War Dogs - Jeremy Tardy, Miles Teller and Jonah Hill
War Dogs - Kip (Jeremy Tardy), Efraim (Jonah Hill) and David (Miles Teller) © 2015 Warner Bros

War Dogs is a comedy of pothead arms traders directed by Todd Phillips of The Hangover fame. Reviewers here found the movie good but a little lacking.

We follows two friends in their early 20s (Hill and Teller) living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War. Here they exploit a little-known government initiative that allows small businesses to bid on US Military contracts!

New York Times

War Dogs – David (Miles Teller), Efraim (Jonah Hill) and and Marlboro (Shaun Toub) © 2015 Warner Bros

War Dogs review by Jeannette Catsoulis

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It’s an alarming way for the American military to arm itself and its allies, worthy of an exposé. But Todd Phillips, the director here, is mining the absurdity more than the outrage.

It’s August; just enjoy the insane ride, which is helped along by Ana de Armas as David’s romantic interest and Bradley Cooper as the pivotal figure in the deal that finally makes the wheels fall off.

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Rating: 3 Stars, from our reading of the review Full Review

The Washington Post

War Dogs – Behind the scenes: Henry Girard (Bradley Cooper), Director Todd Phillips and David (Miles Teller) © 2015 Warner Bros

War Dogs review by Ann Hornaday

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The poster for War Dogs is reminiscent of the one for Scarface, which offers the first clue as to why the new movie doesn’t work. Co-writer and director Todd Phillips — best known for the Hangover comedies — doesn’t seem sure if he’s celebrating Efraim and David’s dubious occupation or scolding it.

The reckoning, when it comes, leaves the audience feeling deflated and depressed, and far more cynical than when they walked in.

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Rating: 2 stars, converted from their rating of 1.5/4 Full Review

Los Angeles Times

War Dogs – Efraim (Jonah Hill) and David (Miles Teller) © 2015 Warner Bros

War Dogs review by Justin Chang

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In the end, there’s no outrage in War Dogs — no lacerating insight, no gonzo satiric energy. Nothing more than warmed-over cynicism and some mild titters at the spectacle of boys being boys under uniquely deadly circumstances.

Despite some welcome changes of scenery courtesy of Jordan and Iraq (actually Morocco) and Albania (actually Romania), the movie can’t build up a head of comic steam.

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Rating: 2.5 stars, from our reading of the review Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

War Dogs – Efraim (Jonah Hill) and David (Miles Teller) © 2015 Warner Bros

War Dogs review by Leah Greenblatt

[quote_box_center]We know the hole these bros are digging. That’s partly because of how director [Todd] Phillips (the Hangover trilogy) structures his story. [We have] flashforwards and dialogue interstitials, and also because we’ve seen this arc so many times before.

A lot of what makes War Dogs work comes down to [Jonah] Hill, who is operating at maximum density here physically. He reportedly gained weight specifically for the role. [His] unhinged charisma also anchors the movie.[/quote_box_center]

Rating: 3.5 Stars, converted from their rating of B- Full Review

War Dogs Theatrical release dates

US and Canada: August 19th 2016
UK: August 26th 2016

Colin Davies

The editor of Film Review Online More by Colin Davies