Title: “Dirty Wars”
Director: Rick Rowley
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Jeremy Schahill is an investigative journalist with The Nation. “Dirty Wars” is based on his book of the same name where he investigates the secret “kill list” and a hidden military group conduct America’s secret killings in the war on terror.
Okay, so that synopsis sounds a bit over-dramatic. And it kind of is. The film is told and edited in such a way as to make it more of a spy-thriller than a documentary. Seriously, the movie portrays Scahill more like a superhero, James-Bond-style spy than a journalist.
Secondly, a lot of what’s shown in this movie isn’t that secret. If you’ve paid any attention to the news over the last few years, and if you’re seeing this movie you probably have, then none of this is going to come as a surprise to you. I think the producers misread their audience with this one. From the existence of JSOC to the “kill list” of assassination targets, none of this is really that revelatory.
If you’re unfamiliar with the subject, it might be more interesting, although I also wouldn’t recommend this film as an introduction to its subjects. It’s told in such a dramatic style that it will likely scare the crap out of unfamiliar viewers.
That’s not to say it’s bad. It does remind us of an important political subject as well as tells its story fairly well. But the drama is sometimes over the top and, in my opinion, can actually detract from the movie’s message. “Dirty Wars” is okay, but again, it doesn’t really tell us anything that we don’t already know.
“Dirty Wars” earns 3 out of 5 stars.
“Dirty Wars” is available to view at the time of this writing through Netflix.