Korengal

Restrepo (2010), one of the most harrowing and most acclaimed war documentaries ever made, focused on a 15-man platoon stationed in the Korangal [sic] Valley in southeastern Afghanistan, where 42 U.S. soldiers died before the army threw in the towel and surrendered the valley to the Taliban in 2009. For this sequel, director Sebastian Junger returns to the so-called Valley of Death, where many of the soldiers from the first movie have lived to fight another day. (His codirector on Restrepo, Tim Hetherington, wasn’t so lucky—he was killed by shrapnel while covering the Libyan civil war in 2011.) This is almost indistinguishable from the original documentary, which makes it either an essential companion piece or a complete redundancy, depending on your point of view. You have to wonder why Junger felt compelled to go back; perhaps, like so many soldiers sent to war zones, he found the lure of adrenaline and camaraderie impossible to resist.