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Three Kings (1999)

This superb – though very violent – mix of comedy, drama and action is set at the end of the Gulf War.

Hearing a rumour that Saddam Hussein has stashed stolen gold in bunkers, US soldiers Major Archie Gates (George Clooney), Staff Sergeant Chief Elgin (Ice Cube) and Sergeant Troy Barlow (Mark Wahlberg) embark on a secret field trip with the help of a map they find concealed about an Iraqi soldier’s person.

It seems simple enough: grab the bullion and be rich for the rest of their lives. However, their quest for wealth is diverted when they reluctantly agree to help a group of Iraqi dissidents who are being tortured by Saddam’s men.

Wittily scripted by director David O Russell, it boasts terrific performances (especially from Clooney) and takes some well-aimed stabs at the late-20th-century phenomenon of war waged on television. It’s reckless, gripping and unmissable.


Major Archie Gates
George Clooney
Sergeant Troy Barlow
Mark Wahlberg
Staff Sergeant Chief Elgin
Ice Cube
Private Conrad Vig
Spike Jonze
Adriana Cruz
Nora Dunn
Walter Wogaman
Jamie Kennedy
Colonel Horn
Mykelti Williamson
Amir Abdulah
Cliff Curtis
Captain Said
Saïd Taghmaoui

David O Russell