The Beast

Filmed on extraordinary desert locations in Israel, this superior war movie effortlessly fuses the moral complexity of scriptwriter William Mastrosimone's original stage play with the visual spectacle and narrative drive of a full-blown cinema feature. During the second year of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a Soviet tank razes an Afghan village to the ground, before becoming lost in the aptly named Valley of the Jackal. Vengeful Afghan rebels track and circle the wounded beast, taking bites out of its tough metal hide in an effort to expose the soft flesh inside. The action is tough and gripping, while the quieter scenes explore the adversaries' contrasting, sometimes self-contradictory, attitudes towards the conflict. Mark Isham's spare electronic score is an added bonus.

Release details

Duration: 109 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Kevin Reynolds
Screenwriter: William Mastrosimone
Cast: George Dzundza
Jason Patric
Steven Bauer
Stephen Baldwin
Don Harvey
Frick Avari
Kabir Bedi

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Andy S

A stunning anti-war film from future director of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Waterworld, this is the kind of film that much more people need to see. Astounding performances and poignant story telling (Jason Patric proving he’s one of Hollywood most underrated actors –Speed 2 not counting!) about an obsessive tank commander, this film was ahead of its time and echoes the likes of Platoon, Black Hawk Down and The Hurt Locker whilst possibly being superior to all three. A lost gem.

Andy S

A stunning anti-war film from future director of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Waterworld, this is the kind of film that much more people need to see. Astounding performances and poignant story telling (Jason Patric proving he’s one of Hollywood most underrated actors –Speed 2 not counting!) about an obsessive tank commander, this film was ahead of its time and echoes the likes of Platoon, Black Hawk Down and The Hurt Locker whilst possibly being superior to all three. A lost gem.