Sometimes cinemaniacs get rewarded for stepping outside the theater. Scott Weinberg, his tongue possibly in cheek, thinks a viral 4-minute internet video is the best movie of the year. I am convinced that the year's best fiction-on-film (so far -- though I have trouble imagining anything topping it) is currently airing on HBO. That would be Generation Kill, the seven-part, eight-hour Iraq War miniseries from David Simon and Ed Burns (The Wire). I know, I know: this is Cinematical, not TV Squad. But Generation Kill is something no movie lover should ignore.

Fans of The Wire already know of Simon and Burns's uncanny, unparalleled ability to weave together hyper-realism, trenchant commentary and riveting drama, but even they may be stunned, as I was, by what this smaller-scale project has to offer. It is, quite simply, the deepest and most sympathetic portrayal of the military -- any military -- I have ever seen. It may also be the first "Hollywood" take on the Iraq War that is genuinely thoughtful and de-politicized. Rather than offering a polemic, the series (adapted from a book by Evan Wright, a reporter who rode with the 1st Recon Marine Unit) just observes -- and, by all accounts, gets close to the truth.

categories Movies, Cinematical