The Ground Truth

Opens at Metro, Fri., Sept. 15. Rated R. 78 minutes.

There are a thousand good reasons to get out of Iraq. Not so many good movies, however. This well-meaning but inept documentary plays like a post-traumatic stress disorder infomercial about vets (and their families) lately returned home with prosthetic limbs, unlimited Percodan prescriptions, and minimal support from the VA. Save the ticket price and instead send your money directly to a veterans support group. Or just make your displeasure known in the voting booth this fall. The Ground Truth—be wary of any movie with "truth" in its title—will merely reinforce your views on the war, whether pro or con. Dead-end Bush supporters are unlikely to be swayed by the veterans interviewed here, some with horrific and disfiguring injuries, who all speak in the same chorus of disillusionment. Certainly all have the right to complain, and many may indeed be suffering from PTSD. But director Patricia Foulkrod can't even martial their cause into effective Robert Greenwald–style agitprop. She stumbles over the movie's most interesting idea—that the VA is diagnosing pre-existing "personality disorders" rather than PTSD to keep treatment costs down—without interrupting her antiwar rally. Still, you're likely to remember some of the vets. Says one, "Americans want to honor their veterans in a cursory way, like putting a yellow sticker on their car." Or making a movie. BRIAN MILLER

 
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