Taglines: We’re gonna liberate the shit out of you.
In the summer of 2009, four-star General Glen McMahon (Brad Pitt), having won renown for his effective leadership in Iraq, is sent to Afghanistan to prepare an assessment so that the government can end the ongoing war. He is given wide latitudes to write it, on the sole condition that he not request more troops. McMahon and his staff, particularly his right hand man Major General Greg Pulver (Anthony Michael Hall), are united in their belief that the war can be won, and decide to recommend that President Obama authorize a surge of 40,000 additional troops to secure Helmand province in order to stabilize the country. However, the Secretary of State (Sian Thomas) informs McMahon that his report will not be reviewed until after the upcoming presidential election.
Captain Badi Basim (Aymen Hamdouchi), a member of the Afghan National Army, joins McMahon’s staff as a “representative” of the Afghan people. He arrives, however, in civilian clothes as he would rather not wear his uniform, which he has in a bag, outside the compound near his home as he walked. Meanwhile, McMahon is informed that, due to alleged irregularities in the counting of votes, a runoff election will have to be held, delaying the review of the assessment further.
Fed up, McMahon secretly leaks the assessment to the Washington Post and organizes an interview with 60 Minutes, during which he reveals that, in the last seventy days, he has only been granted one meeting with the President. In response, the government announces that they will send 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, and that all U.S. and coalition forces in the country will leave in 18 months. To gather the remaining 10,000 troops needed for his strategy to work, McMahon and his men head to Paris to negotiate with the other coalition nations.
In Paris, McMahon learns that the President is passing through, and wishes to meet with him. The ambassador to Afghanistan (Alan Ruck) warns McMahon that he needs to understand his position: if he continues to anger the President, he will be fired for insubordination. The President, however, merely shakes his hand as he climbs aboard Air Force One due to time constraints, and McMahon and his staff attend a dinner in McMahon’s honor, accompanied by Rolling Stone writer Sean Cullen (Scoot McNairy), who intends to write a feature story about his performance for an upcoming issue. The next day, during their anniversary dinner, McMahon’s wife Jeanie confronts him about how much time he’s spending fighting abroad instead of being with his family back home.
While on route to Berlin with McMahon’s staff to continue negotiations, Cullen observes their behavior and concludes that they are arrogant and seem to care little about the growing public perception that the war is costly and wasteful. At a conference to discuss his strategy, McMahon is confronted by a German official (Tilda Swinton) who is skeptical of his approach and suggests that McMahon’s plans would only lead to more losses. Nevertheless, both the Germans and the French agree to furnish the troops needed for his planned offensive, codenamed “Operation Moshtarak”, to begin, with Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s (Ben Kingsley) approval.
War Machine is a 2017 American satirical war film directed and written by David Michôd, based on the nonfiction book The Operators by Michael Hastings. It is a fictionalized version of the events in the book based on United States Army General Stanley McChrystal. The film stars Brad Pitt, Anthony Michael Hall, Anthony Hayes, Topher Grace, Will Poulter, Tilda Swinton and Ben Kingsley. It was released on Netflix on May 26, 2017.
War Machine (2017)
Directed by: David Michôd
Starring: Brad Pitt, Emory Cohen, RJ Cyler, Topher Grace, Anthony Michael Hall, Anthony Hayes, John Magaro, Scoot McNairy, Will Poulter, Alan Ruck, Josh Stewart, Meg Tilly, Tilda Swinton, Ben Kingsley, Tim Downie
Screenplay by: David Michôd
Production Design by: Josephine Ford
Cinematography by: Dariusz Wolski
Film Editing by: Peter Sciberras
Costume Design by: Jane Petrie
Set Decoration by: Judy Farr
Art Direction by: Will Coubrough, Matthew Gray, Keith Pain, Martin Sullivan
Music by: Nick Cave, Warren Ellis
Distributed by: Netflix
Release Date: May 26, 2017