Director Paul Greengrass has applied his jumpy, tumbling visual style to action blockbusters with Matt Damon (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum) and serious dramatizations of political events (Bloody Sunday, about the 1972 massacre of Irish protesters; United 93, about the passenger revolt aboard the
ill-fated 9/11 flight). This Iraq war drama makes a game attempt to meld the two, though manufacturing thrills takes precedence over any kind of journalistic insight. Damon plays a U.S. Army officer who’s begun to realize his WMD intelligence reports are worthless; when a tip leading to Saddam’s top general gets swallowed up in a turf war between the CIA (aka Brendan Gleeson) and the Department of Defense (aka Greg Kinnear), Damon goes after the guy himself. Brian Helgeland's script is "inspired by" Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s nonfiction book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, which is to say that both are set in post-invasion Iraq.