Three Kings ★★★ 1999 (R)
Director Russell turns the war movie genre on its ear with his subversive, chaotic, and ultimately satisfying studio film debut. At the end of the Gulf War, Special Forces Major Gates (Clooney) recruits three Army reservists to join him on an illegal mission to steal gold bullion which Hussein's troops had stolen from Kuwait. They wind up learning too much about U.S. policies and broken promises in the Middle East. Clooney is perfect as the pragmatic Gates, and Russell supplies the right mix of cynicism, dark humor, and actionmovie heroism. 115m/C VHS, DVD . George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze, Nora Dunn, Jamie Kennedy, Mykelti Williamson, Clifford Curtis, Said Taghmaoui, Judy Greer, Liz Stauber, Holt McCallany; D: David O. Russell; W: David O. Russell; C: Newton Thomas (Tom) Sigel; M: Carter Burwell. Broadcast Film Critics ‘99: Breakthrough Perf. (Jonze).