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Three Kings [Blu-ray] [1999] [US Import]

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Product details

  • Actors: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze, Cliff Curtis
  • Directors: David O. Russell
  • Writers: David O. Russell, John Ridley
  • Producers: Alan Glazer, Bruce Berman, Charles Roven, Douglas Segal, Edward McDonnell
  • Format: Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Oct. 2010
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003SEWMF6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 242,493 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



A confident hybrid of M*A*S*H, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and Dr. Strangelove, Three Kings is one of the most seriously funny war movies ever made. Improving the premise of Kelly's Heroes with scathing intelligence, it explores the odd connection between war and consumerism in the age of Humvees and cellular phones. Writer-director David O. Russell's third film (after Spanking the Monkey and Flirting with Disaster) is a no-holds-barred portrait of personal conscience in the volatile arena of politics, played out by one of the most gifted filmmakers to emerge in the 1990s.

George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube and Spike Jonze (director of Being John Malkovich) play a quartet of US soldiers who, disillusioned by Operation Desert Storm, decide to steal $23 million in gold hijacked from Kuwait by Saddam Hussein's army. Getting the bullion out of an Iraqi stronghold is easy; keeping it is a potentially lethal proposition. By the end of their mercenary mission, the Americans can no longer ignore war-time atrocities, and conscience demands their aid to Kuwaiti rebels abandoned by President George Bush's fickle war-time policy. This is serious stuff indeed, but Russell infuses Three Kings with a keen sense of the absurd, and the entire film is an exercise in breathtaking visual ingenuity. Despite a conventional ending that's mildly disappointing for such a brashly original film, Three Kings conveys the brutal madness of war while making you laugh out loud at the insanity. --Jeff Shannon


Following the Gulf War, a group of American soldiers in Iraq find a mapwhich they hope will lead them to a large amount of gold near to their desert base.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Rich Milligan on 29 Jun. 2005
Format: DVD
Three Kings is a most intriguing and thought-provoking "war film" I have seen in a long time. I even hesitate to call it a "war film" as if anything, it's an "anti-war" film of quite an intense nature that I had probably unfairly believed Hollywood was incapably of making.
It's the end of the first Gulf War and in the first few confused days of the cease fire part-time American soldiers Sgt Troy Barlow (Mark Wahlberg), Chief Elgin (Ice Cube) and Pte Conrad Vig (Spike Jonze) find themselves in possession of what is basically a treasure map showing the way to a mountain of stolen Kuwaiti gold bullion. Enter Maj Archie Gates (George Clooney) on the scene, and a madcap plan is hatched to "repossess" the gold for, let's just say, unofficial purposes.
What then unfolds is a roller coaster ride of death and destruction as the 4 mavericks attempt to track down and steal the gold and make their getaway. There's certainly a huge slice of typical gun toting war action involved here, and it's superbly filmed, and there's also some excellent black humour thrown amongst these, but this is really missing the point of the film.
The main point of the film is the scene after scene of intense acting showing the futility, the barbarity, the unfairness and the downright dirtiness of war. Whether it's the crude scenes showing the American soldiers celebrating their "victory", the weakness and futile post-war instruction from George Bush Snr for the Iraqi people to rise up against Sadam, the cruelty suffered by the innocent civilians caught in the middle and the fact that at then end of the day it was all about oil.
Some of these scenes are extremely touching and very moving, one that is still most vivid is that when Sgt Barlow is being interrogated. I won't try to describe it, but the film is worth watching for this scene alone.
If you like a film to challenge as much as thrill with action then you could do a lot worse than check out this very intelligent film
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Nov. 2000
Format: DVD
One of the best war films I have ever seen. Shot in a very beautiful way that makes it seem very realistic. It has everything you want in a film. Very well cast I thought and an interesting insight into the Gulf/media war. One to keep. Excellent!
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Format: DVD
The thought of Ice Cube George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg in perhaps one of the most apposite political films of the last few years isn't an obvious thought i'll give you that, but here it is. And what a film it is!

David Russel's direction is the first thing about this film that strikes you as the clever cameras angles and colour stocks that he uses ensure the colours of the Iraq (in reality Arizona) desert landscape leap off the screen and the drought, heat and searing sun permeates your lounge.

The look and style of the film is totally different to anything i've seen in a while, very modern and cutting edge but teamed with a very simple story that conveys a lot about a very complex gulf war occupation. The dark humour here seems unusual for a war film but works and you will find yourself chukling along for the first 20 minutes and then gasping in shock later on as Russel exposes the darker side of life in a war torn area. Stunning!

The acting is also commendable Clooney, Wahlberg and Ice Cube all churn out humourous and endearing understated performances here and the contrast of the young naive family man Wahlberg with the war wearied and experienced colonel Clooney is really enjoyable to watch. It is a film that doesn't trick you with clever words of plot but instead focuses on four ordinary yet fortuitous war soldiers and in doing so the whole sense of the gulf war atrocity and corruption is highlighted.

Remarkable work, even if the ending is somewhat corny!Not a huge comercial hit but it will be studied in film schools for many years to come and most importantly a film with a message and voice that is relevant today and for the future of our countries.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jay on 23 May 2007
Format: DVD
A good movie. The story of four AWOL American soldiers in the aftermath of the Gulf War goes through laughs, tension, violence, and boredom. The story gives an interesting look into the strange world created by America's defeating Iraq's military but not deposing Saddam Hussein and fundamentally changing the country's internal politics.

The movie is also unusual as a war film because many of the soldiers are army reservists rather than professional soldiers, and their inexperience and foolishness adds to the tension and threat of violence.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Nov. 2000
Format: DVD
David O. Russell's contemporary war film "Three Kings" (1999) is perhaps the most unconventional entry into the genre to date. Although all the hallmarks of the genre are present - military argot, khaki uniforms, explosions etc. - they are delivered in a unique and invigorating style. Furthermore, O. Russell has successfully managed to amalgamate several genres: Action, satire, farce, comedy and even Western; yet, what emerges is most definitely a war film. Albeit a war film which eschews the jingoism of more conventional Hollywood fare. However, in spite of its stylistic aggression "Three Kings" provides poignant and subtle commentary on the harsh realities of war and the injustice of American foreign policy.
Strangely, for a war film, there is no war; the action takes place after the "conflict" has ended. It follows the story of four soldiers who - in breach of their orders - conspire to reclaim the gold bullion stolen by Iraq from Kuwait. Having acquired a map from a surrendering Iraqi soldier, they set out on their mission to a remote village only to find that the people of the village are being held captive by Saddam Hussein's army. After witnessing a villager being callously executed (Left) in a dizzying sequence they are forced to choose between fleeing with the gold or staying to help the people that their own country has betrayed. I feel that the film follows a classical narrative pattern but with a bitter twist in its tail; one of the main characters is killed and the "Three Kings" who remain are discharged from the army. The opening sequence is vital in establishing the tone, themes and the importance of setting.
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