Film Review: ‘Fury’

Brad Pitt Fury Movie Review

Brad Pitt plays a watered-down version of his 'Inglourious Basterds' character in this disappointingly bland look at a World War II tank crew.

Some feats are unforgettable: We remember the Alamo, along with the 300 Spartans who died at Thermopylae. But a five-man American tank crew (actually, four men and a baby, to be more accurate) overwhelmed by a platoon of German soldiers? Not only did the standoff depicted in “Fury” never happen, but it will likely be long gone from moviegoers’ memories six months from now, after Sony’s marketing blows over and people go back to watching “Inglourious Basterds” — the other, better pulp World War II movie featuring Brad Pitt as a heavily scarred, slow-drawling Nazi hunter. With a disappointing domestic reception ahead, David Ayer’s first big-studio foray as director will rely on a strong showing overseas, where its fantasy of American exceptionalism will seem all the more egregious.

Until now, writer-director Ayer has largely focused his attention on gritty LAPD dramas, Tasering the genre back to life with such tell-it-like-it-is pics as “Training Day” and “End of Watch.” Set during the waning days of World War II, as the Allies advance on Berlin and the Nazis put up vicious resistance on their home turf, “Fury” shifts the director’s focus to military history. As such, the project marks a massive step forward in both ambition and scale for Ayer, but also brings disappointment. Though colorfully embellished with authentic detail and logistically complex to bring to the screen, Ayer’s script is bland at the most basic story level, undermined by cardboard characterizations and a stirring yet transparently silly climactic showdown.

Even so, the film benefits from the scribe’s usual research-based approach to capturing the tight, honor-bound dynamic of serving on the front lines, enriched by his ear for precise (and period-appropriate) technical patter. The pressure-cooker atmosphere is enhanced by the fact that Pitt’s character, Sgt. Don Collier (a diluted version of his Lt. Aldo Raine from “Basterds”), and his men are sardined into a Sherman tank in which they’ve been serving side by side since North Africa. They all have nicknames (Collier’s is “Wardaddy”), as does the tank itself: “FURY,” menacingly painted in all caps on its 76mm cannon barrel.

It’s a marvel of military service how men who might despise one another in civilian life can become like brothers in the field, and here, we get a sense of both the off-color squabbling and the deep-rooted camaraderie among these virtual siblings. Wardaddy’s team includes the Scripture-quoting “Bible” (Shia LaBeouf), Latino driver “Gordo” (Michael Pena, affecting an early-century Mexican accent) and barely evolved swamp-rat mechanic “Coon-Ass” (Jon Bernthal). Ayer introduces the team from within the tight confines of their tank, a space that doesn’t yield many good angles, but allows for some nifty lighting tricks. D.p. Roman Vasyanov’s favorite is clearly to frame just the actors’ eyes through the narrow slits of the tank’s armor.

These guys look and sound like they’ve been to hell and back (even pretty-boy LaBeouf, who appears with his face scruffy and teeth blacked out for the role). But don’t let the constant stream of personal, off-color insults fool you. Their views may differ, but they can agree on one thing: “Best job I ever had!” they exclaim, and Ayer clearly believes it. That’s not necessarily the case for baby-faced newcomer Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), a clean-shaven, wet-behind-the-ears Army typist assigned to join them at the outset — more for reasons of dramatic convenience than practical necessity.

Norman serves as the audience’s proxy, allowing Ayer to show us the ropes as the kid is forced into a situation more intense than he’s ready to handle: Norman retches after discovering the scalp of a German soldier while scrubbing the blood from his seat in the tank. As war-movie cliches go, the onscreen spew is off-putting yet effective (Tom Hanks did it when he landed on Normandy Beach in “Saving Private Ryan”), the tough-guy equivalent of watching a neophyte take his first smoke onscreen. The poster boy for S.L.A. Marshall’s infamous statistic, estimated in his book “Men Against Fire,” that 75% of American troops in World War II never pulled the trigger for the purpose of killing, Norman has serious reservations about handling the machine gun he’s assigned. But he grows up fast as tough-love Wardaddy treats the kid like his own “war son.”

