Sunday, February 17, 2008


Rating: Not Rated
Length: 102 minutes
Director: Charles Ferguson
Writer: Charles Ferguson
Starring: Campbell Scott

I’m as anti-war as the next person. I don’t disagree with “No End in Sight”’s point of view or it’s statements. I did, however, find the film to be very dull in it’s delivery (They couldn’t find a more lively narrator than Campbell Scott?). Good intentions don’t automatically make a good documentary. First time documentarian Charles Ferguson personally funded, produced, wrote, and directed the film and I do believe that his intentions are good. The facts presented are certainly sad. The mistakes made leading up to the war are pointed out. The lives that were negatively affected by everyone involved- the citizens of Iraq, our soldiers, even the politicians/officials that regret their errors are shown. It just didn’t make for a very involving film. One review I read pointed out that if you read the New York Times that none of the information presented here would be any kind of news to you. I don’t think having followed the Times is even necessary for that. Anyone who has taken the slightest interest in finding out what this war is about and what lead up to it probably all ready knows what is on display here- and Ferguson doesn’t bring anything really new to the table. It’s the typical documentary formula that you’d see in every run of the mill doc- interviews, still frames, news footage, and screen cards stating facts. I know that the documentary format doesn’t have a whole lot of options when it comes to mixing it up, but I’m just being honest when I tell you that I, personally, found the film to be bland and repetitive. “No End in Sight” is favored to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary this year. Out of it’s fellow nominees, “Sicko” is the only other one I’ve seen so far. I plan on watching the other three before the awards are presented- though two of them also have the Iraq war as their subjects as well. Is that all it takes to get noticed by the Academy? I found “King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters”, “Kurt Cobain: About a Son”, and “Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten” (if I wasn’t a Nirvana and/or Clash fan- I’d still enjoy the latter two) to all be superior documentaries to “No End in Sight” and “Sicko”- even if they didn’t make any important “statements”.

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