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Gunner Palace (2005)



Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 104
Fresh: 88 | Rotten: 16

A shapeless documentary, but shows what's it like for the soldiers on the ground.


Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 35
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 5

A shapeless documentary, but shows what's it like for the soldiers on the ground.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 2,367

My Rating

Movie Info

Shortly after President George W. Bush announced that "major combat operations have ended" in the war in Iraq, filmmaker Michael Tucker (a self-described "Army brat" whose father served in Vietnam) traveled to Baghdad, where he and his camera crew were embedded with the 2-3 Army Field Artillery unit, improbably based out of a bombed-out mansion which once belonged to Saddam Hussein and his son Uday. Tucker and his crew spent two months with the soldiers of the 2-3 FA (in September 2003 and

Jun 28, 2005


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All Critics (112) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (88) | Rotten (16) | DVD (13)

Tucker takes it all in without taking a stand, though his sympathies -- expressed through voiceover narration -- clearly lie with the men and women in the field.

April 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You certainly can't question Tucker's bravery, but you may occasionally feel the urge to ask him to be quiet.

April 7, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While Gunner Palace has the immediacy of street rap, it is actually a throwback to the cinema verite style of pioneering documentarians D.A. Pennebaker, Albert Maysles and Frederick Wiseman.

March 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

But they're very good at documenting the tedium of the place and the work, the banal dangers of an occupation where the enemy could be anyone.

March 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A powerful film, going beyond the casualty statistics and minute-long news clips to provide a sense of what it must be like for the guys and girls over there.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

A rambling war documentary without a political agenda about U.S. soldiers of the 2/3 Field Artillery stationed in Iraq.

July 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein know that now is the time to make sure people know what the Iraqi War looks like and hopefully they will.

July 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

A commendably apolitical visit to the soldiers in Iraq

July 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

As unalloyed a look at who our people are in the Iraqi theatre of war and how they're conducting themselves as anything recorded.

July 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

Gunner Palace is not a great film, but it is a contentious one.

July 5, 2005 Full Review Source:

Avoids political views and is instead a tribute to the John and Jane Smiths of the American military risking their lives for an ideal rather than a clear goal.

July 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Movie Views

not quite as rogue as its filmmakers appear to think,

June 16, 2005 Full Review Source:

Esta versão estendida (e entediante) de COPS se preocupa tanto em mostrar os soldados chocados por serem odiados que se esquece de comentar que eles nem deveriam estar ali.

May 3, 2005
Cinema em Cena

If you have friends or relatives who are serving in Iraq and you want to know what they are up to, this is the film for you.

April 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

The filmmakers have created a thought-provoking documentary that is at times disturbing, uncomfortable, brutal, profane and amusing.

April 19, 2005 Full Review
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

The film, though sympathetic to the soldiers, is really an homage to the very worst in American culture.

April 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

A brief peek into a chaotic world but devoid of the context needed to appreciate these soldiers' sacrifice.

April 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Des Moines Register
Des Moines Register

Although this embedded view is revealing, watching the unformed footage becomes tedious.

April 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

Gunner Palace is important because of its unique depiction of military service.

April 8, 2005

You get a glimpse of what a tour of duty in Baghdad is really like.

April 8, 2005
Fresno Bee

The filmmakers strove to shock a society addicted to "reality" TV by forging through and actually showing them something actually real.

April 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Frank and fascinating, Gunner Palace brings the Iraqi War home, putting the dangerous and boring lives of U.S. soldiers into equally provocative perspective.

April 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Movie Boeuf
Movie Boeuf

Audience Reviews for Gunner Palace

Gunner Palace is a riveting documentary about the Iraq War. Director Michael Tucker plunges us deep in the action and gives something we would not normally see. This is a raw and gritty documentary that shows us what war is really like. Gunner Palace plunges deep in the action, and it is a riveting documentary that will certainly appeal to viewers interested in warfare. Along with Restrepo, this is one of the best films on the subject of modern war. Everything you see is unique, intense and unforgettable. I thought that the material was riveting and exciting due to the fact that it's not something that we wouldn't normally see. Gunner Palace is a finely crafted picture that is among the finest documentaries in recent memory. This is a must see for viewers interested in the subject of the war in Iraq. This is unfiltered to show you exactly how it is, and a lot of it is shocking, but all very real. Gunner Palace is sure to appeal to war buffs, and if you're interested in war and military subjects, then give this one a shot. The film gives you a taste of what it's like, and it is entertaining from start to finish. You're on the edge of your seat from the first frame onwards as we see the men constantly in harm's way. This is a riveting film that is sure to make you think and appreciate what Military personal go through. If you're looking for a great documentary to watch, then Gunner Palace is the one for you. Films like this are great to watch because we get to see something that we'd never see due to the fact that many people nowadays are interested reality TV. However this is real, and for that reason it makes it that much more interesting.
May 31, 2013
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic][color=darkslategray]"Gunner Palace" is an enlightening documentary about an American infantry company in Baghdad in 2003 and 2004, following the American invasion, as they patrol the volatile city and live in what used to be Uday Hussein's sumptuous palace. The movie makes the good point about these soldiers being trained against standard forces; now being an occupying force and carrying out police and other duties, that they were not trained for.(In retrospect, this film sort of reminded me about the reality show "Cops" and the fictional show "The Shield.") I learned about what kind of lives these soliders lead when they are not on duty. The film does sympathize with the soldiers while Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is held up for ridicule for some of the statements he has made. My only complaint was I wished this film had shown more things from the Iraqi point of view, too. [/color][/font]
April 17, 2005
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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