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NEW Battle For Haditha (DVD)

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Product Details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B001FRNB9Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #180,211 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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NEW Battle For Haditha (DVD)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9e984ed0) out of 5 stars 157 reviews
113 of 128 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ed2d258) out of 5 stars A powerful film Oct. 30 2008
By Justin - Published on
Format: DVD
Before I begin my review I'm going to give you all my biases up front - I'm a Marine and I served one tour in Anbar Province in 2007 with a rifle company. Many of my seniors served in the Haditha area and told many-a-tale about that awful place. Having gotten that out of the way, I really wanted to like this movie from the get-go. It obviously draws its inspiration from one of my favorite films, the Gillo Pontecorvo classic "The Battle of Algiers - Criterion Collection", where many of the characters (including the screenwriter) were insurgents in the conflict rather than professional actors. I've been pretty disgusted with the Iraq films and TV shows that have come out over the past few years. Shooting in the California desert with a bunch of Mexicans dressed up like Arabs is never going to cut the mustard. Iraq has its own look and feel, and the Iraqis have their own style, even compared to the rest of the Arab world.

So I was really excited when I read that "The Battle of Haditha" was shot in Jordan, which is about as close to Anbar as you can get without crossing the border, and used real Iraqis and former-US military personnel. I also liked that Broomfield let them ad-lib most of their lines, giving them a feel of authenticity that no scriptwriter ever can. Broomfield definitely sets standards that every subsequent Iraq film is going to have to live up to. I also liked the controversial topic - there's a reason counterinsurgencies are called "dirty wars" and the Iraqis definitely do a great job portraying the mixed loyalties and emotions of many Iraqis as they seek to make some sense out of what was - for many Sunnis - an occupation.

Unfortunately, the movie's portrayal of the Marine Corps runs into a brick wall that nearly sinks the whole picture. While I enjoyed Elliot Ruiz's haunted squad leader, none of the other characters looked or sounded like real Marines. In fact, many of them seemed to be acting out popular stereotypes of Marines based on recruiting commercials and "Full Metal Jacket" or "Jarhead", which is almost nothing like what they really are. With the exception of Ruiz, there was almost no character development among the Marines, no explanation of how an infantry unit operates (which is crucial to understanding why the Haditha killings played out the way they did). Broomfield also falls into the trap of using actors in their mid-to-late twenties to portray a bunch of kids fresh out of high school. One of the guys I went to Iraq with was born in 1989 and was 12 years old when 9/11 happened.

Speaking from my experience, the Marines in "The Battle of Haditha" look like a third-rate Iraqi Army unit fresh out of boot camp. They do not know how to: hold their weapons, conduct mounted or dismounted patrols, clear a room, tactically question Iraqis, maintain cover and concealment, return fire, or conduct a squad attack on the enemy. If such things don't concern you, then disregard what I've said, but this is a point of professional pride for me and I really wish Broomfield had been able to get a bunch of real grunts for his actors. When I tried to get my company to watch this as a training film, the other Marines honed right in on this problem and were worried that some of our new-joins would get the wrong impression of how to behave in a combat zone.

Maybe I'm the last person who should be reviewing this - maybe this film was made to explain what Iraq is like to people who have never been there. If that's your opinion, go see it. But it was not made for Iraq veterans. If that's what you want to see, I recommend the HBO "Generation Kill" series or PBS's Frontline: Rules of Engagement, which gets more of the technical details right.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ed2d888) out of 5 stars Had potential May 17 2014
By Bishop - Published on
Had potential. Until the Marines come under fire from an elevated position AND DON'T TAKE COVER?? Or push through? They just sit out in the open? From there, everything falls apart. Tactics were way off, guys running around and shooting like Rambo. Horrible things happen in war and this movie tried to show that, but in the end it was just silly. Really not worth watching. Your time is probably more valuable than that.
31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ed2dcd8) out of 5 stars Horrible March 25 2014
By DSmith - Published on
It started off okay, but as soon as the action started I couldn't finish the film. The tactics depicted in this movie are completely off, if you have insurgents shooting at you from a higher vantage point every single Marine has been taught to assault through the threat. From POG's and damn sure a Rifle Company which is what is depicted in this film. The film maker seems to want to take this mostly from the vantage point of the Iraqi's. He would like you to believe they have no choice but to keep quiet about Al Qaeda, but because of this they are targeted by the Marines when a roadside IED goes off. We all have choices in life, either good or bad and one way or the other it will come back to you. The acting is terrible and its obvious the Marines are trying to hard to sound like what I suppose is the stereotype of Marines. Bottom line don't waste your time!
72 of 93 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ed2dd50) out of 5 stars This is an ANTI-MILITARY movie! May 30 2012
By brad - Published on
Format: DVD
As a former Marine who lead patrols in Iraq I can say that this is the worst portrayal of Marines I have EVER seen. Almost every second of this movie makes me sick. Marines DO NOT conduct themselves in this manner AT ALL. Do not think for a second that the United States Marine Corps would put up with a single Marine acting in this manner much less an entire unit.

If you are an Anti-American, Anti-Military, propagandist than this movie is for you. It is obvious that this piece of dirt was made by that kind of person.

*******THIS IS A FICTIONAL MOVIE THAT IS WAY OVER DRAMATIZING AN UNFORTUNATE EVENT******* do not for a single second think that the FINEST men and women of these United States conduct them selves this way.
56 of 73 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ed2e21c) out of 5 stars Shameless propaganda Oct. 21 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: DVD
Classic anti-American, self hating propaganda that gleefully portrays Marines as robotic killing machines. Not terribly surprising given the director's past body of work. This movie belongs in the same class as Michael Moore's files, fiction masquerading as documentary. The actors however, did a magnificent job. Especially noteworthy is the performance of Elliot Ruiz as a troubled Corporal.