Three Kings (1999)

(In theaters, October 1999) An uneven but mostly good-to-great film about the Gulf War and its aftermath. George Clooney is as solid as in his previous films and Mark Wahlberg continues to turn in decent performances. Director Russell makes a few disputable choices (his usage of a grainy Ecktachrome film stock wasn’t a good idea; the film will look better on TV) and can’t manage a consistent tone from one scene to another, but these are mild concerns compared to the guts of making an unflinching film about recent American failings. Some scenes are very very good, though one would almost wish for the black comedy of the film to be carried through all of it, not only the first hour.

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