war. Heaven forbid that we should see confident U.S. soldiers displaying their skill and bravery.

  3. Body of War (2007) - anti-war documentary, about a U.S. soldier paralyzed in Iraq, who joins Iraq Veterans Against the War.

  4. Stop-Loss (2007), not about the fight in Iraq. Rather about a soldier's fight to avoid going back to Iraq.
    • Libertas review: "If our military was as stupid as portrayed in the movie, casualties in Iraq would be ten-times what they are. ... The values of the film are so upside down that it's Steve - the girlfriend beating, front yard foxhole digger - and his fidelity to the Army that's portrayed as the problem, not the deserter."

  5. Day Zero (2007) - Three young men get drafted to fight in the Middle East, and agonise about whether to go. Why would anyone want to watch this boring, depressing, anti-war, anti-morale crap? Why stick us with these whiny people when there are hundreds of thousands of clear-minded volunteers in the US? Why not give us just one film about what is going on in the Middle East? Just one film showing us this war against evil and depravity.

  6. Grace Is Gone (2007), produced by and starring John Cusack. Not about the war, but rather about a father who does not want to tell his 2 daughters that their army mother has been killed in Iraq.
    • Imagine a mother with 2 sons in 1944-45. Their father dies liberating Europe from the Nazis. Would the mother be ashamed? Would she hide it? Or would she be unbearably sad and yet tell her sons that Daddy was a hero. This film clearly doesn't believe that the wife was a hero. It doesn't believe she died for something. It just wants us to feel the family's pain, as a way, presumably, of attacking her mission.
    • Certainly we know John Cusack doesn't believe in her mission. He explains why he made this film: "If people see the human side of war, they'll be so revolted that they'll do more to stop it."
    • U.S. military female deaths in combat in Iraq
    • John Cusack's left-wing, anti-Iraq war blog.

  7. Full Battle Rattle (2008). Filmed at an army training camp in the US.
    • Review. The filmmaker says: ""At first blush, Fort Irwin exists for logical, practical reasons: training soldiers going to Iraq. But as you begin to fall down, you end up in an absurd place." It is, he added, an allegory for "our nation's journey into this war."" He says (as if he needs to tell us): "In my community, I don't know anybody who's serving, who's coming back. To me the military is very foreign, it's dominant but it's foreign." Yes of course. That's why you're making this film.
    • The reviewer says: "The filmmakers don't demonize the military personnel .. but you'd have to be blind, deaf, and dumb to come out of it feeling that this war is anything but a disaster." Oh it's so nice of them not to demonise the selfless heroes fighting for democracy against Islamist fascism! How nice of these sneering metropolitan cynics to just patronise them and attack their mission instead!

  8. The Lucky Ones (2008), another film patronising returning veterans. Focusing on their problems. Uninterested in their mission. And it's got Tim Robbins in it. So we know what to expect.
    • Review: "cheap, ignorant, tone-deaf and condescending ... It's so slimy you owe it to yourself to see it - but don't pay. Wait for it to be on TV. ... the insurgents, and maybe the Taliban and Daily Kos readers, are the only conceivable audience for his creepy, unfunny, vile little piece of film."

    The Tim Robbins character in Team America: World Police (jump to 0:25 here) says:
    "Let me explain to you how this works. You see, the corporations finance Team America. And then Team America goes out, and the corporations sit there in their -- In their corporation buildings, and, see, they're all corporation-y, and they make money."

  9. Nothing but the Truth (2008), about the really dull Valerie Plame affair. Because that's far more interesting than stories of battle heroism and killing jihadis.

  10. W (2008)

  11. In the Loop (2009), an anti-war "comedy" about the decision to invade Iraq. Jesus, please tell me I never have to sit through this.

  12. The Messenger (2009), about the officers assigned to tell families their loved ones have died in Iraq. Why make a movie on this topic?

  13. Brothers (2009)
    • A brave, upright US marine is captured and tortured by jihadis in Afghanistan. They break him (very unconvincingly) so that he kills his comrade on their orders. He is rescued and comes home traumatised and has a breakdown.
    • It's well acted, but unconvincing. It comes across as a cliched look at the military from people who know nothing about it. As John Nolte says: "Am I the only one who eagerly awaits the $25 million film ... where the screwed-up brother returns from a tour of duty transformed into a responsible, resourceful and mature man ready to take his place in the world? That would not only be an inspiring and more accurate story worthy of the brave men and women who serve our country .. it would finally be a fresh idea from an industry drowning in their own leftist cliches."
    • Debbie Schlussel: "The message is that if you serve our country, you'll brutally murder your fellow soldiers to survive and then go nuts. Haven't we had enough of these movies already?"

Other flawed films

  1. Charlie Wilson's War (2007) looks at the ill-advised (but understandable) aid to the Afghan jihadis against the Soviets.
    • Given that the neo-con right has understood for years how bad this aid was, and has made up for its sins by attacking and deposing the Taliban, and introducing an embryonic democracy in Afghanistan, given all this, why make this film now? Who are they preaching to?
    • If the aim is to say that the US should not support Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or the Palestinian Authority now, because it will only lead to jihadi blowback in the future, then this film could be good. This would be totally correct. We should be horrified by the sending of aid to the Palestinian Authority, or the selling of fighter planes to Saudi Arabia.
    • If the aim of the film, though, is to claim that Islamism is actually caused by the West, this film will be worthless.