It’s either that or risk letting the incompetent new team member get everyone in the crew killed, which is just the over-simplistic dynamic Ayer exploits for the remainder of the film. There’s even a poignant if somewhat protracted interlude featuring “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” star Anamaria Marinca and younger beauty Alicia von Rittberg (“Barbara”), in which Pitt’s character enables the incredulous Norman to lose his virginity: “She’s a good, clean girl. If you don’t take her in that bedroom, I will.”

It was cigar-chomping World War II vet Samuel Fuller who practiced the philosophy that the first shot and last shot of each of his films was the most important. The same could be true of “Fury,” which opens and closes with corpse-strewn battlefields, which bookend the film with haunting evidence of the aftermath of war. Generally speaking, “Fury” looks less like recent war movies — with their modern, handheld camerawork and overall emphasis on immersion — than the more classically framed studio pics of an earlier era, where careful attention has been paid to meticulous compositions. The same goes for Steven Price’s score, which offers variations on a single three-note motif, poignant when appropriate, but also easily expandable into a full-blown military theme as needed.

Though it’s the action scenes that thrill, Ayer makes a point of balancing them with the quiet stretches between skirmishes, acknowledging that boredom — punctuated by a certain giddy tension — characterized much of the time soldiers spent at war. One could seldom anticipate when or where the enemy might strike, but when they did, the transformation from safety to survival mode was instant and entire. That makes for several heart-clutching sequences, including one that narrows Wardaddy’s tank column down to just one as they face off against a superior German Tiger tank, using the Fury’s speed and agility to defeat their armor-piercing rival. (The production shot with actual Sherman and Tiger tanks from World War II, along with a reconstructed interior whose removable walls did little to diminish the claustrophobia of the tight space.)

In another standoff, the tank column advances on a treeline at dusk. The scene looks like something out of “Star Wars” as the opposing sides exchange what looks like green and red laser fire, though the appearance and sound are both true to Ayer’s research: The glowing bullet trails are tracers, which allowed gunners to see where they were shooting — or not, in the case of the trigger-shy Norman.

As in “End of Watch” (in which one character miraculously recovers from a near-fatal shooting), Ayer allows himself to play God here, deciding the fates of his characters for emotional and dramatic impact, even if none should logically survive the assault. Would a team of five men with a half-disabled tank really dig in their heels and fight a platoon of Germans nearly 300 strong? This choice is the most “Hollywood” element in a film that is constantly shifting between disturbing, realistic details (a burning man who shoots himself to escape the pain, or the German “cowards” hanged by the SS from street poles) and the stilted, sometimes even hammy liberties needed to make its point.

Ayer’s seemingly contradictory approach can be heard in nearly every line: On one hand, he goes out of his way to capture authentic-sounding slang, encouraging the actors to use accents that aren’t always intelligible amid the hyper-attuned (and occasionally deafening) sound mix. On the other, there can be no mistake that this is dialogue, not natural speech, for they express themselves in terse, trailer-quotable soundbites that tend to remind us that we’re dealing with a collection of stereotypes, of which Bernthal’s redneck is the least convincing, though none ever seems more than skin-deep. If their sacrifice is meant to be memorable, we must first believe them to be men: Ironically, it’s the baby of the group, Norman, who emerges “Fury’s” most full-fledged character.

Film Review: 'Fury'

Reviewed at Salle Lincoln, Paris, Sept. 29, 2014. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 134 MIN.

Production

A Sony Pictures Entertainment release of a Columbia Pictures presentation, in association with QED Intl., LStar Capital, of a QED Intl., Le Grisbi, Crave Films production. Produced by Bill Block, David Ayer, Ethan Smith, John Lesher. Executive producers, Brad Pitt, Sasha Shapiro, Anton Lessine, Alex Ott, Ben Waisbren. Co-producer, Jeremy Johns.

