Serviceable, not high ranking.
| Original Score: B-
The vets tell the truth, by any reasonable measure, and then the filmmaker stirs the elements as filmmakers always do, whether partisan or neutral.
Inevitably, the film has the air of an extended campaign ad, but that doesn't make its subjects and the stories they tell any less compelling.
Alexander, a political writer and radio host, gets riveting, emotional confessionals from the veterans.
| Original Score: 3/4
The documentary is well edited, well paced, and feels genuine. It's educational, important and enjoyable independent of the Kerry campaign.
Tellingly, [John] Kerry is a much more compelling speaker during a 1970s protest rally than in the contemporary footage, where he carefully chooses his words.
| Original Score: 2.75/5
The four men offer powerful eyewitness testimony against the subsequent charges that Kerry didn't deserve his Silver Star for courage and his three Purple Hearts.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
A respectfully modest effort that allows Kerry and his Swift boat comrades to tell their stories in their own voices.
Filmed before the Swift boat veterans brouhaha, Paul Alexander's partisan documentary is effective filmmaking.
| Original Score: 4/5
The movie's main contribution is its fresh look at the Vietnam War, being refought in the Kerry-Bush presidential campaign at the time of the film's release.
| Original Score: 4/4
As for the candidate, like Tony Wilson in 24 Hour Party People, he's wisely content to remain a supporting character in his own life story.
It may be an "all-black" Western, but Brothers in Arms would have been pretty darn laughable with actors of any race, creed, or color.
| Original Score: 2/5
the talking heads format just doesn't make for compelling film, despite its timeliness
| Original Score: C-
For a feature film, this clearly partisan documentary about the Swift boat crew that served under John Kerry in Vietnam is pretty slight, but for a campaign commercial -- which is what it feels like -- it's pretty long.
Will this film do Kerry any good, or the Swifties any harm? My bet is: Not a bit, one way or the other.
Basically a longer, less slick version of the official Kerry profile unveiled at the Democratic National Convention.
| Original Score: 2/4