No End in Sight

Rumsfeld said he didn’t do quagmires. So how about clusterfucks? Well, “stuff happens.” That’s right, folks, it’s another critical nonfiction account of the war in Iraq—an anatomy of its variously ineffectual management, a procedural history of stuff happening, and a useful, pointed primer for the Petraeus-Crocker Senate testimony. Charles Ferguson’s carefully argued position paper of a movie is utterly uncinematic, occasionally redundant and, when not starchily academic, at best only archly dramatic, but damn if it’s not well reasoned and powerfully absorbing. Given the crowded Iraq-movie playing field, Ferguson’s scholarly bent seems like an essential asset. Campbell Scott supplies the sober narration, and US Marine lieutenant Seth Moulton, one of many compelling sources, provides the haunting last words: “Don’t tell the marines who are still fighting in Fallujah that that’s the best America can do. That makes me angry.”