Crew

Directed, written by David Ayer. Camera (color), Roman Vasyanov; editors, Dody Dorn, Jay Cassidy; music, Steven Price; music supervisors, Season Kent, Gabe Hilfer; production designer, Andrew Menzies; supervising art director, Peter Russell; art directors, Phillip Harvey, Mark Scruton; set decorator, Lee Gordon; costume designer, Owen Thornton; sound (THX/Dolby Digital/Datasat), Lisa Pinero; sound designer, Paul N.J. Ottosson; supervising sound editor, Ottosson; re-recording mixers, Ottoson, Marc Fishman; visual effects supervisor, Jerome Chen; visual effects producer, David Robinson; visual effects, Hammerhead Prods., Mammal Studios, Look Effects, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Colorworks, Zero VFX, Space Monkey; special effects supervisor, Andy Williams; special makeup effects supervisors, Williams, Steve Painter; stunt coordinator, Ben Cooke; tank supervisor, Jim Dowdall; associate producer, Owen Thornton; assistant director, Toby Hefferman; second unit director, Shaun O’Dell; casting, Mary Vernieu, Lindsay Graham.

With

Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, Jason Isaacs, Brad William Henke, Jim Parrack, Xavier Samuel, Scott Eastwood, Kevin Vance, Anamaria Marinca, Alicia von Rittberg. (English, German dialogue)

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  1. Jack says:

    Bland view? You’re an absolute scumbag

  2. TERRY THOMPSON says:

    I disagree with the review. I thought it was much better than inglorious bastards. It’s one of my favorite movies and I have watched it five times so far. The acting of the cast was great. So thumbs up, great movie

  3. David Bobby says:

    I have watched this film Fury at least 30 times. I think it is brilliant. and realistic. I don’t care if it never actually happened – plenty of other similar things did. that these men had underpowered and underarmored and outgunned shermans is amazing what they did. I cannot tank you people enough who made this film. all the main actors are wonderful and swamp rat played his part just fine. Brad Pitt is great in this as he was in Troy. I love the score and haunting background sounds. that we had and have such men as this to do our countries bidding is amazing. I love this film. this reviewer is off. the partial face inside the tank that norman has to clean up is a remnant of the bow gunner who was killed and who norman replaces. congrats to Pitt and Ayers.

  4. Larry says:

    Obviously, from your comments and observations, you have never been been in combat nor have you served in a close knitted military unit. Your total lack of understanding of the situations and dynamics of combat are apparent from the onset if your review. With all due respect, do your research before you pass observations on something you know nothing about. You just embarrass yourself….

  5. Denise Hardeman says:

    I so hoped to view this film on the “big screen”, but was out of the country during it’s tenure. This is one of Pitt’s most brilliant performances as a now ” matured, aged actor”. His portrayal of Collins shows that the men who battled during World War 1 & 2, returned home, didn’t complain. Sure they suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but the brave men of that era, returned home, found productive jobs in order to support their families although the “memories, sights & sounds” from the battle ground were kept strongly silent NOT as those who fought for the US in Iraq & Afghanistan…who proudly proclaim PTSD as a reason to “cave”, expecting that tax dollars financially support their families because of the horrors of war. Certainly the military soldiers will forever “hear & see” memories of battle, but I believe way to many arrive home expecting tax dollars to be freely given out (except those of who were maimed & physically handicapped for the remainder of their lives). I believe ALL Americans should remember & show great thanks to the men who served in said wars, returning home & not complaining but mustered the strength to continue to be productive citizens of the USA. I believe PTSD is a very easily “gained method of financial support” as it appears the men of old wars proved it was possible to witness the most vile & evil sites of war & continue to have the character to continuing to be productive citizens of the USA. Great film for Vets & us…the folks that did NOT serve their country but of whom are so greatful to those that have done so.

  6. pablo says:

    The Germans who have seen the film must be dying of laughter. nothing credible, pure propaganda of the American hero

  7. Michael chesler says:

    Just read the silly critique by Mr. Debruge…..I am a rea estate developer in the Midwest but like movies and studied literature In college……I thought the director work hard to tell a small story about a small moment in a big war….clearly he took a risks with the actors and screenplay….I will bet Mr. Debruge’s sum total of real work risk taking is thst of a walk after dark…this critic is condescending and his words are replete with sadness from a failed life.

