Box art for War, Inc.

War, Inc.

  • Rated R

independent, special interest


In an effort to monopolize the opportunities a war-torn nation offers, a corporation's CEO hires a troubled hit man to kill a Middle East oil minister.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    30%
  • Audience Score
    38%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 15
Consumerism
4 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
4 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
4 out of 5

Capitalism takes a hit in dark, uneven war satire.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this film is technically a comedy, it's a dark one, and there's plenty of violence -- including gory fights and assassinations and people (including unarmed civilians) dying in bloody gunfire. Swear words also fly like shrapnel. Former tween star Hilary Duff plays a singer who sells her sexed-up image to the masses, dressing, singing and behaving (in her own words) like a "whore." The film satirizes giant companies that, with Washington D.C. firmly in their pockets, launch and manage an Iraq-style war purely for profit, with a mindless media repeating their lies about "freedom" and making the world a safer place. Soldiers (who are for-hire militia members, rather than U.S. Army troops) are portrayed as violent and drugged-up.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the film's politics. Do you think the filmmakers have a specific political agenda? What's your opinion on the topics they satirize in this movie? Whether you agree or disagree, you can at least discuss the surreal level of the satire. It's the same type of exaggeration found in classic books that a lot of people today mistake for mere fairy tales -- including Gulliver's Travels, The Wizard of Oz, and The Adventures of Pinocchio. What larger messages were those stories conveying within their fantasy adventures?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    30%
    reviews counted: 19
    see all War, Inc. reviews
  • Audience

    38%

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: War, Inc. squanders some top-tier talent (Marisa Tomei, Sir Ben Kingsley) as well as our patience.

- Aaron Hillis, Village Voice, Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fresh: For critics of the war with an appetite for red meat, War, Inc. will prove filling, if not quite completely nourishing.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rotten:

- Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out, Friday, November 18, 2011

Audience Reviews

3 stars

In the near future corporations rule the world rather than nation states and disputes are settled by a heavily armed "arbitrator" played by John Cusack. The combination of black comedy and extreme violence and the presence of the Cusacks and Dan Aykroyd will be familiar to anyone who has seen Grosse Point Blank. It's essentially a political satire, Turekistan being an obvious analogy for the events in the middle east; a kind of "Thank You For Smoking Guns". As political satire it has all the subtlety of a scud launcher, some of the physical comedy bordering on Zucker/Abrams territory, but it also has enough smart, witty and well observed dialogue to offend "patriots" everywhere and no doubt get everyone involved on the NSA's shitlist. The leads are all excellent, John and Marisa making a smart and sexy couple, Joan is hilarious as his company sidekick and Aykroyd once again supplies a memorable cameo. I couldn't help thinking it could've been a masterpiece if they'd shown a little more restraint, but the hit and miss comedy is on target far more often than off and it's nice to see an American comedy that's both intelligent and has something to say.

- garyX, Wednesday, June 19, 2013

3 stars

I did think it was funny in a low budget sort of way, but it is nowhere as good as Grosse Point Blank. John Cusack and Marisa Tomei were good, but Hilary Duff's incredibly horrible accent was enough to downgrade the entire movie. It was a little too messy, but I blame that mostly on the poor editing and amateuristic directing.

- ythelastman89, Friday, February 5, 2010

2 stars

What is the point of this movie? I think I get it, at least get what they were going for. The military industrial complex is bad and can mislead countries into needless conflict just for corporate profits at the expense of human life. Sure, got that, then what the hell is with the storyline of a Eurasian popstar (Hilary Duff) who has daddy issues? War Inc. is a farce but it doesn't have much of string to connect it all. It's all so scattershot, from lampooning politicians and corporations to squeezing in contrived romance and peculiar and almost nonsensical flashbacks with a fast-talking Ben Kingsley who sounds like he's doing an impression of Foghorn Leghorn. This movie feels like a collection of discarded scenes that someone pasted together. The movie's cynicism is almost repellent, and this is coming from a self-described cynic. It isn't the cynicism that bothers me but it's the lack of any bigger point. The satiric targets are all cheap and easy, which would be acceptable if the movie did more with the material. War Inc. is remarkably tone deaf when it comes to satire. The Duff sequences are superfluous and are begging to be scandalous, which then undercuts the movie's potshots about exploiting teenagers for sex. The movie just utterly collapses from the inside out by the end. The most memorable and headline-grabbing moment of War Inc. is when Duff drops a scorpion down her shorts. Does that sound like an enviable creative highpoint? Nate's Grade: C-

- mrbungle7821, Thursday, September 17, 2009