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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a strange & smart little movie
I loved it. Take John Cusack, add 1 part Brazil and pour over Starship Troopers, and you've got a hilariously bizaare commentary on geopolitics and the industrial war machine.

Its dark, and I mean, almost navy. Its only downfall is its heaviness, and sometimes it and the metaphors are jammed down your throat a little too often, but the ensemble cast is...
Published on December 31, 2008 by The Mandrew

versus
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You'll Love It or Hate It: Grosse Point Goes to Iraq on LSD
Most people will NOT enjoy this movie, but a select few will find it provocatively funny. War, Inc. is an almost surreal blend of Dr. Strangelove, Grosse Point Blank, Fargo, Apocalypse Now, and a cerebral National Lampoon movie (if such a contradiction in terms were possible... imagine Animal House Goes to Iraq). Don't bother if you're annoyed by convoluted subplots...
Published on November 16, 2008 by Amazon Customer


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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a strange & smart little movie, December 31, 2008
This review is from: War, Inc. (DVD)
I loved it. Take John Cusack, add 1 part Brazil and pour over Starship Troopers, and you've got a hilariously bizaare commentary on geopolitics and the industrial war machine.

Its dark, and I mean, almost navy. Its only downfall is its heaviness, and sometimes it and the metaphors are jammed down your throat a little too often, but the ensemble cast is actually phenomenal, with Ben Kingsley and even Hillary Duff doing a great job (I can't believe I typed that).

You will laugh, if you have a dark sense of humor and like smart comedy. This movie is very timely, with the rise of the military farming out their work to private security (who are portrayed to be the craziest of all the crazies in the movie). Its small wonder it tanked in the box office, but if you have a proclivity towards movies like Dr. Strangelove, you'll find this to be one of the better movies you watched this year.
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54 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comedy from today's headlines, June 20, 2008
This review is from: War, Inc. (DVD)
I almost skipped this one as a political annoyance until I saw the star power supporting it: Ben Kingsley, Marisa Tomei (a personal favorite), John Cusack, Joan Cusack, and more. That cast simply won't let a movie be bad. They couldn't if they tried.

Despite an apparent attempt to be ordinary entertainment, this one rises above all the usual categories. Do you want a cynical mockumentary of Haliburton-style war profiteering? Got it. Do you want pointed jabs at operations funded by Congress's "black budget?" Check. Do you want satirical assaults on simplistic sloganeering from every possible direction? It's there. Add in a babe like a pre-meltdown Britney but with hotter hotpants and a bucket of slapstick, and you're headed in the right direction. For example, a major character's name is "Uckmee Fay." Speakers of pig-Latin, please take note.

They set the tone from the very first scene. Chevy Chase delivers a "Mission Impossible" style of assignment to a high-class assassin, via video, while seated on American Standard's finest. Later, Joan Cusack shows up in the role that she has perfected - the prim, cheery, and murderous psychopath. There's a lot more, too. I laughed all through, even (maybe especially) when I knew that outrage would have been the "appropriate" response.

This one really grows on me the more I think about it. It doesn't whap you upside the head with humor, politics, or even its sappy moments. Instead, it tickles you with not-quite-too-much of social commentary, current events, goofy jokes, visual gags, and enough more to hold it all together. I liked it more a few hours later than when I walked out the door, and lots of movies have the opposite effect on me.

-- wiredweird, reviewing the theatrical release

PS: See it some time soon. The topical humor in this one might age badly unless the The Powers That Be keep providing background to preserve its freshness.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You'll Love It or Hate It: Grosse Point Goes to Iraq on LSD, November 16, 2008
By 
Amazon Customer (Floyds Knobs, IN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: War, Inc. (DVD)
Most people will NOT enjoy this movie, but a select few will find it provocatively funny. War, Inc. is an almost surreal blend of Dr. Strangelove, Grosse Point Blank, Fargo, Apocalypse Now, and a cerebral National Lampoon movie (if such a contradiction in terms were possible... imagine Animal House Goes to Iraq). Don't bother if you're annoyed by convoluted subplots backfilled by indiscriminate flashback scenes, or looking for a good laugh in a light romantic comedy.

Despite an all-star cast (John Cusack, Marisa Tomei, Hilary Duff, Joan Cusack, Ben Kingsley and Dan Akroyd), War, Inc. will fall flat for most people. Set in a fictional third-world Islamic country, this satire of the American military-industrial complex is a blatant backdrop for further jabs at the Cheney/Halliburton/Blackwater junta. John Cusack's ability to write some of the cleverest dialogue in modern cinema allows his character to be interesting and sometimes brilliant, (especially when interacting with Marisa Tomei and Hilary Duff). Good acting and interesting dialogue will not be enough for the average viewer to enjoy this film. Offensively hilarious scenes (a chorus line of local war amputees on prosthetic legs) will either leave the viewer rolling on the floor or slack-jawed in revulsion.

