Boys of Abu Ghraib (2014)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

From the Producers of "Blood Diamond" and "The Last Samurai," this dramatic war thriller follows soldier Jack Farmer (Luke Moran) from small town America to Iraq's most infamous prison, Abu Ghraib, where he's tasked with guarding the Army's highest priority detainees. Pressured by his superior (Sean Astin) into using harsh techniques on a seemingly innocent detainee (Omid Abtahi), the seductive allure of war quickly turns to a haunting reality that threatens to break him. Based on the true events that shocked the world in 2004.(c) Vertical
R (for disturbing situations involving torture and violence, language throughout and some sexual content)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Vertical Entertainment

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Luke Moran
as Jack Farmer
Sara Paxton
as Peyton
Scott Patterson
as Captain Hayes
Omid Abtahi
as Ghazi Hammoud
John Heard
as Sam Farmer
Sean Astin
as Tanner
Cru Ennis
as Shaw
Debrianna Mansini
as Carol Farmer
Jennifer Ferran
as Kelly Farmer
Morgan Gardiner
as Sabrina Farmer
Kevin Wiggins
as Sergeant Pratt
AJ Subat
as Jimmy Dean
Luis Bordonada
as Ramirez
Kristen Rakes
as Franklin
Jermaine Washington
as Sergeant Holt
Tyler Shields
as Private Ferrell
Levi Boultinghouse
as Private Smith
Fred Moran
as Taxi Driver
Alain Azoulay
as News Anchor Bill Buchanan
Monica Moon
as News Anchor Michelle Williams
Kurly Tlapoyawa
as Unruly Detainee
Mokhtiar S. Bal
as Unruly Detainee
Rick Vargas
as Unruly Detainee
Brahim Ajallah
as Bartender
Wayne Hodge
as Old Man River
Eric Martinez
as Mr. Clean
Wyatt Stephenson
as Soldier in Portajon
Nick Ossorgin
as Corner Man
Zach Dulin
as Motor Pool Soldier
Wayno Sanchez
as Motor Pool Soldier
David Chavez C.
as Motor Pool Soldier
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News & Interviews for Boys of Abu Ghraib

Critic Reviews for Boys of Abu Ghraib

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (5)

Boys of Abu Ghraib is a credible depiction of the tedium, frustration and humiliation of wartime service.

Full Review… | March 29, 2014
Top Critic

Writer-director-star Luke Moran's drama about Abu Ghraib is an ambitious if not particularly revealing debut.

Full Review… | March 28, 2014
Top Critic

"Boys of Abu Ghraib" has a few, brief insights into how boredom, anger, and frustration helped fuel the rage that led to torture but the film couches it all in the filmmaking of TV-movie melodrama, draining it of all potential power or social context.

Full Review… | March 27, 2014
Top Critic

A halfhearted attempt at truly getting inside these men's and women's heads to make sense of their actions, which is ostensibly the purpose of dramatizing such a recent and shameful ordeal.

Full Review… | March 27, 2014
Village Voice
Top Critic

The film hardly scratches Abu Ghraib's surface.

Full Review… | March 27, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Its tendency to water down the realities of Abu Ghraib trivializes its subject instead of providing depth or context.

Full Review… | March 28, 2014

Audience Reviews for Boys of Abu Ghraib

I think this movie really captures the fog of war. The realism of it makes that aspect scary. Watch this, everyone should. Great movie.

Frank Desalvo
Frank Desalvo

This watered down version of the war crimes at the torture place of Abu Ghraib is just a way to describe the opinion that "Haji's" deserve it! Look at the name of the producers (Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz) and you will understand that this American war movie inspired by the events that took place at the Abu Ghraib prison, which made worldwide news in 2004, is not made to entertain us or to inform us - it is made to change our way of perceiving these events as right at the given moment! Written and directed by Luke Moran, who co-stars alongside Sean Astin, Omid Abtahi, Sara Paxton, and John Heard, it is a perfect film for brainwashed idiots, but not for anyone who actually looks for something more that 'pride of the nation'. No emotion, no chemistry, no thrill or excitement - it is a movie which simply deserves to be forgotten! As quickly as possible... and the events need to be remembered, the way they actually happened! The film starts in 2003, the day before 22-year-old Jack Farmer (Luke Moran) ships out for Iraq, having joined the Army Reserves in hopes of being part of something bigger than himself! With dozens of other young men, some finding themselves there because they are patriotic, others because they wanted an adventure and sheer youthful restlessness, he arrives at Abu Ghraib, 20 miles from Baghdad and formerly used by Saddam Hussein to imprison, torture and murder dissidents... I really do not want to share the story which follows because it is as bland as it comes, made to soften the image of the events which actually happened between those walls of suffering! When Australian television network SBS program "Dateline" aired previously unpublished video showing the abuse of Iraqis in U.S. military custody at Abu Ghraib prison in 2003, we could see images of naked prisoners, some of them with blood lying on the floor. The pictures show almost the same abuses as the photos that caused Abu Ghraib scandal in 2004 - Iraqis subjected to sexual humiliation and shackled in positions tantamount to torture. Of course, Pentagon spokesperson Bryan Whitman said the Defence Department believed the release of additional images of prisoner abuse was harmful and "could only further inflame and possibly incite unnecessary violence in the world." It seems that this film is made to do completely opposite... calm down people?! The film won the Audience Award at the Gasparilla Film Festival, the only film festival it screened at... I am not really sure what was the competition like if this was the winner!

Panta Oz
Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

Boys of Abu Ghraib is one of those films that really could have been a good, memorable drama, but it ends up being a mediocre film due to the lack of a really good script and memorable performances. The film is your typical war drama, and tends to rely on your typical genre formula in order to create its story. While using the infamous prison of Abu Ghraib as a setting, the film follows a soldier who befriends an inmate during his tour of duty in Iraq. The idea is interesting, but the payoff is poor. Obviously, there is only a few ways to make a film with Abu Ghraib as a setting, and being to pull it off as it's quite a touchy subject after the scandal in 2004. Some ideas here are good, but for the most part it feels rushed, and the film's ideas never materialize into something really good. That's a shame because the film really could have been something good in terms of a drama and war film, but it ends up being a mediocre film that never satisfies. The abuse scandal raised plenty of debate and much criticism, and with good reason, here we get that aspect of the torture and humiliation, but it doesn't hammer the point across fully, and watching the film, I felt like they left a bit out. If the film would have been better developed, with much care with rewriting the story, I think that the film's effect would have resonated much more with the viewer, instead of having the torture scenes played out for mere shock value. Yes, it's shocking, disgusting among other things, but what fails here is the fact the sheer dehumanization process of which these soldiers go through in order to commit such atrocious acts against enemy combatants. More development in that area could have been much better because as it is, the film just rushes through that, and there never seems to be a conflict of interest that suggests that what these guys did was against the rules. If a few characters did that in the film and it did have a bit, but it was only briefly mentioned just for the sake of giving the film a ying/yang perspective, and it just doesn't pull through. Boys of Abu Ghraib could have been much better, but it's not awful, however it does leave a lot to be desired and considering its subject, it's a shame the filmmakers never managed to make something truly memorable or something to make you ask important questions.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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