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4.2 out of 5 stars
Mark of Cain [DVD]
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2007
Now let's be realistic: this film was never going to be very popular with army recruiters. They will no doubt say that it stressed everything that can be bad about army life. On the other hand, it's their job to stress everything that is good about army life, so they're hardly likely to be even-handed on the matter.

In actual fact, The Mark of Cain is very finely balanced. There is an inspirational, honest leader and a loyal, dedicated member of the TA. Unfortunately, they are both killed, but that's what happens in real life.

The subsequent recriminations and slide into the moral cesspit are all too recognisable not just to those who have served in the army but anyone who has ever worked anywhere where there's a bit of politics and a clear heirarchy: it could be an office, a school, a factory or a football club. The people at the top always get away with it and those on the bottom of the pile get burned.

There are some brilliant acting performances here, perhaps most notably from Gerard Kearns, best known as Ian from Shameless. In a very different role, he stands out as a compromised, troubled and ultimately tragic squaddie.

War does terrible things to us. This film never lets you forget that.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2011
I bought this film to see a British perspective, and was not disappointed with the result. I expected the subtle message I'd received, and knew there would be psychological violence, yet I was disturbed by the film nonetheless. It was a pleasant diversion from the American films which portray such war themes more graphically and "in your face". This film makes you think about it long after it ends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2011
This film takes you into the mind of what it might be like going through modern war. I haven't got the capacity to understand what it is like going to war, but this film brings you somewhere close. It gives you an insight into how comradeship can be good or bad.

Obviously a low budget film, but please give it a chance. It really makes you think about the mind of a modern soldier going to serve in the middle east. But for a low budget film (compared to Hollywood etc. ) it is extremely well made. It is not obscured by happy endings or 'gun-ho'.

It shows how loyalty, or peer pressure, can lead to something so much greater than you would expect.

A truly great film. DEFINITELY RECOMMENDED!

Regards, David.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 28 September 2007
"Mark of Cain" is a fictional account of the plight of the British army in Iraq, full of resonance with actual experiences as reported in responsible documentaries.

An ensemble cast is lead by four main characters, each typifying different aspects of the less desirable side of army life and the pressures arising from the concept of the regiment as a family.

Mark (Treacle) Tate is a recent recruit bullied by Military Police Lance Corporal Quyealy (Leo Gregory). Shane Gulliver (Matthew McNulty) is the squaddie with a conscience, who nevertheless because of misplaced loyalty and timidity (who wouldn't be timid in this environment) joins in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. The popular and resourceful NCO in charge is Corporal Gant (Shaun Dooley).

However when the prisoner abuse leads to court martials Corporal Gant leaves his men high and dry, and the army ensures only privates Tate and Gulliver are tried.

Hopefully this film is biased towards an extreme negative view of the army, but I fear If the Iraq war is not sufficient to deter young men joining the army, this film might well do just that

Very highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2013
a brilliant modern war film very well acted it shows what goes on in war the middle east worth a try
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2008
What a great film this is. Not really about war but the way people are treated by their `comrades' and the system if they want to be honest and ethical. It is quite frightening the pressures put onto to `whistleblowers'. This film illustrates this magnificently. Well acted and worth seeing. People do not want truth it seems; deception is preferable as it does not upset the apple cart.
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on 1 August 2015
Hard hitting & moving film. Brilliant from start to finish...
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The story is great and could quite easily be mistaken as being based on truth clearly illustrating how a group mentality under extremely unusual circumstances can bring out the basest of responses from supposedly civilised people. Lord of the Flies this is not but as an almost mockumentary take on the current conflict in the Middle East and a kind of tale of two 'brothers' it was good to see, especially in the DVD format without the constant interruptions for Gillette, car and beer adverts. The guy out of Shameless is great and the small amount of battle action is done well enough to look authentic. Some of the camera work is a bit TV-like but don't let it put you off watching.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2015
My son likes this film
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7 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 11 April 2007
hi, this isn't really a war movie, it starts off as a war movie for the 1st 1/2 hour but then it goes into a courthouse drama becuase some brittish soldiers tortured the prisoners. it is very interesting though as it does show the conflicts in iraq that brittish soldiers go through. a must for any war genre fan but not for the action genre although there is a good battle scene. overall it's brilliant film. thanks.
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