    • Update: The answer seems to be more stupid. It doesn't sound like an anti-west or anti-victory film. But the film seems to be saying that the Democrats were important to victory in the Cold War:
    • Libertas review: "Twenty-five years ago, Democrats (and yes, Hollywood) worked as feverishly to derail, dismiss, and ridicule Ronald Reagan's aggressive pursuit of a Cold War victory as they do today to see Bush defeated in the War On Terror. And yet, CWW solely credits a liberal Democrat for bringing down the Soviet empire through the arming of the Afghan Mujahideen ... In Aaron Sorkin's hyper-wordy script there are two words glaringly absent: Ronald and Reagan. ... CWW's blatant agenda to me-too the Cold War is laughable. The time for Hollywood to get on the anti-Communist bandwagon is long past. A film honestly depicting the brutality of Soviet oppression and painting America as the good guys we were may have actually made a difference twenty-years ago, but for the Hollywood liberal to look back today, realize they were again on the wrong side of history, and make a film about a drunken, womanizing liberal winning the Cold War is detestable in the extreme. Charlie Wilson's war was but a drop in the bucket next to accomplishments of Reagan, Thatcher, and Pope John Paul - the true Lincolns of their time who will never receive their due on the big screen from the morally bankrupt victors of the Hollywood culture war. No doubt, in twenty-years, after Iraq and Afghanistan are stable, prosperous defenders of democracy, a 105 year-old Mike Nichols and 70 year-old Aaron Sorkin will reteam to make a film about how Joe Lieberman made it all possible."
    • The real Charlie Wilson says the film omitted Reagan: "Former Rep. Charles Wilson played no official role in the making of last year's film "Charlie Wilson's War," ... If the Texas Democrat had participated, it's clear he would have cast an actor to portray a figure all but ignored in Mike Nichols' production - President Reagan. "He was absolutely essential to the victory," over the Soviets in Afghanistan, Mr. Wilson says"

  2. Postal (2007) starts off by laughing at 9/11. Tasteless. Unfunny. Don't take my word for it. Watch the trailer and see if you laugh once.
    • It's quite possible to make humour about 9/11. If you choose the right targets (e.g. jihadis and truthers). But these people can't do it. I suspect they have the wrong politics to do it.
    • New: They sure do have the wrong politics to do it! The director Uwe Boll says: "POSTAL makes some very important points ..but you dont wanna see that .... : that Bush used the SEPTEMBER 11 to start a war against a country what had nothing to do with Bin Laden etc ... POSTAL has the opinion that it is a scandal that BUSH is not in jail. What happened in America in the last 7 years is the biggest joke since Columbus stepped on that land. but instead of seeing the courage i had in doing that movie against everybody who tried to stop me - you are sitting on your desks and you are working on stories about me .." and so on as the illiterate rant continues.

  3. Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? (2008), documentary by Morgan Spurlock.
    • Of course we know where Bin Laden is. He is in Pakistan.
    • Apparently Spurlock just interviews a load of America-hating Middle Easterners and then: "At the end of the movie, he is about to go into the Tribal Area of Pakistan ... He thinks about his kid and decided to turn around."
    • Great comment: "The difference between Spurlock and our troops is ... he thinks about his kid and turns back, our troops think about their kids and go forward."
    • Libertas review: "Throughout his travels in the Middle East ... Spurlock stands quietly by and accepts without protest every evil spouted from the mouth of Arabs and Muslims about America. That's not creating an understanding. In fact, it's just the opposite. What Spurlock's doing in agreeing through his silence, and at times, verbally, is confirming everything that fuels the irrational hatred too many Arabs carry for our country."
    • Update: It turned out Bin Laden was not in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan. He was in the Suburban Areas of Pakistan.

  4. Buried (2010).
    • See reviews.
    • Not the worst film. And if it weren't for one terrible line I could almost put it in movies supportive of the war.
    • An Iraqi jihadist/criminal buries an American contractor alive, and holds him for ransom. We're not sure who he is. He doesn't seem like a jihadist because he never talks about Allah. Maybe he is just a criminal. He says the Americans killed his children in the war, which would seem to feed into the leftist myth that jihadis kill because they have actually suffered. But the film is not really on his side, and it is not clear that he is telling the truth. He is a nasty piece of work. He executes an innocent female prisoner on camera. Most of the film is about the suffering of the (basically innocent) American hostage at his hands.
    • So it's not a bad film, but it is spoiled by one incredible line. The hostage rescue guy, of all people, says that if you were poor, homeless and desperate, you too would shoot 6 unarmed truck drivers, and execute an innocent mother on camera. Why leftists believe such obvious rubbish - "If you were poor and desperate, you would torture and kill innocents" - is beyond me.

Long reviews of anti-war movies

These anti-war films are making no money

These anti-war films are making no money. Hurray! Maybe Hollywood will stop making them!

Maybe they'll make one pro-war film. Just one.

MSNBC's Donny Deutsch interviews John Miller, July 2009.
Deutsch hilariously claims that Hollywood has made loads of movies showing American heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Americans aren't buying them: "Unfortunately, sir, they have made movies like that recently and unfortunately Americans turn it off."
When pressed by Miller to name these alleged movies, Deutsch says: "Real life fighters in Iraq today, and Afghanistan, they've done documentaries, they've done ... marines in Fallujah, a lot of movies in the last few years that hit on the very topical subjects. Americans turn it off right now unfortunately, and it is sad."
When pressed again to name these alleged movies he says: "I will email you the titles. There are several. You are ignorant here sir, there have been several."

Anti-war allegory - Avatar (2009)

Long reviews of anti-war movies

Cinema - Movies supportive of the war

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