  8. Dale says:

    Your entire review lacked knowledge of the subject being reviewed and showed that you either have no idea what you are talking about or you are incredibly bias and just don’t like or understand war movies………platoon 0f 300 strong ? Really? German scalp? Not at all it was an Americans face. While the third act of the movie may seem a bit cheesy the idea of it is not at all Hollywood , there are countless stories of tank crews and even single men ( Audy Murphy ) holding off huge numbers of enemy soldigers. MANY MEN ON ALL SIDES OF THE WAR WERE ORDERD TO HOLD SOMETHING TO THE LAST MAN ON MANY OCCASIONS. If they did not stay and defend that crossroad the Germans would have been at the base of 3000 doctors cooks and mechanics in hours , pay attention if you are gonna write reviews. WHAT WAS HOLLYWOOD is the way the fight unfolds though it is very difficult to show actual battle tactics in movies cuz it does not turn out well for the screen. JON BERNTHAL was great in his role , Shia LAbeouf amazing .Everyone else good . You don’t what your doing as a critic

  9. PvtFstClass says:

    It made American soldiers look more like Nazi’s.

    • Dale says:

      How so ? Did they murder there own people? Or kill 6 million Jews?or execute children and old men? They executed ss soldigers , this is very real , it did happen.they taunted a ss prisoner , this was also common.unfortunatly the us like every other country had a spoils of war doctrine meaning when we go in there take what you want as long as you do your job .it today’s wars that is not ok cuz it’s a different scenario all together back then it was ok as it should have been.

  10. Keith lee says:

    unfortunately the critic was not there
    I was. He doesn’t know or understand what was going on
    This movie brought back tearful memories as i watched my countrymen die
    I may forget to put milk back in icebox but this movie made me appreciate what we fought for even tho the French today have forgotten.

  11. Love Movies says:

    I couldn’t believe that a commander (Pitt) would allow himself and his troops to commit suicide for some subjective reasoning not part of any larger plan… and then decide to all drink whisky instead of make a prepare for the fight. The moment the crew leaves the tank to get more ammo is stupid hollywood at it’s worst, wouldn’t they have noticed they didn’t have the ammo inside the tank?? If the film was trying to be comic this would be ok but Fury seems to attempt these greater social commentary aspects while keeping a Die Hard action status and I kinda, mostly, totally wanted to blow chunks by the end.

    • Dillinger23 says:

      Thanks for the myriad spoilers not having seen the film yet. Well done you.

      • Dale says:

        It was not subjective reasoning, if he did not stay and defend that crossroad the Germans would have been at a lightly defended supply base/ aid station in a matter of hours , they could have crippled the whole company.pay attention to the movie. history show that nearly all soldigers make that same choice in that position and don’t forget his orders were to hold that crossroad They did prepare , hours had gone by by the time they needed to get more ammo, the quarters are tight they cannot fit all the ammo, the third act is cheesy but only in its execution not its plausability

  12. Chuck says:

    Shows how little attention you were paying to the storyline. the face Norman cleans out of the tank is the crewman who was killed, not some Kraut!
    Only real inaccuracy was the SS trooper sparing Norman when he spotted him under the tank.
    And yes, by war’s end US troops routinely shot down SS troopers on sight. Why you say? Look up the Malmedy massacre

  13. ITTTY IT says:

    WHY is franchise slum Hollywood continuing to
    ——————‘mysteriosouly overlook’———————
    some 5 decades of milestone anniversaries for the
    ————————KOREAN WAR?————————

    WHY are we STILL looking at GQ World War II?

  14. Ted Cardy says:

    My wife and i really enjoyed the film , and there seems to be a difference opinion what tank it was a Sherman or a Grant in the reviews i have read,i am not a Pitt fan but i went to be entertained,and from what i can remember it was not a german soldiers scalp in was an american tank soldiers face.

