Three Kings
  • Three Kings
  • Three Kings

Three Kings

4.5 14
Director: David O. Russell

Cast: David O. Russell, George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube


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Three stars team up for this unusual look at America's role in the war against Iraq. In 1991, as the Gulf War winds to a close, three American servicemen find themselves happy to have achieved victory but wondering about the ultimate importance of what they've done (especially since Saddam Hussein is still in power). Major Archie Gates (George Clooney) is a decorated…  See more details below


Three stars team up for this unusual look at America's role in the war against Iraq. In 1991, as the Gulf War winds to a close, three American servicemen find themselves happy to have achieved victory but wondering about the ultimate importance of what they've done (especially since Saddam Hussein is still in power). Major Archie Gates (George Clooney) is a decorated Vietnam veteran and special forces officer with two weeks to go before he retires; Sgt. Troy Barlow (Mark Wahlberg) has a new baby at home; and Chief Elgin (Ice Cube) is probably just going to end up back in Detroit. So when one of them comes across a map that seems to point out where Saddam's forces have stashed a large cache of gold they stole from Kuwait, they decide to follow the trail and take some of the war booty for themselves. However, the deeper they journey into Iraq, the more they see of the consequences of America's policies in the Middle East. Although President George Bush and the American military urged Iraqi citizens to rise up against Saddam Hussein, and pledged their support to a people's movement against the leader, Iraqis found that when they took to the streets against Saddam, the United States did not back them up, and the loss of Iraqi lives was fearsome. When Gates, Barlow and Elgin become aware of what's happening, they're torn between their desire to grab the fortune they came for and the demands of their conscience to help the people they came to liberate. Three Kings was directed by David O. Russell and marked a significant change of direction after his dark-humored relationship comedies, Spanking the Monkey and Flirting with Disaster.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Though its subject matter was a risky endeavor, Three Kings has the surprise visceral impact of a scud missile fired at close range. Director David O. Russell attacked a subject with dubious luster, possibly better suited to the topical realm of TV movies, and crafted one of the more visually arresting films of 1999. Russell's bag of tricks includes following a bullet into a human abdomen, sight and sound distortion during battlefield chaos, a POV of a dazed soldier watching his own life being saved, and the kind of gritty film stock that brings each individual fleck of sand into focus. Accompanying these is an equally offbeat perspective on what made the war such a disjointed and foreign experience for those involved: they may as well have been on Mars. "Are we shooting people or what?" yells Mark Wahlberg's Troy Barlow during the film's tone-setting opener, as a tired Iraqi on a nearby hill waves his weapon half-heartedly, with ambiguous intent. Barlow rips the guy's throat open with a slug, for lack of any guiding policy, either moral or military. Barlow and his eventual band of marauders, including (George Clooney, Ice Cube and, in a memorable acting breakthrough, Being John Malkovich director Spike Jonze), only put a human face on these Iraqis when they stumble into a civil strife in which a woman is brutally executed. For all the humor of the absurd vignettes that propel the film, Three Kings also taps into a shock wave of human emotion -- guaranteeing that it will linger in the viewer's consciousness far longer than that forgotten conflict in the desert.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Behind-The-Scenes Documentaries; Filmmaker Commentaries and Creative Personel Interviews ; Director's Video Journal; An Intimate Look Inside The Acting Process With Ice Cube; Hidden Bunkers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
George Clooney Major Archie Gates
Mark Wahlberg Sergeant Troy Barlow
Ice Cube Chief Elgin
Spike Jonze Conrad Vig
Nora Dunn Adriana Cruz
Jamie Kennedy Walter Wogaman
Mykelti Williamson Colonel Horn
Cliff Curtis Amir Abdulah
Saïd Taghmaoui Captain Sa'id
Judy Greer Cathy Daitch
Liz Stauber Debbie Barlow
Holt McCallany Captain Van Meter
Pete Antico [uncredited] Oasis Bunker Guard
Peter Macdissi Oasis Bunker Iraqi Republic Guard Lieutenant

