A collection of war films. 'Black Hawk Down' (2001) is based on the US military blunders which took place in Somalia in 1993. Following a series of attacks by warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid on a Red Cross distribution centre, a group of US Rangers are sent on a mission to capture two of Aidid's close associates in the capital city Mogadishu. However, after successfully apprehending their targets, the Americans come under heavy attack from the residents of the city. In the ensuing chaos, a US Black Hawk helicopter is shot down, and the surviving crew find themselves trapped in a confused and relentless shooting battle with the enemy. In 'Born On the Fourth of July' (1989) Tom Cruise plays Ron Kovic, a man brought up in the God-fearing All-American tradition, the perfect material to fight for the US cause in Vietnam. However, nothing could prepare the young Marine for the horrors of the frontline and he returns home paralysed from chest down. Embittered, Kovic goes into a self-destructive downward spiral, until he finds new direction by joining the anti-war movement. Vietnam drama 'Casualties of War' (1989), which is based on a real incident, tells the story of one soldier's quest for truth and justice amidst the violence and moral incertitude of war. On patrol with the hard-nosed Sergeant Meserve (Sean Penn), US infantryman Private Eriksson (Michael J. Fox) refuses to join in when Meserve and the other soldiers kidnap, rape and murder a Vietnamese girl (Thuy Thu Le). Eriksson's stance then puts him in a dangerous position when the patrol returns to base, as the other soldiers get increasingly worried that he might report them. Francis Ford Coppola directs 'Gardens of Stone' (1987), a drama about soldiers stationed at home during the Vietnam war. Sgt. Hazard (James Caan) is frustrated by his role in a 'toy soldier' regiment whose orders are to guard the Arlington National Cemetery. However, his outlook changes when he begins a love affair with an anti-war journalist (Anjelica Huston). In 'Jarhead' (1989) young recruit Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal) joins up with the US Marines (nicknamed 'Jarheads' because of their distinctive haircuts) on the eve of the 1990 Gulf War. After a brutal spell in boot camp, during which Swofford and his fellow recruits are systematically geared up for the conflict, the Marines are dispatched to the deserts of the Persian Gulf to take part in a war that sees them required to do very little in the way of fighting. Finally, in 'The Kingdom' (2007), a terrorist bomb detonates inside a Western housing compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, triggering an international incident. While diplomats slowly debate equations of territorialism, FBI Special Agent Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx) quickly assembles an elite team and negotiates a secret five-day trip into Saudi Arabia to locate the madman behind the bombing. Upon landing in the desert kingdom, however, Fleury and his team discover Saudi authorities suspicious and unwelcoming of American interlopers into what they consider a local matter.
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