Movie Poster
The Fog of War
Errol Morris
Robert McNamara
105 min.


The New York Times review said of Fog of War that "If there is one movie that ought to be studied by military and civilian leaders around the world at the treacherous historical moment, it is The Fog of War". In fact, this is the film that should be seen by Michael Moore. Refreshingly about political subjects without being expressly political, and (thankfully) without Moore's "look at me, I'm a hero" antics, this ought to be a lock (although I haven't seen a single one of its competitors) for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar.

Robert McNamara must have spent the last few decades (perhaps his whole life) in constant reexamination of his past. Some of the admissions he makes are startling. He doesn't seem to be pressured into saying anything he wouldn't freely admit, though, which makes this all the more amazing. Errol Morris appears ultimately respectful of both McNamara and the spirit of what he was saying. Honestly, having just watched this movie about him, I couldn't say to which party McNamara's politcal affiliations lie. The movie is not bombastic in any sense, the way so many politcal documentaries are (Michael Moore (post-Roger and Me)).

Errol Morris has always been a supreme film stylist, and along with his revolutionary adaption of form has set him apart from his contemporaries. The Thin Blue Line, which brought him to prominent view, is nothing short of a reversal of many rules of the documentary. The Fog of War does nothing quite so grand to the genre, but his wealth of found (not so accidental as that sounds, I'm sure he spent thousands of hours researching) footage makes this more involving, more exciting than most conventional narrative films. Visually, this often resembles a more direct 'Qatsi film (the Philip Glass score contributes to this, probably).

Pat Jackson