The recent spate of war movies about Iraq and Afghanistan has proved to be a hard sell with American audiences — even more so with the U.S. military. Now, the Pentagon is combating a certain lack of nuance, as military officials see it, in flicks like “Redacted” and “In the Valley of Elah” by offering script consultation services to Hollywood types looking to make movies about the current conflicts in the Middle East.


The Los Angeles Times:

Iraq war movies as a group have not done well at the box office. Film critics have speculated that moviegoers see enough of war on the news or don’t care to watch films about an ongoing conflict. The Army suggests another possibility: The public is rejecting films that feel didactic or inauthentic.

“The public does not deal too well with being preached at,” Breasseale said.

The military has assisted with one Iraq war film that officials hope will be unlike “Redacted” or “In the Valley of Elah.”

“The Lucky Ones,” due out in the fall, follows three combat-scarred soldiers as they travel from New York to Las Vegas. The Army says the film — which stars Tim Robbins, an outspoken war critic — offers a more refined portrayal of soldiers.

During production, Robbins had a long conversation with Breasseale about what life might be like for his character, Staff Sgt. Cheever — what would motivate an enlisted man through two combat tours in Iraq.

“It captures the nuance. It is not a broad brush stroke or just about PTSD” — post-traumatic stress disorder — Breasseale said. “They manage to tell a story that is familiar but different.”

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