Two young soldiers, Bartle (21) and Murph (18) navigate the terrors of the Iraq war under the command of the older, troubled Sergeant Sterling. All the while, Bartle is tortured by a promise he made to Murph's mother before their deployment.
Willowdean ('Dumplin'), the plus-size teenage daughter of a former beauty queen, signs up for her mom's Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant as a protest that escalates when other contestants follow her footsteps, revolutionizing the pageant and their small Texas town.
The acerbic, hilarious Claire Bennett becomes fascinated by the suicide of a woman in her chronic pain support group. As she uncovers the details of Nina's suicide and develops a poignant relationship with Nina's husband, she also grapples with her own, very raw personal tragedy.
"Yellow Birds" follows John Bartle and the difficulties he faces in keeping his humanity, his urge to survive and his friend Murph alive during the war in Iraq, as well as his life and struggles with his memories of the war after he comes back to Virginia.Written by
Will Poulter was originally casted as Brandon Bartle, but dropped out to star in the Comedy 'War Machine' alongside Brad Pitt. See more »
When Bartle pushes his mother against the wall in his bedroom, he holds her with his left hand. When the camera angle changes and he lets get go to leave the room, he is using his right hand. See more »
For the first half hour or so I didn't know what to make of this film. The tone was all over the place and I couldn't tell if the filmmaker wanted to make a War film or a drama.
I'll do my best not to spoil anything, but it wouldn't matter if I did, as this film isn't worth your time. It was very clear throughout the film that the writers/filmmaker, either weren't very knowledgeable of the US Army and how soldiers address each other, conduct themselves, or what battle drills are or how they are conducted.
These two young soldiers we follow constantly refer to a non-commissioned officer as "sir". Anybody who has served knows that is a big no no and would earn them a nice smoke session(forced strenuous PT) until they address him properly. This is just one of many issues with the film.
I honestly have no clue when this movie is set. Based on their uniforms I assume it takes place during the early stages of the invasion of Iraq, yet bars and private homes have modern flat screen wall mounted tv sets? Also there is a scene near the beginning, of the two leads meeting each other at a shooting range, but I couldn't tell if it was supposed to be at bootcamp, or at their assigned duty station. This film is rife with this style of poor writing.
The War scenes should've either been cut entirely or presented more ambiguously. Because these actors and the director slept walked right through them. None of it felt earned or organic, which is partially due to the lifeless foley. The rifles, LMGs, explosions, hiss/snaps of incoming fire etc. all sounded like it was meant to be marketed to the elderly, so it wouldn't hurt their ears. I'm surprised nobody stepped in and told this director to get some kind of energy and passion out of the actors.
By about the fifty minute mark it was clear that they were going for a mystery/drama, but even that felt unearned. None of the dramatic scenes felt natural, it felt as though the writer was searching for something to keep the audience invested.
This wasn't the worst War film I've seen, but it's not a good one either. It tries too hard to be multiple different things at once, the acting was average at best, there wasn't enough build up to any of the plot points, the directing was weak for the most part. There is a good movie in here.... Somewhere. They just couldn't find it.
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