fri 14/05/2021

war on terror

The Mauritanian review – moving 9/11 drama

Whether he’s making documentaries or dramas, director Kevin Macdonald has an eye for the bleak moments in our history, and a dynamic way of recreating them, from the Oscar-winning doc Four Days in September, about the Munich massacre, to the...

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Mosul, Netflix review - gruelling story of Iraq's Nineveh SWAT team

It may seem incongruous that a factually-based film about Iraqis battling against murderous Islamic State invaders should have been produced by the Russo brothers, famous for Marvel’s Avengers and Captain America blockbusters. However, Hollywood...

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7500 review - a turbulent ride

Thank goodness no-one’s going anywhere this year, because 7500 does for planes what Jaws did for bright yellow lilos. Set entirely within the cockpit of a passenger jet, this thriller trims all the fat, leaving a taut nightmare that pulls no punches...

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The Haystack, Hampstead Theatre review - a chilling surveillance state thriller

With counter-terrorism an urgent concern – and specifically how best to find, track and use the data of suspected threats, without sacrificing our privacy and civil liberties – it’s excellent timing for a meaty drama about the surveillance state....

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The Capture, Episode 5, BBC One review - the man who knew too much

Five episodes ago, BBC One's The Capture set off at a cracking pace with the apparent abduction and murder of barrister Hannah Roberts by army lance-corporal Shaun Emery. With Roberts’s help, Emery had been acquitted of killing a Taliban fighter in...

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Deep State, Series 2, Fox review - covert conspiracies in Africa

Last year’s first season of Deep State featured cloak and dagger exploitations of chaos in the Middle East by the capitalist West and its intelligence services. Judging by its opening episode, this second iteration is about to do something similar,...

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On Her Shoulders review - half-life of a campaigner

In September 2014, after three months of captivity, Nadia Murad escaped ISIS control in Mosul, Iraq. Since then, she has dedicated her life to travelling the world and telling everyone who will listen about the plight suffered by her Yazidi people,...

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Pity, Royal Court review - whacked-out and wearing

The apocalypse arrives as a series of collegiate sketches in the aptly-named Pity, the Rory Mullarkey play that may well prompt sympathy for audiences who unwittingly find themselves in attendance. Less provocative by far than this same writer's...

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Sicario: Day of the Soldado review - violent, explosive and nihilistic thriller

The issue of immigrants being smuggled across the Mexican border into the USA is currently live and inflammatory, and this second instalment of the feds-versus-drugs cartels saga hurls us right into the centre of it. This explosive thriller is...

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Building the Wall, Park Theatre review - the nature of nightmare

Writer Robert Schenkkan’s Building the Wall imagines modern America in the not-too-distant future. The date is 22nd November 2019 and following an attack on Times Square in which 17 people were killed, martial law has been imposed. Demands for...

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The Deminer review - life on the edge in Iraq

Major Fakhir is a deminer, responsible for disarming hundreds of mines around Mosul every week. His American counterparts know him by a different title: Crazy Fakhir, a man who rides the edge of his luck, constantly in imminent danger. Yet to him,...

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Below the Surface, Series Finale, BBC Four review - tense and twisty to the bitter end

In the previous couple of episodes, some light began to seep into the subterranean gloom of the Copenhagen kidnappers, or at any rate onto their identities and motivations. The military theme with which Below the Surface opened, with Philip Norgaard...

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