Stanley A. McChrystal

Brad Pitt's canny allusion to Gen. Stanley McChrystal is at the heart of the nervy satire 'War Machine'

Brad Pitt's canny allusion to Gen. Stanley McChrystal is at the heart of the nervy satire 'War Machine'

American movies are traditionally schizophrenic about our military might, celebrating it in John Wayne epics and mocking it in everything from "MASH" to "Dr. Strangelove." But "War Machine" has decided, with exceptional results, that it wants it both ways.

Starring Brad Pitt and written and directed by the gifted David Michod, "War Machine" is on the one hand an assured, nervy black satire on America's involvement in Afghanistan and on one particular soldier, commander of U.S. forces and four-star Gen. Glen McMahon, a.k.a. Big Glen or the Glenimal.

Yet while "War Machine" makes it clear that McMahon made a hash of things in...

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