There's something reminiscent in War, Inc. of the failed 1983 film, Deal of the Century, another satire of the military industrial complex with a great cast (Chevy Chase, Sigourney Weaver and Gregory Hines). Unlike the mediocre Deal of the Century, Cusacks' newest film is more like Fargo in the sense you'll either love or hate it; but unlike Fargo, I think the vast majority of viewers will fall on the wrong side of getting the punch line. Like a Big Mac, this film blends a lot of different ingredients together (perhaps too many), and like a Big Mac, you'll either be delighted or disgusted... which is why I gave it 3 stars, because you'll give it either 1 or 5.

You'll like this movie if:
You prefer watching Dr. Strangelove or Grosse Point Blank after a six pack or some mind-altering substance.

You'll dislike this movie if:
You want a straightforward laugh, are looking forward to Hilary Duff reprising her usual rolls, can't stand political satire, or are expecting a repeat of Grosse Point Blank.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nice Concept Horrible Execution, January 19, 2011
By 
John J. Browne "bookaholic" (Brooklyn, New York United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: War, Inc. (DVD)
At the recommendation of a friend I rented this movie. If I had fast forwarded to 2 or 3 enjoyable scenes and then returned it I would have enjoyed it. Instead I actually watched the whole thing. The movie attempts to be a satire of US involvement in Iraq, Halliburton and the whole Military Industrial Complex. As a satire it will not give Jonathan Swift any competition. Its so broadly overdone as to be a satire of itself. It portrays a completely privitized military, reporters whose stories are based upon virtual reality rides, an inane and completely pointless subplot involving John Cusack, his boss and one of the other stars, what appear to be mental patients wandering through a free fire zone and similar bizaare scenes. If you are of the left wing persuasion (actually the more extreme left wing) you'll enjoy it. Otherwise you'll likely find it an utter waste of time. Oh btw the enjoyable scenes?? The truly excellent hand to hand combat scene in the mansion, Hillary Duff (referred to by another Amazon quite accurately as looking like a pre-meltdown Brittney Spears) strutting around a sound stage and one or two others I can't recall.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars War Inc is a must see..., August 15, 2008
This review is from: War, Inc. (DVD)
War Inc has an all star cast that includes John Cusack as Hauser a troubled assassin who has accepted a job of bumping off the figure head of a rival nation. To do this he must pose as a trade show coordinator hosting a Tamerlane Brand USA Expo in recently "liberated" country Turaqistan. On top of all this and with the help of his assistant (Joan Cusack) he has to juggle a headstrong reporter (Marisa Tomei) and the impending wedding of pop superstar Yonika BabyYea (Hilary Duff). War Inc is a film that will entertain a number of different audiences. On the surface the film plays much like a guy with girl troubles film but its the underlying theme that really makes it shine. Writers Mark Leyner, Jeremy Pikser and John Cusack weave a story that draws many parallels between what is happening on screen and in America today. One could easily view these larger than life characters as allegorical representations of the American Public, Capitalism, Big Business, Government, The Media...and so on. There is of course a good bit of the absurd, including but not limited to: fighting, licking and hotsauce drinking. Overall this film is ahead of its time for its candid statements about the geo political climate and its fun enough that you can still eat popcorn too. I hope you enjoy!
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very important movie, October 4, 2008
By 
This review is from: War, Inc. (DVD)
I've seen this when released and I would disagree with many of the reviewers who complain of the "disjointed" script. This movie is not confusing. It is extremely fast paced and can be watched several times to get all the jokes. The special effects are brutally effective and the underlying message very disturbing. The dark humor is right on, especially the bit where the Cusack's only friend is his Northstar roadside assistance system. The only complaint of the movie is how they fit Hillary Duff into the movie. It's a bit corny, but hey, it's Hollywood.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Cusack!, September 19, 2008
This review is from: War, Inc. (DVD)
I came upon this movie by accident while I was visiting friends in Colorado (because, naturally, such a film won't be shown in ultra-conservative Georgia). I immediately fell in love with the dark humor and political satire as my favorite actor battled against his conscience, his bosses, and his hot sauce addiction. This movie is a fun watch for all, but particularly relevant to those of us who oppose the war. John Cusack hits it out of the park by finally saying what everyone's been too afraid to say. "War, Inc." is a MUST SEE!
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your time and money, July 8, 2010
This review is from: War, Inc. (DVD)
My wife and I have loved almost everything John Cusack has ever done. On the strength of that alone we will watch his stuff when it comes out. But given the star power in this movie it was a must see.

The advertising made it sound as though Cusack was reprising his role from Grosse Pointe Blank as the introspective, edgy hitman looking to bring sense into his chaotic life and restore his karma to balance. Throughout the movie (which took three sittings to get all the way through) I kept waiting for some bit of Martin Blank to resurface. When that seemed to much to hope for I waited for the funny part to begin, which I was sure Cusack would deliver. When that failed to appear I began to wait for the part where the plot would move along to some engaging point that would keep me entertained through the remainder of the film. It never came.

