I failed to link last Friday to a pair of downbeat articles about the Iraq-Afghanistan films — a 9.14 Wall Street Journal piece by Peter Sanders, and another by Variety‘s chief critic Todd McCarthy.

“No matter the specific qualities of the writing, filmmaking and performances,” writes McCarthy. “The problem for me is that all these films emanate from precisely the same mindset, the safest, least provocative attitude it is possible to have: the war sucks, Bush sucks, America is down the tubes.”

“Critics say Hollywood, with its distinct liberal bias, lacks credibility when it comes to making political films,” Sanders observes. “Some executives say they wonder if moviegoers confronted with grim realities on the nightly news will want to see fictionalized versions of them as entertainment. ‘I am concerned about viewer fatigue,’ says Chris Carlisle, president of domestic theatrical marketing at New Line Cinema, which is releasing Rendition on 10.19. ‘A lot of people don’t want to hear another thing about what’s wrong with the government.'”