  15. fredcehak says:

    While a good depiction of war’s brutality , inhumanity, blah blah , it had the same disappointing comic book aspects as ‘Saving private Ryan ‘. All the great attention to detail was spoilt by some laughable action scenes where the enemy run around in the open and forget to shoot back. This was understandable in post-war movies and I’m sure audiences are expecting better than ‘Captain America’. This is a timely morale boosting flick , dwelling on a time when the enemy was clearly defined and you could win by throwing enough hardware at them.

  16. richard says:

    I don’t know what movie Debruge attended. The opening numbers were great and I saw it yesterday and can unequivocally say that it is a great WWII film with a brilliant performance by Brad Pitt as a “John Wayne” type who show the audience the dehumanizing effect of war on the soldiers as they learn to love killing. Yes we all can have our critical points, Was the film too gory and unrealistic based on that, Does the final Custer’s Last Stand make the film believable at all??? But in the end does the film give you an insight into something you can ever imagine, being inside an inferior US M4 tank in Germany at the end of the war when everyone knew the was over yet out of military necessity with the unrelenting Nazi driven army these US soldiers had to continue killing and causing mayhem these small German towns as everyone was moving on Berlin. I am sorry Mr. Debruge but I believe you are way off on this one.

  17. Jeango says:

    I trust myself to be a critic and my critical self loved this movie. My father fought in WWII and I grew up with countless war movies. While I knew about tanks, I don’t recall a movie that brought you so vividly inside a warring tank. War is ugly and much of this film is ugly. Besides the blood, guts, mud and amo, there is the psychological journey of the tank crew – how they found what they needed to survive as individuals and then to become part of a trusted team and what happens when the new man comes in. We don’t know about Wardaddy’s scarred back, why is Bible so radical, Coon so beastial and Norman so pale. Why these men and why the chosen replacement? I like a film that keeps me thinking and this one does. A must see. I will go so far as to suggest a nod to the Oscars for the film and actors.

  18. alex says:

    If you didnt sound so snobby and conceded I wouldn’t care to post this but your wrong in so many places that you attitude adds to it. One was shia labouf didnt black his teeth out. He angered the whole cast by pulling his took out on set. Also many tankers made last stands like this.

  19. Paul says:

    Mr Debrugge. You are very wrong Sir. The final scene you saw, while not strictly factual, is based on one of the greatest acts of individual courage ever displayed in the Second World War. Do your research and read Belton Cooper’s classic novel “Death Traps.” I assure you Sir, these heroic stands were very common. One of my high school teachers had three Shermans destroyed from under him.

  20. Eric says:

    In the unlikely and amazing military accomplishments department, remember that Sergeant Alvin York killed something like 28 Germans and took about 140 prisoner by himself during one engagement in WW I.

  21. Brooke Bortell says:

    My boss’s father was part of a tank crew in WWII, and apparently he endured a very similar situation. Never happened? Perhaps we should not make assumptions about things we do not know…history books only tell us so much

  22. Jim Chorazy says:

    Why guess at military group sizes? A platoon is approximately 40 soldiers — so, 300 soldiers is obviously something other than platoon-sized.

  23. I do have to agree with more than a few other posters here-the writer, the author of this criticism should have done some more real research on WWII prior to making more than a few of his comments rather than relying on what he thought happened in WWII and what he thought happened in the movie. Heck, just watching Patton 360 or Great Tank Battles would have given one a better idea what happened and what was going on in movie.

  24. Machine says:

    Criticism is supposed to be better written, researched, and informed than mere opinion right? Is that what a critic does? This one seems to have cut a lot of corners on this review. Very lazy and sloppily covered. The only “scalp” we’ll see is this review being hung on Ayer’s wall after this film banks major profits and lands multiple well earned awards on its way to becoming a cult favorite. Pitt may even get an Oscar nomination. Great film, even with the Hollywood ending. This review was a totally misfire.

