War Machine (film)

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War Machine
War Machine (film).jpg
Film poster
Directed by David Michôd
Produced by
Written by David Michôd
Based on The Operators
by Michael Hastings
Music by Nick Cave
Warren Ellis
Cinematography Dariusz Wolski
Edited by Peter Sciberras
Distributed by Netflix
Release date
  • May 26, 2017 (2017-05-26)
Running time
122 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million[1]

War Machine is a 2017 American satirical war film directed and written by David Michôd based on the nonfiction book The Operators by Michael Hastings. It is a fictionalized version of the events in the book based on United States Army General Stanley McChrystal.[2]

The film stars Brad Pitt, Anthony Michael Hall, Anthony Hayes, Topher Grace, Will Poulter, Tilda Swinton and Ben Kingsley. It was released on Netflix.com on May 26, 2017.[3]

Plot summary[edit]

Four-star General Glen McMahon (Brad Pitt) is sent to Afghanistan to bring the war to an end,[4] but finds himself to be the one under attack.[5]


McMahon's Entourage

US Diplomats


Combat Marines



On April 27, 2012, it was announced that New Regency and Plan B Entertainment had acquired the film adaptation rights to the 2011 best seller non-fiction book The Operators by Michael Hastings.[21] On April 14, 2014, David Michôd was hired to write and direct the film based on the war in Afghanistan.[7] Brad Pitt was attached to star as General Stanley McChrystal and produce the film along with his Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, while the film would be financed by New Regency and RatPac Entertainment.[7]

On June 8, 2015, Netflix acquired the distribution rights to the film which was re-titled War Machine, while Ian Bryce also came on board to produce the film along with others.[22] On June 17, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that there had been a budget issue between New Regency and RatPac with producers of Plan B, and thus Netflix had stepped in to buy the distribution rights for $60 million.[1]

On August 4, 2015, Emory Cohen was cast in the film to play a member of Gen. McChrystal's staff,[10] on August 10, 2015, Topher Grace joined the film to play Gen. Stanley McChrystal's civilian press adviser,[12] on August 11, 2015, John Magaro signed on to play Cory Burger, a special ops soldier and close advisor to General McMahon.[14] On August 14, 2015, Scoot McNairy joined the cast of the film,[15] on August 19, 2015, Anthony Michael Hall was added to the cast to play General Hank Pulver, loosely based on General Mike Flynn.[13] On August 20, 2015, Keith Stanfield signed on to the film,[19] the same day, Will Poulter also joined the cast for an unspecified role.[18] On August 25, Anthony Hayes joined the film,[9] on October 23, 2015, TheWrap revealed that RJ Cyler had also joined the film.[11] Alan Ruck was spotted filming.[23] Meg Tilly was also spotted but her casting was not then officially confirmed.[16] It was later reported Ben Kingsley and Tilda Swinton had been cast.[24]


Principal photography on the film began in mid-October 2015 in London.[25][26][27] Later on October 19, filming began in Abu Dhabi, the city was transformed into Kabul, streets into a military fortress, an old building as an American Embassy in Kabul, and a street as a Palestinian border crossing.[28][29] Filming also took place at the Abu Dhabi International Airport in November.[29] Some scenes were also filmed at the Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, England;[23] in mid-November 2015, while final scenes were being shot, actors were spotted filming in Ras al-Khaimah and the city's old neighborhood was transformed into Pakistani villages and a military base-camp.[30]


The film was released on Netflix on May 26, 2017.[31]


Brad Pitt visited Mumbai to promote the film and attended a special screening at PVR High Street Phoenix on May 24, 2017.[32]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 56 percent based on 68 reviews, and an average rating of 5.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "War Machine's uneven execution keeps its fact-based story from cleanly hitting its targets, but those flaws are frequently offset by sharp wit and solid acting."[33] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a 50 out of 100 score, based on 19 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[34]

As of June 4, 2017, War Machine on IMDB has received an average rating of 6.2 out of 10, from 9,684 reviewers.[35]


