New ‘War Machine’ Trailer Has Brad Pitt Comically Navigating a Military Quagmire

     May 10, 2017


Netflix has released a new War Machine trailer.  Directed by David Michôd (Animal Kingdom), the movie is based on the book The Operators: The Wild & Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan, and stars Brad Pitt as decorated U.S. general Gen. Glenn McMahon (based on Gen. Stanley McChrystal) whose ultra-confidence was cut down by a journalist’s exposé.

As you can see from the trailer, the movie is really leaning into the absurdity of not just war, but the complications of trying to build a coalition and the politics required.   It’s not simply a matter of sending troops to one place, securing a town, and so forth. That being said, it could be argued that the real absurdity was the attempt at nation building in the first place.

The movie looks like a darkly comic blast, and I’ll definitely be streaming it the day it premieres on Netflix.

Check out the new War Machine trailer below. The film premieres on Netflix on May 26th and also stars Tilda Swinton, Sir Ben Kingsley, Anthony Michael Hall, Topher Grace, Will Poulter, Lakeith Stanfield, Emory Cohen, John Magaro, RJ Cyler, Alan Ruck, Scoot McNairy, and Meg Tilly.

Here’s the official synopsis for War Machine:

In a film for our times, writer-director David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) recreates a U.S. General’s roller-coaster rise and fall as part reality, part savage parody – raising the specter of just where the line between them lies today.  His is an anti-establishment, pro-soldier exploration in the form of an absurdist war story of a born leader’s ultra-confident march right into the dark heart of folly.  At the story’s core is Brad Pitt’s sly take on a successful, charismatic four-star general who leapt in like a rock star to command NATO forces in Afghanistan, only to be taken down by his own hubris and a journalist’s no-holds-barred expose. War Machine addresses the debt we owe to soldiers to question the purposes to which they are being directed.


The Netflix original film is inspired by the book The Operators: The Wild & Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan by the late journalist Michael Hastings.  Joining Pitt in War Machine is a highly decorated cast including Emory Cohen, RJ Cyler, Topher Grace, Anthony Michael Hall, Anthony Hayes, John Magaro, Scoot McNairy, Will Poulter, Alan Ruck, Lakeith Stanfield, Josh Stewart, Meg Tilly, Tilda Swinton and Sir Ben Kingsley. Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Ted Sarandos and Ian Bryce serve as producers.  James W. Skotchdopole, Pauline Fischer, Sarah Bowen and Sarah Esberg serve as executive producers. The film will be released on Netflix on May 26, 2017.

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