Buffalo Soldiers

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'War is hell, but peace - peace is fucking boring.' So say the US army grunts stationed in West Germany, four decades into the Cold War. What's a soldier to do with a concept like deterrence? With nothing to kill except time, these guys flog stolen arms, munitions and supplies, and then get high on the profits. Or they go crazy and start fighting among themselves. Either way, Specialist Ray Elwood (Phoenix) is doing just great until Top Sergeant Lee (Glenn) arrives to clean up the base. Mutually assured destruction ensues. Delayed by American sensitivities after September 11, Jordan's adaptation of a black comic novel by Robert O'Connor plays like a hard-corps Sgt Bilko - or Catch-22 without the catch. It's a very different take from Ridley Scott's dutiful Black Hawk Down. Genuinely edgy and often very funny, Buffalo Soldiers is a little glib, but it's anarcho anti-authoritarianism is especially welcome now [in 2003]. With toothy performances from Phoenix and Paquin (as Sergeant Lee's daughter), and a cool David Holmes score, this has 'cult hit' written all over it.

Release details

Duration: 98 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Gregor Jordan
Screenwriter: Gregor Jordan, Eric Axel Weiss, Nora Maccoby
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix
Ed Harris
Scott Glenn
Anna Paquin
Gabriel Mann
Leon Robinson
Sheik Mahmud-Bey
Michael Peña
Glenn Fitzgerald
Dean Stockwell
Elizabeth McGovern
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