  25. Michael says:

    I don’t think that was a German “scalp” inside that U.S. tank. Now that would have been something! He was obviously cleaning up his predecessor. And has anyone heard of a “scalp” with an eye in it? As for realism, amazing how intact the bodies inside the tank were after two hand grenade explosions in that confined space. Or that Pitt could carry on after taking three high caliber rounds from a sniper. Come on!

    • alex says:

      High caliber rounds tend to be able to go through the body. It would have been a clean shot through. Yes painful and would lead tp death but not instant by any means sir.

      • Dale says:

        This happens alot actually , ( rounds penetrating through and through and not hitting vital organs ) the 7.92 German was slightly larger then the us 7.62 but it did not have near the same energy.there is a story in a book called shooter real life sniper hits a Iraqi soldgiers twice in the chest and the lived and was totally aware and able to communicate

  26. Robert says:

    I have to admit the reviewer didn’t seem to pay enough attention to the movie, some huge mistakes in his retelling of the story.
    I also have to admit that I really, really wanted this to be a great movie!
    I felt let down…
    The look of the film was great, the sound was a little loud at times. The acting was fine for the most part. The problem was we have seen all of it before. How many war movies have you seen in the past that didn’t have these same characters? The religious guy, the mean stupid guy, the new guy and of course the “war worn” hard solder guy? (the ranks change but the character doesn’t) We even throw in the inexperienced clean cut and clean uniform officer from the Vietnam era of movies.
    Even my wife who hates war movies knew Emma’s fate….It all follows the template of what he expect from a war movie…the only surprises for me were that he depicted the U.S. troops behaving badly, which is a very rare thing for that era, and the sene at the end where the German soldier didn’t kill the American. Still not sure what he was trying to say with that!
    The look of the film was great! The background music was at times distracting, it just seemed like it didn’t fit for this type of film. Did anyone watch the end credits? What was that? It seemed more like the end of a horror movie. Maybe that is what he was going for, but it really didn’t work for me, felt more like I went in one theater and walked out of another!

  27. Jack says:

    German solider’s scalp? Barbara? Did you even watch the film? It was part of a face that belonged to the former assistant driver that Norm was replacing. The girl’s name was Emma, not Barbara.

  28. prodikar says:

    how am I suppose to take this review seriously (unless someone else already has mentioned this?) if the critic was clearly not paying attention to critical details while sitting / sleeping through this great piece of narrative film? The skin the rookie assistant driver cleans belongs to his predecessor.

  29. Some astute students of history may point out that the plot of Mr. Pitts previous World War II outing is also fictitious and never could have happened unlike his most recent effort was is at the bare minimum at least plausible. The Battle of Villers-Bocage placed a Tiger (like the one from the movie) against an entire allied column…. and the German won the engagement. Even with the American Sherman being less well armed and armored the opponents that were faced were also less capable. Shooting down the film for lack of accuracy when your ideal historical movie is a farcical Tarantino film is going a bit far.

  30. IT 2 IT says:

    DIDN’T Pitt make this SAME flick —-LAST year?

    GQ goes to WWII is DONE–to–DEATH!

    GQ goes to war —-is NOWHERE!

  31. Donald Cuff says:

    Sadly, it isn’t possible to take anyone who thinks the foul mouth festival “Inglorious Basterds” was a “better” war film seriously.

  32. Konrad says:

    That was a very insightful & reasoned out review which I very much enjoyed reading. However I think you missed the point, that the real star of the show here is the tank and it’s Darth Vader like adversary. You wrote the style of the movie harkened back to an earlier era of film making..that the crew were one dimensional cut outs.. Well, I hate to point this out but a lot of classic era fact based war films such as “Battle of the Bulge” & the “Battle of Britain” also contained a lot of card board cut out historical characters and typical stereo types such as the tank crewman redneck. On that level the characters as they are are all we really need to know. The audience is along for the ride, as a camera newsman might have been trying to capture as much of the experience as he can in only a very limited period of time.. The attention to detail also wins for me the best supporting actor nod..Just consider, this is the first time ever that a genuine functioning WW2 German tiger tank has been used in a movie and is not some prop department mock up riding around mounted on a jeep..

