Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"March Madness"

With the NCAA basketball tournament starting this week I got the idea to have a bracket to determine the best war movie made since 2001. I chose the competitors and seeded them based on Rotten Tomatoes. The first round matches will be based on acting, accuracy, entertainment value, and realism. Each category will be on a scale of 1-10. After the first round, victory will be based on my judgment. Here are the matchups:

1 - The Hurt Locker
16 - Pearl Harbor

3 - Inglorious Basterds
14 - The Great Raid

5 - Flags of Our Fathers
12 - Enemy at the Gates

7 - We Were Soldiers
10 - Defiance

8 - Jarhead
9 - 300

6 -  Master and Commander
11 - Troy

4 - Black Hawk Down
13 - Kingdom of Heaven

2 - Letters from Iwo Jima
15 - Flyboys

I will post the "game" summaries periodically starting Thursday. Feel free to make predictions and criticisms.


  1. I do not get the rules. I can just add my comments. You got some quite dorky ones in your list (Flyboys, Flags of our Fathers, Pearl Harbor), a lot of average material (Troy, Jarhead,...). Three good ones (The Hurt Locker, We Were Soldiers, Enemy at the Gates) and one outstanding one (Black Hawk Down and maybe Tae Guk Ki that I haven seen yet).
    If you had chosen more non-US productions the last category would be decidedly fuller.

  2. I agree. It just goes to show how shallow the pool of war movies made since 2001 is. As it is I left out some true dogs like "Gods and Generals". As far as it being American dominated. I do not know very many foreign war movies from the last ten years and you did not suggest any.

  3. You reviewed some, all of them would be worthy. Merry Christmas, No Man's Land, The 9th Company etc.... Some you didn't The Downfall, ... Even some American ones, Valkyrie, Inglorious Basterds...
    Plus all the American Iraq movies. There are half a dozen better ones than Troy. You'll find them.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Your comments are well-founded. I have decided to follow this competition with a foreign version. For this reason I am substituting "Inglorious Basterds" for "Tae Guk Ri" and saving it for the foreign bracket. I realize "Enemy at the Gates" is European made, but I am going to leave it. As for "Valkyrie", it is a political thriller set in a war.

  6. If you want to do a second one, then you need to take out Enemy at the Gates. Battle for Haditha is a worthy candidate.

  7. I replaced Tae Guk Ri with Inglorious Basterds and Last Samurai (not really a war movie) with Master and Commander (which I had shamefully overlooked). Battle of Haditha is a documentary. My definition of war movies does not include documentaries. If it did I would have included Restrepo. I am leaving Enemy at the Gates partly because it is in English and has a cast recognizable to Americans. Most Americans are not even aware it is a foreign movie.

  8. Battle for Haditha is NOT a documentary. It's a movie. Like The Hurt Locker or Redacted. Only better than the two together.

  9. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0870211/

  10. My bad. I bow before your superior knowledge and beg forgiveness. Too late to put it in now, however. I will try to see it as soon as possible, however.


Please fell free to comment. I would love to hear what you think and will respond.