Opening

64% The Maze Runner Sep 19
—— A Walk Among the Tombstones Sep 19
53% This Is Where I Leave You Sep 19
82% Tracks Sep 19
90% The Guest Sep 17

Top Box Office

13% No Good Deed $24.3M
73% Dolphin Tale 2 $15.9M
92% Guardians of the Galaxy $8.1M
19% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $4.9M
20% Let's Be Cops $4.4M
88% The Drop $4.1M
37% If I Stay $3.9M
36% The November Man $2.8M
33% The Giver $2.6M
67% The Hundred-Foot Journey $2.4M

Coming Soon

68% The Equalizer Sep 26
69% The Boxtrolls Sep 26
86% The Two Faces of January Sep 26
—— Two Night Stand Sep 26
91% Jimi: All Is by My Side Sep 26

Premieres Tonight

—— Brickleberry: Season 3
—— The Mindy Project: Season 3
—— New Girl: Season 4

New Episodes Tonight

88% Finding Carter: Season 1
67% Matador: Season 1
83% Sons of Anarchy: Season 7

Discuss Last Night's Shows

71% Dallas: Season 3
62% Under the Dome: Season 2

Three Kings (1999)

tomatometer

94

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 129
Fresh: 121 | Rotten: 8

Three Kings successfully blends elements of action, drama, and comedy into a thoughtful, exciting movie on the Gulf War.

90

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 26 | Rotten: 3

Three Kings successfully blends elements of action, drama, and comedy into a thoughtful, exciting movie on the Gulf War.

audience

77

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 183,749

My Rating

Movie Info

Three stars team up for this unusual look at America's role in the war against Iraq. In 1991, as the Gulf War winds to a close, three American servicemen find themselves happy to have achieved victory but wondering about the ultimate importance of what they've done (especially since Saddam Hussein is still in power). Major Archie Gates (George Clooney) is a decorated Vietnam veteran and special forces officer with two weeks to go before he retires; Sgt. Troy Barlow (Mark Wahlberg) has a new baby

R,

Action & Adventure, Comedy

David O. Russell

Sep 4, 2001

Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Three Kings

June 26, 2014:
Mark Wahlberg's 10 Best Movies
During the early 1990s, while he was flashing his abs and modeling underwear as Marky Mark, few...
November 5, 2010:
Ice Cube and David O. Russell Developing Police Drama
David O. Russell and Ice Cube are making plans to reunite for a police drama that New Line is eyeing...

ADVERTISEMENT

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (133) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (121) | Rotten (8) | DVD (26)

A damning yet idealistic satire about the motives behind U.S. foreign policy.

August 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The last reel descends into a muddle of trade-offs, heroic about-turns and romanticised rebels, but this is defiant, provocative cinema; Russell may yet prove a film-maker to treasure.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

No, Three Kings is not a great picture, but it is a very good one, perhaps the first feature of merit to come out of the Gulf War.

April 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ultimately, instead of drawing us in, his swagger and the dazzle of his pyrotechnics keep us at a remove from the savagery. They become abstractions, too.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It has the freedom and recklessness of Oliver Stone or Robert Altman in their mad-dog days, and a visual style that hungers for impact.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The first Hollywood feature to take on the 1991 Gulf War, Three Kings does so in an impudently comic, stylistically aggressive and, finally, very thoughtful manner.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of Hollywood's few films about the Gulf War, David O. Russell's Three Kings is an original war feature that's effective as a social satire as well as political critique.

February 4, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Violent, liberal George Clooney Gulf War caper.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Ithis is a career making movie, then its writer/director David O. Russell who deserves the credit with this very creative effort from the debut filmmaker.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Dark Horizons
Dark Horizons

Three Kings mightn't be the best thought-out or most reassuring movie of the year, but the more I think about it, the more I'm sure that it is one of the best.

June 28, 2009 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

It's amazing how much action can be crammed into a movie about a war where most soldiers didn't actually see any action. Three Kings has its fair share of shootouts, none that are merely squeezed in for guilty pleasures. Every shot fired is motivated by c

April 9, 2009 Full Review Source: AskMen.com

Far more intelligent and perceptive than most actioners, yet with enough thrills and spills to satisfy adrenaline junkies.

August 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

(The) screenplay abruptly changes tone after the first half-hour, eventually incorporating some genuinely harrowing sequences... The final picture becomes something noticeably deeper and smarter than its first reels suggest.

August 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette | Comment (1)
Kalamazoo Gazette

Worth watching.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

With characters you can root for and a story that is both engaging and honest, Three Kings goes for the gold and comes out a winner.

May 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Mixed Reviews

Keilich strikes a sweetly engaging balance between humor and pathos.

March 12, 2007 Full Review Source: culturevulture.net
culturevulture.net

An action movie with a conscience.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Go see it for the effects, action and treasure hunt story, but enjoy the intelligence, too.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

It's an outrageous comedy and a challenging morality play, while at heart its a classic Western (set in an unlikely context).