  33. Eric Leibman says:

    RE: The movie “Fury.” I am puzzled. According to my understanding, by that stage of the war the Germans were almost entirely beaten. Huge numbers of German soldiers were actually trying to get to the Americans and the British so they could SURRENDER to them, fearing what the Russians would do to them if they were captured by the Red Army. What fierce fighting was going on at that point was almost entirely between the Russians and the Germans in the metro Berlin area. The Germans had completely ceased to be even a mild threat to the Americans by this point. So what possible menace could this German unit in “Fury” have possibly posed to American forces that it could logically be the stuff of a major film? Can anyone help me out here?

    • Roy Beers says:

      It was an SS battalion of panzergrenadiers whose position gave it the opportunity to strike at a vulnerable rear echelon supply dump, which would cause carnage and also slow the offensive on that part of the front. Even at this stage of the war, a perfectly credible scenario. In real lifed the Nazis would have had far more panzerschreck hand-held anti-tank weapons, and would have despatched the tank very quickly after recovering from their initial surprise. However still an excellent film – one of the most believable WW2 movies I’ve seen.

    • lukelukey says:

      Some german units were only too happy to surrender to the Americans -Volkksturm ‘volunteer’ units, made up of old men and Hitler Youth often chose reality over glory. Others, led by die-hard Nazi commanders, fought to the last man…

  34. Alas some of the greatest and most prolific films in US film history have never won an Oscar award, that’s just the way the system works out, not everyone can be recognized, yet the true merit of a film lay in its ultimate success with the audience without whom all else is trivial glitter. Sometimes it takes years or decades for a film to gather a loyal following and how lucky we are that these films were made. e will be poor shape if eeveryone makes movies with the same scripted template and formula.

  35. War movies from the eastern front are much rarer in the US film industry. ‘Enemy at the Gates’ was a pale adoption from the book which dealt with greater destruction and cruelty than most US movie audiences could bear. Remember the USSR last over 20 million people in WWII, neither the US or any other western nation can fathom that level of destruction. ‘Uncle Joe’s’ Red army took a serious revenge on the Germans.

  36. pete gibbons says:

    Any review that references SLA Marshall gets my vote. And, to answer the reviewer’s question about whether a single tank would stand its ground against a force of 300 enemy…Audie Murphy did it without the tank.

    • Concur- aside from those in the military history community, SLA Marshall is unknown, whereas Tom Clancy and James Ambrose are like ‘rock stars’, yet one cannot substitute popularity and fame for serious scholarship. SLA Marshall is correct about those in combat who never fired their weapons at the enemy, the USSR drew the same findings and this (among other factors) led to their adoption of the full-auto AK-47 assault rifle and the highly mobilized mathematically formula of battle. Conversely the Soviets discovered that soldiers tended to fire their weapons when given a fill automatic capability, thus a weapon firing even inaccuratly was better than a rifle that was never fired at the enemy, so the USSR soldiers were taught to fire their AK-47s and other weapons quite liberally in the direction of the enemy and it also made for good morale. The USSR doctrine was predicated on huge liberal logistic being available, so almost limitless ammunition supplied was assured. Just FYI.

  37. edmundcharles.55@gmail.com says:

    “Inglourious Basterds” is a ‘better film! By what yardstick? The biggest profanity, besides the story itself that is, is the spelling of the title of that film, to which any parenthood should be disowned- pure tongue-in-cheek spun BS! ‘Fury’ as a movie plot may have its limitations, for instance it would probably have been better timed to take place in August 1944 in France with the 3rd Army armored break-out under General Patton vice the waining days of the Third Reich. If these characters did serve together from North Africa, then they have indeed see a hell of a lot of combat and are suffering from the fatigue of long combat. ‘Yes’ soldiers ‘bond’ in combat with their fellow soldiers (Marines, Airmen, sailors) because you have to to both stay alive and to remain sane; the world only consists of that which is directly around you and tomorrow is merely a dream or a promise.

