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on 12 April 2012
I first caught this movie on Freeview a long time ago, and subsequently watched it again twice, making that in total three times. I then went out and bought it on DVD for a cheap price, and have since bought it from Amazon. I could have said enough there to make you think about buying it, but a proper review is not a review without some elaboration for purposes of clarification: for example, why I liked it.
Well, for starters, it was on late and having nothing else to do I consequently became engrossed not once but about three times over a short period of time (you "showing all week on Film4" afficionados know what I'm on about) in a movie that spirited you away to another time, another place that could mystify you even more than, say, a fantasy or a sci-fi story especially if you were watching it alone...which I was. I was drawn into the world of Afghanistan's desert (the focus of the movie situation) and into the observation of the survival and self-maintenance of a lone Russian tank crew on an invasive mission based on actual historical conflict. Of course, this story was as fictional as if you put John Wayne in the Wild West, but it was gripping and as real as if you were really there nonetheless.
Although reality bites only when, for example, the likes of world cinema is accompanied by subtitles in its native language, this was in English but truly worked and remained convincing throughout where concerned the faux-Russian tank crew, and also avoided the frustration of not being able to follow the movie with ease as a result. After all, you'd need an interpreter for a foreign language anyway: what difference does it make having subtitles or the movie dubbed? Thankfully, this was neither: the only foreign language that needed to be converted into subtitles was the Aghan actors'. The Russian tank crew were played by American actors but play their parts well.
I liked the feeling of mystery of the unknown, unexplored territory and also how the film developed into a story of revenge with a twist in its tale. Jarhead had a similar kind of atmosphere, of heat, of loneliness, of lostness and yet of nature in all its raw energy.
My rating for this movie is a personal rating for a movie that greatly endeared itself to me on a night alone with a tank crew in the wilderness, and as such is sincere and if you read my review looking for a good war movie without any real war on a grand scale in it, I promise you you can take my word for it!
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on 14 July 2017
Arrived swiftly. Seen this before as it's a been awhile. A film which is intense and turns into a cat and mouse pushing the tank drivers to extreme measures and limits. A decent enough film worth watching again.
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on 28 April 2017
great film very good indeed well worth buying.
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on 20 June 2017
Love it
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on 4 May 2017
An excellent film.

Not just another 80s action flick
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on 18 March 2016
Great movie
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on 18 July 2017
Great film but would one gruesome bit!
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on 21 July 2017
Great War Movie.
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VINE VOICEon 5 November 2010
I decided to give this a try after watching 'Lebanon' and I have to say that this is the far superior film, for a start you actually get to see the tank. The film opens with an idyllic view of an Afgan village in 1981 which is swiftly shattered by the arrival of a Russian tank platoon that destroys it and takes part in a couple of atrocities. The tanks move on but one of them gets seperated and lost. The local Afghans and a small group, of mujahadeen see their opportunity to strike back and kill 'the beast' of the title. The crew are a mixed bag consisting of a WW2 veteran, an educated ideallist, an alcoholic, a young Russian and an Afghan graduate. Their lives fall apart and conflict builds between them as the pursuit goes on. This film is very relevant with all that is happening in Afghanistan now and a timely reminder that Russia with all its military might and lack of respect for civil liberties was unable to tame the country. The film opens with a quote from Rudyard Kipling that reminds the viewer that we have already tried and failed to. This film scores over 'Lebanon' by showing so much more of the world outside the tank as well as its effects on the occupants. Well worth a watch and deserved of greater success than it achieved.
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on 14 February 2004
i saw this film years ago and was shocked to see it still about. Without giving to much away, the story takes place with a russian tank crew in the afghan-russian war of the 80's. it shows the horrors of war as this one tank and its crew take a wrong turning and are persued by bandits. The crew also have to deal with an over zealous commander, whose main priority is his tank, not his men, and is prepared to kill his own to make sure that happens.
Overall a fantastic film showing some of the horrors of war. Its nothing to much like saving private ryan, and as a result, makes for a cracking watch.
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