The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara Reviews

  • Feb 04, 2019

    The Fog of War, directed by Errol Morris, is an informative documentary that describes Robert McNamaraâ(TM)s controversial career, as told by himself through a series of personal interviews. This technique allows viewers to observe McNamaraâ(TM)s emotions as he discusses each aspect of his life, effectively displaying him as a man who did what he felt was best when faced with high-stakes decisions. Morris largely allows McNamara, through his interviews, to guide the course of the documentary. As such, the documentary is in part an apology from McNamara, but also an explanation of his decisions and an attempt to show how he helped save lives aside from his involvement in the Vietnam war. In regards to war, McNamara never openly admits his mistakes, but urges others to learn from mistakes made in past war, especially in regards to nuclear war. McNamara sharing lessons he has learned appears to be a major focus of his in the documentary, but unfortunately the eleven lessons shown on screen are only loosely, if at all, tied to McNamaraâ(TM)s discussions of his career. This leads to poor structure of the documentary, which is really the only drawback of an otherwise highly informative film that shows a different side of Robert McNamara. As such, McNamaraâ(TM)s interviews are both the greatest strength and the greatest weaknesses of this film. Despite a confusing chronology, overall this is a good documentary that I would recommend to any American interested in our nation's history, especially those who experienced the Vietnam War or teachers who wish to add to their curriculum when discussing McNamara and the Vietnam War.

    The Fog of War, directed by Errol Morris, is an informative documentary that describes Robert McNamaraâ(TM)s controversial career, as told by himself through a series of personal interviews. This technique allows viewers to observe McNamaraâ(TM)s emotions as he discusses each aspect of his life, effectively displaying him as a man who did what he felt was best when faced with high-stakes decisions. Morris largely allows McNamara, through his interviews, to guide the course of the documentary. As such, the documentary is in part an apology from McNamara, but also an explanation of his decisions and an attempt to show how he helped save lives aside from his involvement in the Vietnam war. In regards to war, McNamara never openly admits his mistakes, but urges others to learn from mistakes made in past war, especially in regards to nuclear war. McNamara sharing lessons he has learned appears to be a major focus of his in the documentary, but unfortunately the eleven lessons shown on screen are only loosely, if at all, tied to McNamaraâ(TM)s discussions of his career. This leads to poor structure of the documentary, which is really the only drawback of an otherwise highly informative film that shows a different side of Robert McNamara. As such, McNamaraâ(TM)s interviews are both the greatest strength and the greatest weaknesses of this film. Despite a confusing chronology, overall this is a good documentary that I would recommend to any American interested in our nation's history, especially those who experienced the Vietnam War or teachers who wish to add to their curriculum when discussing McNamara and the Vietnam War.

  • Feb 01, 2019

    The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons of the Life of Robert McNamara directed by Errol Morris is a moving documentary that highlights the careers and life accomplishments of Robert McNamara, and discusses the many consequences and challenges of war. McNamara held several key positions throughout his life, for example he was a statistical analyst for the air force, president of Ford Motor Company, and served as the secretary of defense under presidents Kennedy and Johnson. In this film the knowledgeable McNamara discusses the Vietnam war in great detail, including his involvement in the destructive forces of nuclear weaponry, and his efforts to bring the war to an end due to his opinion that it was unnecessary and that too many lives were being lost. McNamara also includes eleven lessons that focus on war and the common misconceptions held by, or mistakes made by people, generals, and entire nations while engaged in combat. Several of these lessons include: you canï¿ 1/2 1/2 1/2(TM)t change human nature, rationality alone will not save us, belief and seeing are often both wrong, and never say never. As the film goes more in depth into each of these lessons, one can admire the expertise and knowledge of McNamara and his analysis of the events that transpired while he served in his various callings. I believe that if all the nations of the world closely followed and respected these guidelines, there would be much less tension between nations and therefore less war.

