Now that David Michod and Brad Pitt‘s War Machine has been streaming for nearly a month, is there anyone out there who felt moderately impressed and more pleased than not?

My main observations were that (a) “Pitt‘s oddly one-note, gruff-voiced performance may feel like a stumbling block to some, but he was trying to convey something about rigid thinking, about living in the prison of can-do military machismo,” and (b) “though didactic, War Machine unfolds in a rational way…it’s not forced or turgid or hard to get…it’s a surface-y thing, yes, but it does have an element of sadness and regret in the third act…it’s a condemnation of myopic mentalities, and of American arrogance and bureaucratic cluelessness.”

From Peter Maass’s 6.17 Intercept piece:

“There is one particular group of people who love the film, and we should pay more attention to them, because in the matter of war movies they are the experts who matter the most: soldiers.

Helene Cooper, a military correspondent for The New York Times, noted in a podcast the other day that ‘everybody at the Pentagon is talking about’ War Machine, and, she added, ‘the guys who you think would be offended by it, love it.’ Retired Gen. David Barno wrote with co-author Nora Bensahel that it ‘should be must-see TV for our current generals and all those who aspire to wear stars.’

“I’ve met the kinds of officers and diplomats depicted so scathingly in War Machine, and while exaggerated in the movie, they are real. They probably mean well but they fail or refuse to see what everyone around them can see, and must pay for in blood. Our delusional leaders finally have the movie their insanity deserves.”