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‘Mosul’ Review: Anthony and Joe Russo Present an Intense but Impersonal Actioner About Fighting Isis

‘Mosul’ Review: Anthony and Joe Russo Present an Intense but Impersonal Actioner About Fighting Isis

It’s often said that specificity is the key to making something feel universal. It’s much less often said that universality is the key to making something feel specific. Matthew Michael Carnahan’s intense, relentless, and undeniably visceral “Mosul” — which takes both of these approaches at the same time as if trying to flank the truth from each side — provides all the evidence you’d ever need as to why that might be the case.

A true enough story inspired by Luke Mogelson’s 2017 New Yorker article “The Desperate Battle to Destroy Isis,” “Mosul” is essentially about a renegade Iraqi police unit who disobey orders and push towards the heart of darkness in order to save what’s left of their beloved home city. It is, so far as this critic can tell, the most accurate dramatization of an anti-Isis street fight that has ever been committed to the screen.

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