    The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons of the Life of Robert McNamara directed by Errol Morris is a moving documentary that highlights the careers and life accomplishments of Robert McNamara, and discusses the many consequences and challenges of war. McNamara held several key positions throughout his life, for example he was a statistical analyst for the air force, president of Ford Motor Company, and served as the secretary of defense under presidents Kennedy and Johnson. In this film the knowledgeable McNamara discusses the Vietnam war in great detail, including his involvement in the destructive forces of nuclear weaponry, and his efforts to bring the war to an end due to his opinion that it was unnecessary and that too many lives were being lost. McNamara also includes eleven lessons that focus on war and the common misconceptions held by, or mistakes made by people, generals, and entire nations while engaged in combat. Several of these lessons include: you canï¿ 1/2 1/2 1/2(TM)t change human nature, rationality alone will not save us, belief and seeing are often both wrong, and never say never. As the film goes more in depth into each of these lessons, one can admire the expertise and knowledge of McNamara and his analysis of the events that transpired while he served in his various callings. I believe that if all the nations of the world closely followed and respected these guidelines, there would be much less tension between nations and therefore less war.

  • Jan 31, 2019

    If you care more about filmography than actual content, please watch this film. While watching it, I was constantly amazed by the beautiful imagery and the tone that the interviewer took on the topic, but the actual content-the subject of the film-was a downer and the cause of distrust in the most abrupt and unsettling way. McNamara's tone throughout the whole film was chillingly calm and reserved when discussing matters of great importance and his mannerisms never seemed to match his words. The images (such as the numbered bombs) added an element of visual metaphor that is cerebral and enticing; it helps to balance out the terribly boring and frankly upsetting reserved speech spewing out of McNamara like a broken fire hydrant. The end of the film left the taste of sour milk in my mouth due to the aggressive tone McNamara took when asked his opinion of interviews. Because of his distrust of speaking truthfully, it seemed to disqualify all of the information he gave to the watcher in the past hour and a half of film. I finished the doc with the feeling of having wasted a lot of time listening to a man lie for an extended period of time, trying to excuse the murder of thousands of people due to ignorance. I would not recommend watching this film unless you are open to hearing a point of view so aggressively unsettling that it makes you queasy.

    If you care more about filmography than actual content, please watch this film. While watching it, I was constantly amazed by the beautiful imagery and the tone that the interviewer took on the topic, but the actual content-the subject of the film-was a downer and the cause of distrust in the most abrupt and unsettling way. McNamara's tone throughout the whole film was chillingly calm and reserved when discussing matters of great importance and his mannerisms never seemed to match his words. The images (such as the numbered bombs) added an element of visual metaphor that is cerebral and enticing; it helps to balance out the terribly boring and frankly upsetting reserved speech spewing out of McNamara like a broken fire hydrant. The end of the film left the taste of sour milk in my mouth due to the aggressive tone McNamara took when asked his opinion of interviews. Because of his distrust of speaking truthfully, it seemed to disqualify all of the information he gave to the watcher in the past hour and a half of film. I finished the doc with the feeling of having wasted a lot of time listening to a man lie for an extended period of time, trying to excuse the murder of thousands of people due to ignorance. I would not recommend watching this film unless you are open to hearing a point of view so aggressively unsettling that it makes you queasy.

  • Jan 30, 2019

    The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons of the Life of Robert S. McNamara is a captivating documentary following the actions of the former Secretary of Defense. While following the life of McNamara in his days as a statistical analyst for the Air Force, his days as the President of Ford Motor Company, and his eventual rise to Secretary of Defense, we gain a better understanding of McNamara and his actions during the Vietnam War. Though the documentary partly functions as an apology for McNamaraï¿ 1/2(TM)s career, Errol Morris more effectively defends against the use of nuclear power in our war and disagreements with other countries. Through a multitude of interviews with McNamara and a few of his colleagues in the Pentagon and in Ford Motor Company, we see that despite the policy of the President towards Vietnam, McNamara believed that nuclear war wasnï¿ 1/2(TM)t the answer. Overall, the film is informative, enjoyable, and I believe that it is a must watch for those who want a full knowledge of American history. While the intended audience is most likely those who are torn on what stance to take on the use of nuclear arms and already know who Robert McNamara is, I would also recommend it to the younger generation of high school and college students.