Technical Credits
David O. Russell Director,Screenwriter
Kym Barrett Costumes/Costume Designer
Bruce Berman Executive Producer
Carter Burwell Score Composer
Jann K. Engel Art Director
Alan Glazer Associate Producer
Gregory Goodman Executive Producer
Catherine Hardwicke Production Designer
Robert Lambert Editor
John Leveque Sound Editor
Anne McCarthy Casting
Edward L. McDonnell Producer
John Ridley Co-producer,Original Story
Kim Roth Co-producer
Charles Roven Producer
Ralph Sall Musical Direction/Supervision
Douglas Segal Co-producer
Gene Serdena Set Decoration/Design
Newton Thomas Sigel Cinematographer
Kelley Smith-Wait Executive Producer
Edward Tise Sound/Sound Designer
Mary Vernieu Casting
Julian Wall Asst. Director
Paul Junger Witt Producer
Richard Wolf Musical Arrangement

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Three Kings
1. "Are We Shooting?" [1:58]
2. Celebration [4:20]
3. Ass Map [2:29]
4. What We Did Here [1:55]
5. Proctology Tent [6:04]
6. It's All Cow [3:49]
7. It's Milk [:10]
8. Necessity [:46]
9. Tensiliary Strength [4:25]
10. Don't Leave [:24]
11. Accident, Stay Cool [:45]
12. Mortar [3:08]
13. They Have a Shelter [:35]
14. Can We Shoot Him? [2:26]
15. Honey, It's Me [:29]
16. Boisterous and Giddy [2:05]
17. I Had No Choice [1:34]
18. The Iraqi Deal [:47]
19. Michael Jackson [1:08]
20. Bush Wants You [3:31]
21. Here's Your Stability [3:45]
22. Saddam's Coming [1:56]
23. Let's Get Out Of Here [1:00]
24. Power Pass [2:13]
25. Where's Conrad? [2:45]
26. I Thought That Was You [1:21]
27. Hide It Carefully [1:11]
28. The Border [2:58]
29. Not Our Problem [3:39]
30. Get Them Over [4:51]
31. End Credits [5:49]


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Three Kings 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Not only does Three Kings feature the superhero of all movies -Mark Wahlberg it blends together different genres so the movie is not as straight forward as it may seem.The effects are outstanding the cast is brilliant and the storyline sucks you in. (I was shouting at the tv for justice and bantering with myself even though there were an adequate amount of people in the room with me, anyway enough about my mental problems.) Three kings has action, many guns bombs helicopters etc. It has comedy- mostly black humour but humour none the less but the most important thing is that it has all this madness rolled into one gigantic totally thought provoking realistically stunning well endowed film. Enough with the big words , I`ll just tell it how it is Three Kings is fantastic need I say more . The characters all have different personalities so we can laugh and admire, the script at times is gut wrenchingly touching and funny.Its not just shooting and killing this film has morales which really force you to think. The dvd is packed with treats.Two commentaries full of hidden truths about the film (and more importantly if the cast really liked the actors!.)NOT to mention more uniquely weird deleted scenes, and my favourite special feature David O Russells video Journal featuring parts of him interviewing the stars for the movie. There are so many extras your be on your couch longer than you were for the movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great film. It has everything from action to dark humor to great story telling. Watching our three protagonist travel across the Iraqi terrain is highly entertaining, from their comedic lines to the battles with Iraqi troops. It never seems to get old, even after watching it over and over again. A highly entertaining movie, but it isn't for the faint of heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was a great movie. I had never really learned much about Operation Desert Storm because I was too young when it all happened but I learned a lot from this movie and think it is a good one to buy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hey, what's not to like? Action, humour, totally cool photography, drama; trust me, it's a good movie. Your 12-year-old son will think it's great, it won't offend grandma, and it tells a good story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best fictionalized account of the end of the first Iraq war! It should raise questions in everyone's minds about that one and the current one!
JosephNicholas More than 1 year ago
Three Kings Fast moving movie set in the events of the 1991 Gulf War. American soldiers pursue an immense gold treasure and end up giving it away to help the innocent impoverished people. It's a heist with heart and reveals a little of the world American soldiers encountered in Iraq. I liked it.
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