Memorial Day (2008)


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Filmmaker Josh Fox offers a troubling look into the hearts and minds of American fighting men in this independent drama. Memorial Day opens with a bunch of college students and off-duty soldiers drinking and whooping it up at a beach party in Ocean City, MD, and as the liquor flows, the hijinks become less good-natured and more threatening until several women are raped by the men. We next catch up with the culprits when they're on patrol in Iraq, ferreting out insurgents and passing their spare time playing practical jokes and watching porn movies. The men are then assigned new duties as guards at a military prison, and much as they showed a troubling enthusiasm for assaulting women at home, they clearly enjoy heaping abuse on the prisoners they're supposed to watch until their actions become a clear parallel to the crimes committed at Abu Ghraib. Adapted from a theater piece by Fox and featuring actors from his International Wow Company, Memorial Day was created without the approval or participation of the United States military, though Iraq War veteran Jason Christopher Hartley was a technical advisor on the production.


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Critic Reviews for Memorial Day

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (5)

Yes, Memorial Day is as dumb and unwatchable as it sounds.

Feb 6, 2009 | Rating: .5/4 | Full Review…

Most of the last hour of Memorial Day feels like a retread at least, and horribly exploitative at worst.

Feb 5, 2009 | Rating: C+
AV Club
Top Critic

Memorial Day moves from clever mock documentary to groan-inducing conceptualism.

Feb 4, 2009 | Rating: 2/5

Back in Iraq, the film's trite, unexamined spectacle of men and women behaving badly proceeds.

Feb 3, 2009 | Full Review…

For all its visceral assaults and improv-ish aesthetics, in the end Memorial Day offers a conventional moral assessment.

Feb 6, 2009 | Rating: 5/10 | Full Review…

To simply show bad behavior is not to adequately critique it.

Feb 6, 2009 | Rating: 0.5/4 | Full Review…

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