  1. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (June 17, 2015). "Whoa: Netflix Actually Paid $60M for Brad Pitt's Politically Charged Military Satire". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  2. ^ McGinley, Michael (May 3, 2017). "Brad Pitt Talks Divorce, Quitting Drinking, and Becoming a Better Man". GQ. Retrieved May 6, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Brad Pitt prepares for battle in shahid's.com 'War Machine' trailer". CNET. 
  4. ^ Grow, Kory (March 30, 2017). "See Brad Pitt Play Runaway General in 'War Machine' Trailer". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 6, 2017. 
  5. ^ Crothers, Jennifer (31 March 2017). "The trailer for Brad Pitt's Netflix film War Machine is here". The Mirror. Retrieved April 6, 2017. 
  6. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Brad Pitt Looks Like a Ken Doll on the Set of Upcoming Netflix Drama 'War Machine' -- See the Pics!". etonline.com. Retrieved May 6, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c Fleming Jr, Mike (April 14, 2014). "New Regency Taps Brad Pitt, David Michod To Tell Gen. Stanley McChrystal Afghan Story 'The Operators'". Deadline.com. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  8. ^ Mancini, Vince. "Brad Pitt And David Michôd’s ‘War Machine’ Is An Absurd, Tragicomic Home Run". 
  9. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (August 25, 2015). "'Animal Kingdom' Actor Anthony Hayes Joins ‘War Machine’ With Brad Pitt (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b A. Lincoln, Ross (August 4, 2015). "Joey King Will Be 'Going In Style'; Emory Cohen Enlists In Netflix's 'War Machine'". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 21, 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Sneider, Jeff (October 23, 2015). "'Power Rangers' Movie Adds 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' Star RJ Cyler as Blue Ranger". thewrap.com. Retrieved November 17, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b McNary, Dave (August 10, 2015). "Topher Grace Joins Brad Pitt In Netflix Black Comedy 'War Machine'". Variety. Retrieved August 11, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Busch, Anita (August 19, 2015). "Anthony Michael Hall Joins Brad Pitt In Netflix’s 'War Machine'". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 20, 2015. 
  14. ^ a b A. Lincoln, Ross (August 11, 2015). "John Magaro Joins 'War Machine'; Jason Fuchs Moves To 'La La Land'". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 16, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Fleming Jr, Mike (August 14, 2015). "Scoot McNairy Joins Brad Pitt In Netflix's 'War Machine'". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 16, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b Evry, Max (November 20, 2015). "Brad Pitt in Set Photos from Netflix's War Machine". comingsoon.net. Retrieved November 28, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Ben Kingsley teaches Patricia Clarkson how to drive in new dramedy". Toronto Sun. Retrieved May 6, 2017. 
  18. ^ a b McNary, Dave (August 20, 2015). "Will Poulter Joins Brad Pitt in Netflix’s 'War Machine'". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2015. 
  19. ^ a b Sneider, Jeff (August 20, 2015). "'Straight Outta Compton's Keith Stanfield Joins Brad Pitt's Netflix Movie 'War Machine' (Exclusive)". thewrap.com. Retrieved August 21, 2015. 
  20. ^ Taylor, Drew (26 May 2017). "Director David Michôd on Why Netflix's 'War Machine' Could Never Be Made at a Studio". Movie Fone. Retrieved 26 May 2017. 
  21. ^ Abrams, Rachel (April 27, 2012). "New Regency, Plan B dial ‘Operators’". Variety. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  22. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (June 8, 2015). "Game Changer! Netflix Lands 'War Machine', Brad Pitt's Next Star Vehicle". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 11, 2015. 
  23. ^ a b "Brad Pitt pictured in full military gear as he heads to work to film scenes for movie War Machine at Dunsfold Aerodrome". The Daily Mail. November 13, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Netflix Acquires Charlie McDowell's 'The Discovery' Starring Rooney Mara, Robert Redford and Jason Segel". Netflix. June 13, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2016. 
  25. ^ FOX-Leonard, Boudicca (October 17, 2015). "Brad Pitt looks GREY-t as silver fox on London set of new film War Machine". Daily Mirror. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Silver fox Brad Pitt debuts dyed grey hairdo as he brings twins Knox and Vivienne along to the set of satirical comedy War Machine in London". The Daily Mail. October 18, 2015. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Brad Pitt Is the Ultimate Silver Fox on the Set of War Machine (Move Over, Clooney!)". usmagazine.com. October 19, 2015. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  28. ^ Sheridan, Wade (October 15, 2015). "Brad Pitt's Netflix original movie 'War Machine' to start production in Abu Dhabi". upi.com. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  29. ^ a b "Quiet Abu Dhabi street transforms into War Machine film set". thenational.ae. October 21, 2015. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  30. ^ "RAK becomes celebrity zone as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie fly down to the emirate". thenational.ae. November 14, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Brad Pitt prepares for battle in Netflix's 'War Machine' trailer". CNET. 
  32. ^ "Brad Pitt is in Mumbai to attend War Machine screening, to meet Shah Rukh Khan". The Indian Express. 24 May 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2017. 
  33. ^ "War Machine (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 26, 2017. 
  34. ^ "War Machine reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved May 26, 2017. 
  35. ^ War Machine (2017), retrieved 2017-06-04 

External links[edit]