I know Cusack has some very typical Hollywood left leanings, that's fine. I know it is popular in Hollywood to bash the military. Fine, that's your right to do so. But others have done it in ways that were entertaining and worthwhile. Kubrick's classic Full Metal Jacket certainly displayed much of what is wrong with the military and the absurdity of warfare in general, and at the same time was wildly entertaining. (Being a former Marine I can also say it is the closest thing to a real representation of boot camp in that era I have ever seen in film, as well.)

However, this movie was over the top in it's approach, so much so that the jokes and supposed "funny bits" were just vapid and sophmoric at best, and at worst, down right demeaning to both the actors, the audience and the real life people they are supposed to be lampooning. I can't beleive the fine actors in this movie actually read the script before sigining on to make this movie. The scene with the soldiers wacked out on drugs killing everything that moved comes to mind as one of the worst scenes in the movie. Was that supposed to be satire? Or does someone out there think that is an accurate reflection of actual combat soldiers?

Like I said I kept waiting for the stars in this movie to shine, but I think a previous reviewer had it correct with Samuel L Jackson's quote. All the syrup in the world won't hide the bad taste this p.o.s. will leave in your mouth.

Wow, the more I think back the more I feel like this may actually be the worst movie I have ever seen. Don't make the same mistake I made, save your time and money.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong start, strong characters, but riddled with comedic holes., November 9, 2009
By 
TorridlyBoredShopper "T(to the)B(to the)S" ("Daddy Dagon's Daycare" - Proud Sponsor of the Little Tendril Baseball Team, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: War, Inc. (DVD)
Outsourcing wars, killing people that want to kill you, using charity as cover, and teaching yourself how hot sauce can become a tool of the trade are all things that the movie brings to the table. It is a sppof and has a spoof feel, and some of the movie really is funny. Conversations held with your navigation device to discuss your problems is a good example of that, because some of the things that it says are truly funny material. Other things also rear their heads and get good laughs as well, and the first half of the movie would have been a five-star beast if it would have kept up its pace. It didn't do that, though, and instead became convoluted and a bit on the boring side. By the end of the movie I was just ready for the thing to end, and i really didn't expect that. I say that because of the main person involved is someone i like, and he had his hands in the project fromt he beginning. Still, it does have some moments in it and they are really good moments, so I didn't find myself totally hating the movie.

One of the things I did dislike was the way Hilary Duff's character was portrayed. This isn't meant as a knock on her acting skills, but is instead meant to address the issues of the character itself. She goes from an accented star to a person with hidden feelings that sounds like Duff, and that didn't play out well. Neither did the forced love connection that enters the fray, or the overall connection between the past and the present. Looking at the scenes that some of this happens in makes me think that they should have been funny and, if executed properly, they would have been great. They were not played out well, however, and the mixture of many things makes the over-the-top violene seem like it wants to be something like Shoot-em-up but without all the wonderful little things that made that movie funny.

One pro in the movie was the acting of John C., however, but I expected that. I liked what he did with his character and i liked the subtle things that came out when he interacted with other people. I even bought into his killer instincts when they were displayed, and how they made him look like a man that was an artist when it came to killing. As I said before, i simply could not find my footing in the storyline and it diminished the character's capacity to make me laugh, ruining some rather good moments. If John C. was less talented at taking roles and bending them to his will, i would have found the movie even less desirable than I did.

Some people do like this movie a lot and i respect that, too. I want people to know that as well, thinking they should perhaps read why they thought the movie was a good one and measure those pros and cons. As i pointed out in my review, I liked the start of this beast and I thought that it had quite a few moments that really took the proverbial cake. I just couldn't eat a whole slice because it seemed undercooked and, as everyone knows, uncooing things can poison even the most healthy of persons.
Not my cup of tea - or hot sauce, if you prefer.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Action is continuous but I was bored throughout, November 29, 2009
This review is from: War, Inc. (DVD)
This 2008 film is a try at political satire that fails miserably. The premise is that an American Corporation runs the world. John Cusack is cast in the role of an assassin who follows the orders of his boss, an American ex-vice president played by Dan Aykroyd. After an opening scene which shows Cusack murdering three men in an Alaska bar, he is sent on his next mission, which is to assassinate a Middle Eastern oil minister. The country is a stereotype and there is never a dull moment because there are explosions everywhere. Hillary Duff is cast as a local superstar, Marisa Tomei is cast as an American reporter fighting for justice, and Ben Kingsley is one of the bad guys. Action is continuous but I just didn't care. And in spite of good performances by the cast I was bored throughout. Frankly I hated the film. It gets absolutely no recommendation from me whatsoever.
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War, Inc.
War, Inc. by Joshua Seftel (DVD - 2008)
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