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      The War Tapes

      Released Apr 29, 2006 1 hr. 37 min. Documentary List
      98% 65 Reviews Tomatometer 83% 1,000+ Ratings Audience Score Filmmaker Deborah Scranton provides three U.S. soldiers with cameras so they can document their experiences during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The soldiers, Sgt. Steve Pink, Sgt. Zack Bazzi and Spc. Mike Moriarty, are all different ages and come from different backgrounds, but all three demonstrate unwavering loyalty to their comrades-in-arms while voicing concerns about America's reasons for its presence in Iraq. Read More Read Less

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      The War Tapes

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      Critics Consensus

      Candid, eye-opening footage gives viewers a close-up -- and educational -- look at the experiences of American soldiers in Iraq, a viewpoint not normally seen.

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      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member I believe at the time, when it came out, this was bombshell crazy. But now, with all the real life reality tv we have to bear around the clock this is very mild. So it's more like a vlog this is a day in my life kinda thing. Very basic nothing out of the ordinary. Sad how desensitized we've become. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Audience Member Very good documentary. Very entertaining, very eye-opening, very thrilling, and maddening at times. It's very good to finally see what it was like to be a soldier during the Iraq war Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/29/23 Full Review Audience Member I don't recommend this one. It's a difficult watch, and not very enlightening whatsoever. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 01/20/23 Full Review Audience Member I very much like the idea of this kind of soldier-journalism. What I found particularly useful is the short introduction of every soldier filming. There's the immensely patriotic Mike Moriarty, the intelligent Zack Bazzi and then there's Steve Pink. It's interesting to see how the ideology and personality of each of these soldiers colours their journalism. I liked the parts of Zack best, he's not as ignorant and influenced as other soldiers and understands the problems the army has. He's a sharp analyst. What the army needs, as Zack rightly sees, is a cultural training before being shipped off to an unknown country. When you have met the sensible and intelligent Zack, its hard to feel any sympathy for the average ignorant, patriotic American soldier, like when Moriarty and one of his friends criticizes Zack for socializing with the local people. Even though he puts his life on the line for his American home country, they still treat him as an outsider, which show their extreme ignorance and intolerance. "Today we kill Bazzi, and everyone that looks like Bazzi. That makes for a lot of targets today." Steven Pink also brightens up this documentary by his writing. He too, sees the ignorance and barbarism of his fellow soldiers. "The debate we had earlier in the day over the consistency and texture of a severed limb was not some far-off grotesque assumption. It was a genuine argument between the guy who swears it resembles hamburger, ground up but uncooked, and the guy who believes it looks more like a raw pot roast." The film features some emotionally strong and violent scenes that you would be able to see anywhere else on the mainstream media. Not for the faint of heart. Ultimately, even the ever so patriotic Moriarty begins to question the true motives for the war. Moriarty: "I feel like the priority of KBR (Burger King) making money outweighs the priority of safety." When the soldiers' deployment in Iraq ends, the film also looks at how the soldiers cope back home with the traumatic experience they went through. Hell and Back Again is a complementary must-see if you're interested in this. The strength of this documentary lies in the directness of the account of these soldiers. A great deal of the film's intellectual thought provoking strength comes from the account of Zack Bazzi. For me, he is really the one that elevated the documentary to its intellectual level, and provided the documentary makers with what they were really looking after. "I love being a soldier, the only bad thing about the army is that you can't pick your war." - Zack Bazzi Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/20/23 Full Review Audience Member Possibly my favorite of the documentaries made about the recent conflicts in the middle east, 'The War Tapes' is unique in the fact that it has great pacing, culminating in an epic climax that will leave your heart pounding. Genuine elements of real-life pacing (without a script) are exceedingly rare and difficult to capture on film, but the 'War Tapes' does just that. And I haven't even mentioned the valuable insight into the War on Terror that this doc provides. 'The War Tapes' is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/24/23 Full Review Audience Member Best docu-drama on Iraq ever made. Completely non-biased and brilliantly made. EVERYONE needs to see this if they give a shit about what is happening to our soldiers. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/18/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Critics Reviews

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      David Ansen Newsweek The unnerving documentary is all the more necessary, and all the more shocking, in its immediacy. Mar 15, 2018 Full Review Amy Nicholson I.E. Weekly They expected tension; what they didn't expect was to serve out their year-long deployment as, essentially, the world's most targeted grocery store security. Rated: B- Jul 2, 2009 Full Review Tom Keogh Seattle Times This is an important film, but be prepared for shocks. Rated: 3.5/4 Oct 20, 2006 Full Review Jay Antani Cinema Writer The direct-cinema authenticity that a soldier's eye gives to this largely street-fought war...lends The War Tapes its primary strength. Rated: 3/4 Sep 7, 2010 Full Review Fernando F. Croce CinePassion Intentionally or not, the movie locates a strain of ignorance to go along with the bravery Aug 30, 2009 Full Review Jonathan Kiefer Sacramento News & Review Rated: 4/5 Aug 7, 2008 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Filmmaker Deborah Scranton provides three U.S. soldiers with cameras so they can document their experiences during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The soldiers, Sgt. Steve Pink, Sgt. Zack Bazzi and Spc. Mike Moriarty, are all different ages and come from different backgrounds, but all three demonstrate unwavering loyalty to their comrades-in-arms while voicing concerns about America's reasons for its presence in Iraq.
      Director
      Deborah Scranton
      Executive Producer
      Chuck Lacy
      Production Co
      SenArt Films, Scranton/Lacy Films
      Genre
      Documentary
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Apr 29, 2006, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Mar 27, 2016
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $254.2K
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