Full Battle Rattle (2008)


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


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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 outs of combat in the Middle East. Filmmakers Tony Gerber and Jesse Moss follow Lt. Col. Robert McLaughlin as he drums the art of war into his charges in Full Battle Rattle, a documentary that offers a behind-the-scenes look at Medina Wasl, the soldiers who learn there, the people who organize the war games, and the people who've been hired to play-act at being the "enemy." Full Battle Rattle received its world premiere as an official entry at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for Full Battle Rattle

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (11)

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

Oct 18, 2008

A so-so pic on an incendiary subject.

Oct 18, 2008 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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

Aug 8, 2008 | Rating: 3/4

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.

Jul 10, 2008 | Rating: A-
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.

Jul 10, 2008 | Full Review…

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

Jul 9, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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