I'm not one of those "You owe it to yourself to watch this movie" people; it feels too much like you're doing the advertising department's work for them. Put it this way: I'll be mad if you don't see The Tillman Story. I thought what I knew about the cover-up of former NFL star Pat Tillman's combat death in Afghanistan, how the military circulated disinformation to disguise the fact that he was a victim of friendly fire, was bad enough, but in Amir Bar-Lev's deeply enraging documentary, it gets worse. It turns out, based on interviews with soldiers from Tillman's unit, that his death was less a consequence of the fog of war than it was the posturing of gung-ho troops more eager to participate in a potential firefight than to be sure what they were shooting at. Not only did they fire once at Tillman, who had gone ahead and doubled back to check on troops stuck fixing a broken Humvee, but they fired, repositioned themselves to get a better shot, and opened fire again. The documentary's original title, I'm Pat Fucking Tillman, reflects Tillman's last words, an anguished and disbelieving plea that no one stopped shooting long enough to hear.
I didn't have much space for my review in the Philadelphia City Paper, but I hope it's enough to spur you to keep an eye out for this essential documentary when it comes your way. You owe it to yourself.