Men Go To Battle 2.0 stars

Men Go To Battle movie poster

Long on atmospherics, short on narrative, Zachary Treitz's grainy history lesson is at once anti-war, anti-story, anti-character, and pro-mumblecore. Overgrown Francis (David Maloney) schemes on a future as a tobacco farmer while seemingly responsible older brother Henry (a stone-faced Tim Morton) ups and enlists. When a clumsy stab at front porch romance leaves his future sister-in-law (Rachel Korine) in tears, Henry disappears into the night and isn’t heard from until a letter arrives informing Francis of his whereabouts. (What little structure there is to behold in the second half stems from a series of correspondence between the two illiterate siblings.) The film eventually lives up to its title and the shoestring recreation of Civil War combat never fails to impress. But other than his uncanny flair for using the camera as a tool to smite budgetary restrictions, Treitz’s pronounced avoidance of cinematic norms turns out to be the director’s own worst enemy. 2015.

Scott Marks

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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