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

Overview

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:
11/03/2009
UPC:
0883929091645
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:55:00
Sales rank:
27,038

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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