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Full Battle Rattle (2008)


Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 31
Fresh: 23
Rotten: 8

Critics Consensus: Full Battle Rattle is an insightful, eye-opening account of the preparations soldiers must make for their service in Iraq.

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 12
Fresh: 9
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: Full Battle Rattle is an insightful, eye-opening account of the preparations soldiers must make for their service in Iraq.


Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 242



Movie Info

Before American soldiers are deployed to Iraq, they're given special training at the National Training Center on the Ft. Irwin Military Reservation, located in California's Mojave Desert. The National Training Center has constructed a simulated Iraqi village called Medina Wasl in the desert, where new soldiers battle "insurgents" (played by returning U.S. troops) and interact with "ordinary citizens" (many portrayed by Iraqi exiles who've ended up in the United States) as they learn the ins and … More

Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Sep 22, 2009

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Critic Reviews for Full Battle Rattle

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (8) | DVD (2)

A docu about modern war games in the California desert contains little insight into the Iraq War.

October 18, 2008
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

A so-so pic on an incendiary subject.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

A keenly insightful film concerning an unusual training program for war-bound U.S. soldiers.

Full Review… | August 8, 2008
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Full Battle Rattle works just fine as a two-fisted combat story, with unexpected bursts of violence peppering that old universal message that war is hell. But the added layer of pretense pushes the movie to another level.

Full Review… | July 10, 2008
AV Club
Top Critic

One of the many surreal aspects of this fabulously disorienting movie: its representation of an Iraqi heaven that's an American hell.

Full Review… | July 10, 2008
Village Voice
Top Critic

Just when I thought I had heard everything about the war in Iraq, along comes Full Battle Rattle.

Full Review… | July 9, 2008
New York Post
Top Critic

Like any documentary about putting on a show, Full Battle Rattle abounds with mirth-provoking incongruities between the effect aimed for and the means used to achieve it.

Full Review… | November 4, 2013
The Nation

Somewhere in the Mohave Desert, the U.S. military maintains a large rural compound that contains several fake Iraqi towns. It's Disneyland for war games

Full Review… | June 27, 2009

An entertaining, often very funny, but ultimately revealing and unsettling film about a US Army camp in the Mojave Desert where Iraq War conditions are simulated for training purposes.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Screen International

Keeping the style objective and routine, [co-directors Tony] Gerber and [Jesse] Moss remain non-judgmental of the bizarre carnival they have uncovered.

Full Review… | August 14, 2008
Film Threat

It is an enlightening lesson in modern warfare.

Full Review… | August 8, 2008
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

this is such small stakes compared to the real war that the film can't help but feel equally unimportant.

Full Review… | July 30, 2008
Paste Magazine

If you thought Disneyland was fun, take a trip to this complete simulated Iraqi village in California, and learn how the other half live. And die.

Full Review… | July 27, 2008
Monsters and Critics

Educational and enlightening.

Full Review… | July 14, 2008
Film Journal International

This increasingly complicated scenario isn't scripted, peace is far from guaranteed and the line between reality and its incredible simulation has a funny way of getting blurry.

Full Review… | July 11, 2008
TV Guide's Movie Guide

On one level, Full Battle Rattle is enjoyable for the theatrics ... On a second level ... is appreciable for what it says about the U.S. military's involvement in Iraq.

Full Review… | July 11, 2008

In Full Battle Rattle, the Iraq Simulation and the war are both real and not real, confusing, painful, and horrific, for the refugees working as role players.

Full Review… | July 11, 2008

While you may wish the filmmakers had included fewer scenic shots of the sun setting over California‚(TM)s high desert and instead played devil's advocate more often, the impact of Full Battle Rattle stems from its political and ideological neutrality.

Full Review… | July 9, 2008
Boxoffice Magazine

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