Queen and Country

John Boorman’s acclaimed Hope and Glory (1987) drew on his experience as a young boy during the London blitz; this sequel (2014) picks up the story a decade later, when the Boorman character (Callum Turner) has been conscripted into the British Army during the Korean conflict. Don’t let the British pedigree and nostalgic trimmings fool you: this is no Masterpiece Theatre exercise but a broad, high-spirited, riotously funny service comedy, on par with M*A*S*H (1970) and Stripes (1981). Boorman isn’t afraid to push his story into pure farce (much of the action revolves around an antique clock stolen by the recruits from a paneled meeting room), and there are sublime performances from Caleb Landry Jones as the hero’s troublemaking pal, David Thewlis as their rigid commanding officer, and Richard E. Grant as the weary major watching them all squabble. Highly recommended.