No End in Sight - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

No End in Sight Reviews

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April 21, 2016
Regardless of one's stance on the Iraq war, it is impossible to deny that many mistakes were made. For a big list of them- watch this.

The great crime of this documentary is how interesting and compelling it is, given that it's simply summarising relatively recent events. As it just so happens, many of those events are so unbelievable that you couldn't make them up.

Watch this, watch 'Taxi to the dark side', watch 'Standard operating procedure' - watch them all. They're all great and they all matter.
½ February 15, 2016
from the director that later brought us The Inside Job, this is a must-see documentary about not just why the invasion of Iraq was wrong, but boy, how we wasted 1.8 trillion dollars on how to reconstruct a country wrong 500 ways and the horror that still awaits us. Bush is just an idiot child placed in the throne - the true war criminals are the gangs that made the decisions they did --Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bremer, Slocombe. Talk about how to destroy a country --this movie gives you the blow by blow about how the action of an incompetent few can have everlasting consequences!
November 8, 2014
Very well done. Should be required viewing.
May 24, 2014
watched today for memorial day.
Super Reviewer
April 3, 2014
Incredible documentary about the war in Iraq, No End in Sight is a brilliant picture that goes in depth about this controversial war. The film goes in depth with incredible information about the war, and it is a riveting, informative film about how this event came into motion. The motivation for the invasion of Iraq is explored, and key insiders and experts are interviewed here to give a definitive perspective on the war. The interviews are well done, and the information that each subject brings to the table sheds even more light into this war. The war in Iraq was predetermined even before the events of 9/11, and the Bush Administration tried to link Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime. The Bush doctrine came into play, and George Bush deceived the country by invading a country that had no links whatsoever to Al Qaeda or the 9/11 plot whatsoever. The whole idea of the invasion of Iraq was based on the errors committed during the first Gulf War. This is a fine film for anyone looking to know more about the Iraq War. The documentary is engaging, shocking and memorable. In terms of the subject, it definitely is a picture that will surprise you with its information. I read books on the subject, and I know how this war came to be, and this documentary only adds a lot more depth to what most of us know. Well crafted film that is a must see for anyone who are interested in the subject, No End in Sight is stunning insight into the war, and one that is necessary to understand. In terms of a documentary, No End in Sight is a standout genre film that definitely can stir up some debate and make you ask important questions.
March 23, 2014
Great movie for those who want to understand what went on in Iraq and who was responsible.
½ September 24, 2013
very revealing and straight-forward. it supports it's suggestions with the word who were directly involved in the invasion of Iraq. solid documentary.
½ September 14, 2013
pretty good but it does several of those BS doc moves ("dick Cheney refused to be interviewed for this film". as if that some admission of guilt, of course your not going to get the f'in vice pres to do your dinky little movie). Also the listing off or bush admin people who were never in combat, as if being in military combat gives you a special knowledge about rebuilding a country.
A lot of big interviews and doesn't go to far off the rails.
½ September 11, 2013
An amazingly intricate documentary that shows the decisions made leading to the complete chaos that is America's involvement in Iraq.
½ May 13, 2013
This documentary about the Iraq War was made in 2007, when things were at their nadir. Its agenda is not so much to criticize the decision to go into Iraq as it is to criticize the execution. It opens early on - around the time of "Mission Accomplished" with shots of gleeful Iraqis lining up on streets with "Welcome America" signs or in happy group photos of Iraqis joined with U.S. soldiers. And it's down hill from there.

The thesis is that the Iraqi invasion could have been quite successful had the strategy included a meaningful plan to maintain order in Iraq, had officials tasked with creating ties with Iraqis in positions of responsibility been given authority and resources, and had not some critical blunders not been made - by some critical blunderers.

Those portrayed as wise are an unlikely alliance of State Dept. career officials and those in the military - who had the expertise to understand what it takes to maintain order in a war zone. The villains are the civilians in the Defense Dept. - notably Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz - and the inexperienced man tasked with governance, Arthur Bremmer. President Bush is not so much an active villain as he is clueless bystander who puts blind trust in his leadership and offers no thoughtful oversight, even as things accellerate out of control.

There's an obvious bias throughout the movie. At no time do we sense that this is an inquiry into what happened. Those interviewed are a phalanx of Cassandras who tell of how they warned the administration of the scope of forces needed to successfully manage the overthrown country. The villains are shown only in news clips - or with a placard reading "Donald Wolfowitz (eg) refused to be interviewed." It would have been more honest to say he declined to be interviewed.

Nonetheless, the story of how Iraq descended into anarchy after the U.S. invasion, and the political steps that got it there, certainly rings true. We know, as is highlighted, that the decision to fire the entire Iraqi military and to "deBaathify" the country of its technocrats helped to create an insurgency and to cripple our own ability to maintain the country's infrastructure. If the movie is to be believed, when the U.S. scored a military victory, there was an enormous quantity of generals who were willing to help the U.S. with the transition - who were turned out onto the streets along with their subordinates.

And so the sickening story unfolds - of the looting, of the rise of the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr - and of the breakdown of all civil order, which we are to believe occurred because of the power vacuum created especially by Rumsfeld's refusal to put more "boots on the ground" and to avoid "nation building."

