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October 17, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Several critics are observing that Fury is not your run-of-the-mill World War II movie. It dispenses with much of the "romance" of that war, and the U.S. soldiers are far from the heroic figures that we’re used to seeing. As the character played by Brad Pitt remarks in one scene, "Ideals are peaceful. History is violent." While some of the critics hail that perspective, others regard it as exploitative and crass. The applause drowns out most of the boos. To Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle, Fury is a "great movie." Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News writes that the film "excels in showing the ground-level, guttural intensity and claustrophobia of battle." Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times says that it belongs on the list of "memorable war movies." A.O. Scott in the New York Times describes some of the savage war scenes depicted in the film, then remarks: "But within this gore-spattered, superficially nihilistic carapace is an old-fashioned platoon picture, a sensitive and superbly acted tale of male bonding under duress." On the other hand, Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune comments that "Fury is mixture of sharp realism and squishy cliches that combat movies don’t really need anymore." Kyle Smith in the New York Post says that by the end of the film, he was rooting for Brad Pitt to be shot. "This is a problem, because he’s the hero of the film … a vainglorious bastard — vindictive, stupid and criminal." Director Ayer, he writes, "has evidently decided that if you can’t say anything new about war, you should say the old stuff, loudly and with images worthy of a gross-out horror flick." And Claudia Puig in USA Today, while acknowledging that the film is a "solidly acted, engrossing drama," also notes that it "suffers from repetitiveness, broken up by scenes of extreme gore." And Rex Reed in the New York Observer concludes his mostly positive review by remarking, "Purists may squabble, but if you’re a history buff or a pushover for the sight of a man engulfed in flames who shoots himself through the head before he burns to death, you’ll go away from Fury sated."