For those who have not seen this movie, I would highly recommend that you do. It is an absolutely fantastic movie that is a critique of both American society and our War of Terror. The movie is heavy on dialogue, so don't expect much action. The movie does an excellent job raising some contemporary questions facing America, but does not preach a particular solution.
The movie did poorly in the theaters (it only grossed $15 million) and received mostly negative reviews. Regardless, I think it was the best political drama of 2007. The reason I think it did poorly is because:
a) people didn't understand the movie
b) it is not a typical "war movie" in the sense that the central emphasis is on dialogue, rather than action. This film feels like an indy film and failed trying to be mainstream
c) poor release date--it would have done better in the box offices if they had released it as a summer movie
d) People don't like Tom Cruise, which I think is ridiculous. His personal politics are his own and he should be viewed in light of his performance in the movie, not outside of it.
e) people are sensitive to challenging the traditional narrative of these past six years. Again, this is why I think it did poorly here in the US; its interesting, though, because it has done much better internationally. I suppose its hard for many Americans to take a critical look at the state of their nation...
This post was originally posted by me on facebook on Monday, Jan 28, 2008