Fury

This gory, big-budget World War II movie by writer-director David Ayer (End of Watch) recalls Saving Private Ryan in its assured craftsmanship and underlying hypocrisy. On the one hand, Ayer wants to critique the mythologizing of Hollywood war films, subverting his classic premise—a tight-knit American tank crew undertake a risky mission into Nazi territory—by making most of the principal characters amoral or even barbaric. On the other hand, he also wants to deliver a rousing action spectacle, so in the combat scenes any moral ambiguity goes out the window. Brad Pitt stars as a subdued version of his no-nonsense sergeant from Inglourious Basterds; playing his men are Shia LeBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, and Jon Bernthal.