    The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons of the Life of Robert S. McNamara is a captivating documentary following the actions of the former Secretary of Defense. While following the life of McNamara in his days as a statistical analyst for the Air Force, his days as the President of Ford Motor Company, and his eventual rise to Secretary of Defense, we gain a better understanding of McNamara and his actions during the Vietnam War. Though the documentary partly functions as an apology for McNamaraï¿ 1/2(TM)s career, Errol Morris more effectively defends against the use of nuclear power in our war and disagreements with other countries. Through a multitude of interviews with McNamara and a few of his colleagues in the Pentagon and in Ford Motor Company, we see that despite the policy of the President towards Vietnam, McNamara believed that nuclear war wasnï¿ 1/2(TM)t the answer. Overall, the film is informative, enjoyable, and I believe that it is a must watch for those who want a full knowledge of American history. While the intended audience is most likely those who are torn on what stance to take on the use of nuclear arms and already know who Robert McNamara is, I would also recommend it to the younger generation of high school and college students.

  • Jan 30, 2019

    This film highlights Robert McNamara's career during the Vietnam war. It was slightly confusing and difficult to form an opinion on McNamara since the film reveals his influence and involvement during a violent war, but he seems to continually defend himself throughout the film. Seeing McNamara cry and be put in a vulnerable situation in front of the camera makes me believe that he really has been affected by the war and found that period of his life to be saddening even though he was successful at the same time. Errol Morris, the director, uses many rhetorical strategies in his film to display his opinions and set a mood of sadness and destruction during the Vietnam war. Morris used many clips from the war with dramatic music playing in the background, voice overs over clips of newspaper headlines, interviews McNamara in person, and uses symbols and animated imagery to represent issues that occured at that time. Overall, this film was sad but educational and meant for an audience with a background understanding of the Vietnam war. I found Morrisâ(TM)s film techniques very influential in the way of persuading the audience to believe one side over another and would recommend this film to be shown in history or language classes for either the educational side of the Vietnam war and what went down, or the rhetorical strategies side.

    This film highlights Robert McNamara's career during the Vietnam war. It was slightly confusing and difficult to form an opinion on McNamara since the film reveals his influence and involvement during a violent war, but he seems to continually defend himself throughout the film. Seeing McNamara cry and be put in a vulnerable situation in front of the camera makes me believe that he really has been affected by the war and found that period of his life to be saddening even though he was successful at the same time. Errol Morris, the director, uses many rhetorical strategies in his film to display his opinions and set a mood of sadness and destruction during the Vietnam war. Morris used many clips from the war with dramatic music playing in the background, voice overs over clips of newspaper headlines, interviews McNamara in person, and uses symbols and animated imagery to represent issues that occured at that time. Overall, this film was sad but educational and meant for an audience with a background understanding of the Vietnam war. I found Morrisâ(TM)s film techniques very influential in the way of persuading the audience to believe one side over another and would recommend this film to be shown in history or language classes for either the educational side of the Vietnam war and what went down, or the rhetorical strategies side.

  • Apr 16, 2018

    Truly humanizing account of a man likely perceived by many as a war criminal.

    Truly humanizing account of a man likely perceived by many as a war criminal.

  • Dec 14, 2017

    The Fog of War is an excellent examination of humanity, putting war under the microscope and raising questions about the often blurred line between politics and morality.

    The Fog of War is an excellent examination of humanity, putting war under the microscope and raising questions about the often blurred line between politics and morality.

  • Nov 10, 2017

    Beste dokumentar jeg har sett på lenge. Fascinerende!

    Beste dokumentar jeg har sett på lenge. Fascinerende!

  • Apr 08, 2017

    A deserved Oscar winner, as much for the way Errol Morris assembles his footage as for its protagonist's sometimes tortured analysis of the impossible choices any leader faces when confronted by war. McNamara served under Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis, and Johnson during the Vietnam war. In his eighties when this documentary was made, his intellect and analytic skills would be astonishing in someone half his age. I hope Trump has a copy by his TV.

    A deserved Oscar winner, as much for the way Errol Morris assembles his footage as for its protagonist's sometimes tortured analysis of the impossible choices any leader faces when confronted by war. McNamara served under Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis, and Johnson during the Vietnam war. In his eighties when this documentary was made, his intellect and analytic skills would be astonishing in someone half his age. I hope Trump has a copy by his TV.

  • Nov 22, 2016

    Essential life lessons

    Essential life lessons