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Documentary, War

In February 2009 a group of Danish soldiers accompanied by documentary filmmaker Janus Metz arrived at Armadillo, an army base in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. Metz and cameraman Lars Skree spent six months following the lives of young soldiers situated less than a kilometer away from Taliban positions. The outcome of their work is a gripping and highly authentic war drama that was justly awarded the Grand Prix de la Semaine de la Critique at this year's Cannes film festival.

The critical consensus

Moving, complex and brutal, it’s an outstanding film about men at war.

****(*)Phil de Semlyen, Empire Online, 04/04/2011

Overpraised doc about Afghanistan.

**(*)(*)(*)Chris Tookey, Daily Mail, 07/04/2011

As with last year's Oscar-nominated doc Restrepo, this avoids the wider political questions of what the West is doing here. It's simply a record of men at war, trying not to get killed.

***(*)(*)Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 08/04/2011

Other questions could be asked about the ethics of creating thriller-style tension in the run-up to real combat, but there’s no denying the power of the images director Janus Metz Pedersen has captured.

****(*)Andrew Lowry, Total Film, 07/04/2011

Extraordinarily powerful.

****(*)Sukhdev Sandhu, The Telegraph, 07/04/2011

It's terrifying stuff.

****(*)Steve Rose, The Guardian, 07/04/2011

A significant addition to the documentaries on the war on terror.

****(*)Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 08/04/2011

Armadillo presents itself not as vérité-style reportage but as intensely "cooked", styled cinema. The editing opts for brisk cutting rather than long takes, and the imagery is often poetic, with a dash of Apocalypse Now in shots of a chopper hanging in a toxic yellow sky.

Jonathan Romney, The Independent on Sunday, 10/04/2011

The moral uncertainty of war is conveyed with devastating effect in a remarkable dispatch from Afghanistan's frontline.

Philip French, The Observer, 10/04/2011

The film doesn't sit in judgment, but it does broaden our understanding of what's happening behind enemy lines – and behind the headlines.

****(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 16/04/2011

Features about Armadillo

Armadillo: The horror! The horror!

David Gritten, The Telegraph, 11/04/2011

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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