The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara2003
The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003)
Critic Consensus: The Fog of War draws on decades of bitter experience to offer a piercing perspective on the Cold War from one of its major architects.
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Critic Reviews for The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara
Although Errol Morris's film takes us through the nasty dramas behind various wars, few of McNamara's clarifications come as a surprise.
For those of my generation, the true resonance in the film may be in the constant juxtaposition between the then and the now of the McNamara life.
What's genuinely suspenseful about the movie is its journey into the heart and mind of McNamara.
Audience Reviews for The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara
A mesmerizing, slightly offbeat documentary from the great Errol Morris ("The Thin Blue Line") concerning former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and his experiences in both WWII and Vietnam, and looking back on his decisions and how to pertain to the days we live in now. McNamara appears to be a very likable, flawed individual (like we all are) who seems to be historically misunderstood given his reputation that he screwed up the Vietnam War quite badly. Instead we get an honest, genuine look at a man who gives a fair look at himself and his decisions, admits to his mistakes, but remains proud of his many accomplishments. Definitely a more humanizing look at a politician, in a day and age where people love to eat these people for lunch. One of the better documentaries I can recall, and anyone from the Kennedy-Johnson era should give this a look.
Robert McNamara explains his life during the two World Wars and the Vietnam War. For those of us who are students of history but didn't live during the times of the Vietnam War and WWII, this film doesn't have the resonance it might otherwise have. What I see is McNamara the apologist and McNamara the regretful soldier, personalities that he freely oscillates between almost at will. He wags his finger at the camera so many times that I felt like he was giving me, a small boy, a lecture on how to live. The film becomes a compilation of McNamara saying, "I did my best, but I fucked up, but damn it, I did my best!" Overall, I think this film is a good introduction to people who know little about the wars, but it ultimately devolves into a talking head documentary.
Not a whole lot to say other than see it!
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