January 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Looking Closer | Comment (1)
Looking Closer

Combinando humor e drama com talento, funciona como uma dura crítica à política belicista dos EUA - sendo tão (ou mais) relevante hoje em dia do que quando foi lançado.

September 13, 2004
Cinema em Cena

The violence and profanity are there, but so is a sharp-edged political point of view, interesting characters and a plot enhanced with dark humor.

June 25, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

A map that leads as near to the Iraqi heart as we can find in American movies.

April 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Snobs
Film Snobs

From frame one, the cinematography of Newton Thomas Sigel is also unmistakable. The washed-out look and grainy feel of the picture puts the audience right into the harsh and unmerciful desert heat.

March 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Hollywood.com
Hollywood.com

Audience Reviews for Three Kings

This is quite simply the best anti-war movie since Catch 22. Wild, whacko, irreverent, chaotic, you are never sure what will happen next or where your loyalties lie. The innate utter stupidity of war is beautifully exposed, as are the often all too ordinary motivations of those who participate in it - lust for adventure, fame, promotion, wealth, but also sudden compassion, honesty and reflection. A roller coaster ride of action and thrills with sudden counterpoints of instant horror that make you think and ashamed of yourself for laughing out loud just a moment before. If this doesn't shake some holy beliefs in the truth of what we are told, and the justification for what we are doing, nothing will. Highly recommended! 4 Stars 4-2-14
August 19, 2014
bbcfloridabound
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
June 21, 2014
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

A great war film with flawed, unheroic characters. Captures the mercenary spirit of (some) soldiers which undoubtedly exists but is rarely portrayed in war films. There is a beautiful sense of isolation and desperation depicted in this gritty film.
June 7, 2013
cchclaw

Super Reviewer

I thought I had previously rated and reviewed this, but I guess not.

Directed by David O. Russell, this is a movie based on a true story about three American servicemen during the Gulf War who hatch a plan to make off with a stash of Kuwaiti gold stolen by Saddam Hussein. The three initially decide to make off with the fortune, but the closer they get to finding it, the more they realize the truth and consequences about the role of the U.S. in the part of the world, and the realities of American foreign policy. These revelations have profound impacts on the men, forcing them all to make some tough choices and evaluations.

While the set up alone is great, what makes the movie really shine is how ambitious it is in terms of genre classification. It's humorous (at times), quite serious and dramatic at others, and in general a really scathing socio/political satire. Oh eyah, it's also a war film, too. It's a mix that doesn't always work, but manages to in this case, thanks in no small part to the skill of the director.

It's not all on him, though. The script is quite great, and very intelligent, the casting is top notch, with the three leads of George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Ice Cube all delivering very fine work, providing nicely rounded and developed characters. Yes, even Ice Cube (for those who doubt he actually does having acting skills).

The action scenes are well done, and don't upstage the meat of the picture, the camerawork and editing are pretty good, and the fact that the film finds a nice balance between entertaining and enlightening is remarkable.

Definitely give this one a shot, it's terrific.
December 19, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Major Archie Gates: They helped us find it, Ron. We made a deal. It's a soldier's honor, ya can't fuck 'em now.
    – Submitted by Jason S (9 months ago)
    1. Sergeant Troy Barlow: Okay. Well, then you choose who we take. Tell the others it's not convenient and they're gonna have to die because I can't do that, Chief, okay? You're gonna have to do that yourself.
    – Submitted by Jason S (9 months ago)
    1. Conrad Vig: Come on, man, this is good music. Man, Judas Priest'll pump you up, man.
    2. Chief Elgin: No. We're not listenin' to that headache music. Stop.
    3. Conrad Vig: Just one song.
    4. Chief Elgin: What you need is that Easy Listenin' Classics.
    5. Conrad Vig: (reacting to Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now") I do not need that.
    6. Chief Elgin: You need somthin' to calm your nerves.
    7. Conrad Vig: Not Easy Listenin' Classics.
    – Submitted by Jason S (9 months ago)
    1. Walter Wogaman: Can I have my pants, please? Pants, on my legs.
    – Submitted by Jason S (9 months ago)
    1. Debbie Barlow: What was that?
    2. Sergeant Troy Barlow: A wall just exploded.
    3. Debbie Barlow: I thought the war was over, honey.
    4. Sergeant Troy Barlow: Well, it is and it isn't, babe. Could you do me a favor and call the Reserve Center?
    – Submitted by Jason S (9 months ago)
    1. Walter Wogaman: Military regulations, you cannot drive. Step away from the Chenoweth, ma'am. Don't make me shoot you, ma'am.
    – Submitted by Jason S (9 months ago)
View all quotes (19)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Three Kings on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

Red Carpet Roundup
Red Carpet Roundup

100 pics from Toronto Film Fest

Hunger Games
Hunger Games

New Mockingjay - Part 1 trailer

New on DVD & Blu-Ray
New on DVD & Blu-Ray

Godzilla, The Fault in Our Stars

24 Frames
24 Frames

Longest-running American sitcoms gallery

Foreign Titles

  • Three Kings (DE)
  • Three Kings (2000) (CA)
Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile