Big question: In the 1940s, the U.S. military used Frank Capra-directed propaganda films called "Why We Fight" to recruit troops. Can the new, Sundance award-winning documentary show that the question of why we fight no longer has an easy answer?
Catch it: Delivered like "Fahrenheit 9/11" without Michael Moore's sarcastic prodding, "Why We Fight" offers an angering insight into the forces that pushed U.S. troops into Iraq. Real people and politicians make the case that money is spent and lives are lost to pursue a cause that owes more to imperialism than democracy.
Skip it if: You don't believe Gore Vidal's assessment of the U.S.A. as the "United States of Amnesia."
Bottom line: "Why We Fight" is a succinct history lesson and a horrifying inquiry into political contradictions, false promises and perpetuated terror.
Bonus: Questioning if we live in greater fear now than when '40s films declared, "It is possible for a rocket to strike your home. Right now!"
`Why We Fight'
Written and directed by Eugene Jarecki; edited by Nancy Kennedy; music by Robert Miller; produced by Jarecki and Susannah Shipman; featuring Sen. John McCain, Gore Vidal, Charles Lewis, William Kristol, James Roche, John S.D. Eisenhower, retired Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski and Wilton Sekzer. A Sony Pictures Classics release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:39. MPAA rating: PG-13 for disturbing war images and brief language.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times