Time Out says
This Netflix Original movie stars Nicholas Hoult as an American soldier struggling to deal with life in Iraq
Netflix Original TV shows may be going great guns, but when it comes to movies there’s a distinct whiff of mediocrity. ‘Sand Castle’ doesn’t buck the trend. This Iraq war drama is solid in every department – intriguing setup, unflashy direction, decent performances from a fairly recognisable cast – but it rarely feels more than workmanlike.
Nicholas Hoult plays Private Matt Ocre, a reluctant soldier who, in the film’s first scene, slams his hand in a car door to get out of active duty. But his workshy schemes can’t last forever, and before long Ocre and his platoon are heading out to a remote desert city where, under the command of Captain Syverson (Henry Cavill) and Sergeant Harper (Logan Marshall-Green), they’re tasked with repairing a key water main that’s been busted by a stray American bomb.
‘Sand Castle’ never attempts to make noble heroes out of its soldiers. They start out loudmouthed, semi-competent and/or terrified, and finish the same way. As a microcosmic look at America’s failure in Iraq, it’s smart if a little soft-centred – the implication is that they were ‘there to help’, however misguidedly. Overall, this isn’t a bad movie. The action, when it comes, is fairly intense, and there are a handful of touching character moments. The problem is that none of it adds up to much.
Cast and crew