“Restrepo” offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to all those not enlisted in the Army; an insight into the life of war. We are not just talking about interviews and picturesque ariel views, we are talking about unadulterated war to the highest degree: the planning, the building, the down time, and even the firing and killing. From the second the film begins, with an explosion occurring within a convoy, there is no questioning that this will be a unique experience.

Weighing in early on this one, I do feel that “Restrepo” has absolutely everything it needs to win the Oscar for Best Documentary. Having only seen “Exit Through the Gift Shop”, I feel that “Restrepo” has more of an importance and sense of urgency that lacks from “Gift Shop”. Though both are innovative and edgy in their observational points of view, “Restrepo” just carries a more unique presence in being able to “live” the life of soldiers residing in one of the most dangerous parts of the world.

Just the sheer raw mentality of the film opens it up for being a true frontrunner in the Academy Awards race. The interviews are heartfelt and dynamic, the visuals are absolutely breathtaking, literally rendering you speechless at moments, and the filmmakers even find a way of extracting humor from the relationships between the men.

This is the closest I will ever get to experiencing what it is like for those involved in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. There is seeing these events on the news and then there is seeing these events firsthand in “Restrepo” and that is what will seal its name in that Oscar envelope on the big night.


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