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A scene from the movie Armadillo
Genre Documentary
Running Time 105 min
MPAA rating Unrated
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Soldiers Mads and Daniel are stationed in camp Armadillo on the Helmand frontline, fighting battles against the Taliban on a daily basis. Their platoon is stationed there to help the Afghans, but as fighting gets increasingly intense, paranoia sets in causing alienation and disillusionment amongst the troops. War eventually makes these young men pursue their reality-kicks with increasing recklessness.

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June 22, 2011 - Boston.com - Wesley Morris/Globe Staff

We couldn’t be too far from a reality-television show about the current wars. Every week our cast of soldiers confronts both the uncertain terrors of combat and the doldrums of downtime. The men would explain war’s emotional toll. We’d see firefights. It would all be packaged as a kind of stylized episodic entertainment centered on a digestible conceit like personality or closure. I can’t think of a feature-length documentary that has truly trivialized these wars by applying certain reality-show principles — by pushing personalities to the foreground, say. Many nonfiction films about the war in Afghanistan are more drawn to atmosphere and morality than personality or story. Thereness is often the movie’s biggest asset.

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