the yellow birds

★★★

Director: alexandre moors (blue caprice)

Starring: alden ehrenreich, tye sheridan, jack huston, and jennifer aniston


REVIEWER: lyall carter

Two young soldiers, Bartle and Murph, navigate the terrors of the Gulf War under the command of the older, troubled Sgt. Sterling. All the while, Bartle is tortured by a promise he made to Murph's mother before their deployment.

I have to state from the outset that it has to be a very good modern war film like American Sniper, The Hurt Locker, or Black Hawk Down to really grab my attention and hold it. I'm not sure what it is I guess I'm just not a massive fan of modern war films.

Bartle and Murph are your typical army recruits: young and looking for some kind of escape from their current circumstances, each for differing reasons. Their commander, Sergeant Sterling, promises that they will obey him no questions asked. However, in the heat of battle during deployment something goes horribly awry and Murph disappears leaving Sgt. Sterling and Bartle to answer questions at home. 

There are so many dynamics at play in this story. Friendship, the horrors of war, abuse of power, and a raft of others. These dynamics are difficult to juggle within the relatively short running time of a film compared to a TV series. Director Moors generally does a solid job with the story flowing relatively well.

 

After Solo it was great to see Ehrenreich sink his teeth deep into a really meaty, dramatic role. He pulls off with ease all the while with the horror of what happened to his friend seemingly permanently etched on his face. Jack Huston is again a stand out as the domineering yet troubled commander, brilliantly holding the tension between holding himself together and his increasing madness. 

Although it doesn't have much of a wow factor, The Yellow Birds has a great story with solid performances which is more than enough to keep the audience interested. 

★★★

The Yellow Birds is available on DVD and digital from all good disc and digital retailers. 

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