    I’d have placed a green armored corps private into the group instead of a ‘admin/typist’, who without any tank crew training is a definite crew liability, yet placing this greenhorn as the assistant driver/radio operator is the most least hazardous place for this soldier, unless or until the driver gets killed or wounded.

    As for scripted dialogue and action, well this is the ‘stuff of which movies and dreams’ are made’, every Hollywood movie is canned script of often lofty words and ideals by overly clever and intelligence script writers, do you for once think that Lawrence Olivier, Katherine Hepburn or Richard Burton could have cleverly composed the clever lines which they so famously spoke on the screen (‘yes’ I believe that Orson Wells was an exception here)? In reality, if most movies and TV shows depicted line, action and dialogue as it exist in the daily vernacular, there would exist no profitable entertainment media. ‘Entertainment’ by sheer design necessity is designed to enhance and embolden the ordinary and mundane to further make it dramatic and extraordinary.

  38. harveycritic says:

    The character played by Alicia von Rittberg is not Barbara, but rather Emma.

  39. Mike says:

    @DougW

    Here are some signs the film is in trouble.

    They moved it from November Oscar season to mid October. Never a good sign.

    The trailers look terrible. There doesn’t seem to be a story there, just unnatural sounding soundbites cut to music.

    We’ve hardly seen any of the Pitt-Jolie kids like we do when Brad goes all out for the PR push. Trust me, when Jolie releases her film in December, those kids will suddenly be EVERYWHERE.

    They wouldn’t have scheduled production of “By the Sea” to overlap with the release of this film if Pitt was going to be doing major press for this. He’s done all of two interviews so far… for British publications.

    • Hugh Daly says:

      I don’t think the reviewer actually saw the whole film. He makes so many mistakes about characters and plot. You know what they say, those who can do, those who can’t review.

  40. John T. says:

    “will rely on a strong showing overseas, where its fantasy of American exceptionalism will seem all the more egregious.”

    Yeah, I stopped reading after that.

  41. DougW says:

    How do you know there’s a “disappointing domestic reaction ahead”?

  42. Seem says:

    Interesting that this film has a much more impressive cast of Jewish actors (Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Isaacs) playing WWII soldiers than Pitt’s Inglourious Basterds did.

  43. “Not only did the standoff depicted in “Fury” never happen….” Since when did it have to happen, Dummy. It’s called a “movie”; it could be a play, a novel, a TV show, any of those things. What it does not have to be is a real occurrence or based on one. Learn your craft, Buster!!!

  44. harry georgatos says:

    The last thing I wanted to hear was bland and full of cliches. FURY needed to be a bloody and realist account in the mechanics of this battle. Still I plan to watch the movie as END OF WATCH was good in it’s execution by Ayer’s, not so much with the embarrasing he-man and he-woman grunt of the disappointing SABOTAGE.

  45. Theresa Corigliano says:

    This incident may not have happened, but I an tell you, having just returned from commemorating the 70th Anniversary of D Day, there are countless stories of a handful of American or British soldiers being severely outnumbered and taking a stand.

  46. macd says:

    Shia LaBeouf a “pretty-boy”? This talent-free creep may be a lot of things, but “pretty-boy” isn’t one of them!

    • Dale says:

      Shia LAbeouf is creepy , he is not a pretty boy but he surely does not lack talent, brad Pitt stated that Shia is the greatest actor he knows. Shia killed it in this movie , tears in his eyes almost the whole time. He is quite talented

  47. Hugh Daly says:

    The reviewer shows his lack of research into the origins of the story & plot points as this hit piece unfolds. I predict Ayer and Co will get numerous awards including Oscar nods before the sound of tank combat recedes in Hollywood.

    • Mike says:

      I love how when anybody dares to criticize anything Pitt related it has to be a conspiracy. It’s not a hit piece. It’s simply a review by someone who didn’t care for the film.

    • H.M. says:

      Yes Oscars nods a plenty! “Mission Accomplished” too.
      My eyes hurt they rolled so much on that comment.

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