Netflix Gritty Iraqi War Drama ‘Mosul’ is One of the Best Combat Films Ever

Alice Oscura, Featured Writer

Plot: The last of the Nineveh Swat Team fight to save the city of Mosul that is overrun by ISIS. They induct a young police officer named Kawa (Adam Bessa) after saving him, and he has to learn very quickly what it means to be a Nineveh under Commander Jasem (Suhail Dabbach).

Background: Mosul is based on true events that depict the battle of Mosul (Iraq’s second largest city) in 2016 which saw Iraqi Government forces and coalition allies defeat ISIS who had controlled the city since 2015. The film was inspired by Luke Mogelson’s article “The Desperate Battle to Destroy ISIS” as published in The New Yorker in 2017. Mosul was shot in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Review: Mosul was produced by the Russo brothers of Marvel Cinematic Universe fame, and they have another Netflix hit on their hands after this year’s Extraction starring Chris Hemsworth. The film is the directorial debut of Matthew Michael Carnahan, screenwriter of The Kingdom, World War Z and 21 Bridges, and I believe it’s worthy enough to be classed with some of the best war/combat movies of all time like Black Hawk Down, The Hurt Locker and American Sniper.

Mosul is an intense film from the start, and you’ve got to have a strong stomach sometimes because war is hell. The Nineveh Swat Team are basically an elite, rogue band of Iraqi soldiers who operate outside the command of regular Iraqi Forces and are intent on beating ISIS by any means necessary. This basically means no capturing for imprisonment, if you catch my drift.

The film is shot documentary-style to give us a sense of being plopped right into the action with the squad. The members of the Swat team are passionate about freeing their city and breaking one of ISIS’ strongholds, and it can become quite emotionally taxing and intense when you see the utter destruction and death caused by war and terrorism. It is a grim reminder of how the Iraqis had to liberate the city one house at a time and in doing so, absolutely leveled it. The overhead shots that show the destruction look like they were taken straight out of news footage. And this time there’s no American involvement to show them coming out to save the day. It’s pure grit and bravery from a highly outnumbered group of men that were unsung heroes of this conflict.

In terms of acting, Bessa has a terrific presence as the newest and youngest squad member, and Dabbach adds engaging personality touches to the hard-nosed Commander Jasem.

By the way peeps you have to pay particular attention to the opening credits, okay? It is especially important.

It is to be admired that Mosul doesn’t sensationalise war, but shows us the raw and brutal emotions of trying to salvage your homeland and grapple it away from a sect hell bent on utter destruction. So many innocent lives are lost and for what?

Mosul is an excellent tribute to the fallen men of the Nineveh Swat Team who sacrificed their lives for their city.

Alice’s Score: 9 out of 10

For Julien’s review of Extraction you can click here

39AFB96D-4DEF-4DED-8DFE-3400E758CE9B Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump.

I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. You can find me as Dark Alice Reviews on Facebook, my Instagram is alice_oscura and my Twitter handle is @lise_veliz2. For more on me you can click here.


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