A US soldier in Afghanistan is pressurised by a new sergeant into complicity in the murder of Afghan civilians. Developed from writer/director Krauss’s own documentary of the same name, this is a low-key but effective study of morals v camaraderie. No real surprises, but solid nevertheless.
A veteran Soviet submarine commander is sent on a final classified mission to test new technology. Okay Cold War flick that does nothing new, but which revels in the subgenre (!) to pleasing one-ping-only effect. Makes maximum use of an old Russian vessel for its principal location.
Six months after the Pearl Harbour attack, the Japanese and US navies battle in the Pacific. Clunkily-scripted military action-drama that doesn’t have quite the effects budget needed to pull off its ambitious visual ideas. Poor lighting of greenscreen work doesn’t help. A decent cast of hunks and character actors do what they can.
Two soldiers are given orders to deliver an urgent message to prevent a massacre. Works better as a race-against-time action movie than as an anti-war flick, but sustains itself impeccably and looks great throughout. The single-shot/more-or-less real-time aesthetic just about justifies itself, though can be distracting in quieter moments.
A group of Central American teenagers guard a kidnapped doctor. Part every jungle action flick ever, part Absurdist fable. Lord of the Flies meets The Emerald Forest with a seasoning of Predator, and more than a hint of Beckett. Hugely recommended, but not for everyone.
A submarine captain and his new second-in-command clash during a military crisis. Excellent testosterone-fuelled drama, making full claustrophobic use of naval service underwater tropes. Superior technical credits and a rousing score supplement the crew of capable character actors.
A US submarine captain attempts to prevent a rogue minister-led coup in Russia. Old-fashioned military thriller aping the likes of Tom Clancy. Not bad while its on, though there’s not one surprise; a game cast of character actors play the material straight.
In 1944 Italy, a US army troop behind enemy lines find a crashed spaceship. Engaging-enough low-budget SF/horror/war hybrid, with a witty script and a keen sense of its modest production values.
A small group of rebels try to steal the plans to the Death Star. Superior side mission from the Star Wars universe, answering a small plot question from the 1977 movie. By no means essential, but nevertheless rousing space opera fun, and lovingly designed.
Want another view? Here’s Xussia’s tuppenceworth.
Robert the Bruce rebels against Edward I. Straightforward historical action drama in the Braveheart mould, with plenty of detail, production values aplenty and some gusto in the playing. Blood, mud and a trebuchet/mangonel device.