The thing sadder than seeing a tragedy unfold is to learn that it could have been avoided. The famous words "Mission Accomplished" might not seem so ironic today had the war been administered in a different manner. This movie does give a good, painful, overview of how the handling of the war led to the country's collapse, and how that did not need to be that way.
½ April 12, 2013
I wish this was playing in more theaters!
March 25, 2013
I don't know how to rate this documentary. It presents almost no new information except a few "first time on camera" talking heads. I've been in the anti-iraq-war camp from the instance the bush administration mentioned the word "Iraq" after 911. It was clear to many in the anti-war camp very early that Bush wanted to settle the Saddam vs Bush family feud, and nothing good can come out of that game. But the self-righteous majority took the stand that "ok, let look at the data, the intelligence"; "surely nothing can be wrong in removing a tyrant like saddam"; and "fuck-off, you saddam-lovers!" and so it came to pass that the americans have succeeded in showing the world that it is just a bunch of dumb ass with big guns, and that's the beginning of the end of the great american era.
February 24, 2013
I pretty sure you have the wrong Richard Armitage listed as being in this
February 15, 2013
another war stuff up by the usa. Nice one bush government!
February 1, 2013
An informative documentary about Failure of Bush's Administration on handling the Iraq situation.
Super Reviewer
January 4, 2013
Its an informative chronicle of the unmitigated disaster that was the first few years of the Iraq war, and its a great companion piece to Thomas E. Rick's chronicle of the same period, "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq".
December 27, 2012
Not as entertaining as a Moore piece, but highly insightful & informative and just as exacerbating to a free-thinking American Citizen.
December 25, 2012
A well put together documentary about the "war on terror." Crisp, well edited and a lot of great interviews from high level people involved in the Iraq debacle. Would have liked them to get Rumsfeld or some other the other high-ups that have since left, but to no avail.
½ November 14, 2012
A historical account of what can only be described as the most expensive and costly fuck-ups to have ever taken place in recent decades.
½ August 3, 2012
It Turns Out We All Do Quagmires

Unfortunately, of course, the people who most need this information will never watch this documentary. They don't care that it isn't the shrill cherry-picking of Michael Moore. All they see is that it is critical of the Bush the Younger administration, and they will assume that, in fact, it really is the shrill cherry-picking of Michael Moore. It doesn't matter that most of the words spoken are by people who in one way or another were there, people who saw first-hand the mistakes. And you must understand, I am not including all supporters of the war in the group of "people who most need to see this." I personally believe the war was always a mistake, but I can understand not believing that, and I think you can go with, "Well, now that we're here, let's finish." What I mean by "people who most need to see this" are people who believe that Bush the Younger and company [i]never[/i] made mistakes, that [i]everything[/i] which has gone wrong can be blamed on someone else.

This documentary mostly ignores the events of September 11, 2001, as irrelevant to the war in Iraq. It is mentioned that various of the people interviewed were in the Pentagon that day; a few are explicitly lucky to be alive. However, it gives us a little background from the first Gulf War and really picks up with the beginning of the second Gulf War. For the most part, the highest level of people in on the decision-making process are not interviewed in this film, because for the most part, they declined the opportunity. However, this is a sober analysis, including interviews with many mid-level people who were making important decisions. It examines exactly where all those decisions were wrong, where intelligence was ignored. There are actual soldiers interviewed, executives, people whose job was ensuring that the Iraqi people really did greet us as liberators. And it explains exactly why that did not happen.

The biggest failure was that the people making the decisions didn't listen to the people with the information. It seems, reading between the lines, that the Bush the Younger administration decided on a narrative and stuck to that, no matter what was actually happening in Iraq at the time. I don't believe that you need military experience to successfully lead a country during time of war; while Abraham Lincoln technically had military experience, it was only in the loosest sense, and he seems to have done okay. And heaven knows there have been plenty of soldiers who successfully pressed campaigns despite needing translators to communicate with the people in the country where they were fighting. However, the reason they succeeded was that they were willing to listen to the people who [i]were[/i] soldiers and [i]did[/i] speak the language, and that simply did not happen in Iraq. Leaving aside how much time Bush spent fulfilling his obligation in the Texas National Guard, he never saw combat, and it seems he did not in Iraq listen to people who had.

This is a very staid documentary. There are no flashy graphics. There is narration through some of it, but mostly, the people and the footage speak for themselves. There is a tone of quiet bewilderment from many of the people who were in positions of responsibility in Iraq, a sense that not enough attention was paid. There are three or four decisions which are generally agreed to have been the worst ones, and all of them were advised against in pre-invasion briefings. Thousands of years of cultural history were destroyed when the national library went up in smoke, but the oil ministry was protected. There were not enough people to protect weapons caches, and instead of working with the Iraqi military, many of whom were no great fans of Saddam Hussein, they were all fired--but allowed to keep their weapons. Armed men with no way of supporting their family make foolish decisions. Those decisions were bad for all of us.

This is a simple, quiet documentary. There are a few explosions, but they are shown with a sense of despair, because probably Iraq's best hope for peace was killed in one of them. What's more, this movie is an analysis of how it could have all been avoided, and that analysis is much more complicated than "we shouldn't have invaded." If we were going to invade--and the evidence shows that Bush the Younger was pretty much determined to invade at some point no matter what--there were ways to do it and keep the Iraqi people on our side. We knew how, and we know that Bush didn't even read the summaries painstakingly prepared for him out of long reports. Certainly he didn't pay attention to the people who knew best. I do not believe that all leaders have to know everything that will ever be important, because that's impossible. However, I believe the best leaders surround themselves with people who [i]do[/i] know about the important issues. What's more, when it comes down to it, they listen to what those advisers say.
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