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Movie Review


MPAA Rating: R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout.

Reviewed by: David Simpson

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Action War Drama
2 hr. 14 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
October 17, 2014 (wide—3,000+ theaters)
DVD: January 27, 2015
Copyright, Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures) click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures) Copyright, Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures) Copyright, Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures) Copyright, Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures) Copyright, Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures) Copyright, Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures)
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures)

war in the Bible

What is the Biblical perspective on war? Answer

armies in the Bible

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

Copyright, Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures)

death in the Bible

ORIGIN OF BAD—How did bad things come about? Answer

Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer

Copyright, Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures)

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

Copyright, Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures)
Issue of pain and suffering

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

Featuring: Brad PittDon 'Wardaddy' Collier
Shia LaBeoufBoyd 'Bible' Swan
Michael PeñaTrini 'Gordo' Garcia
Jason IsaacsCaptain Waggoner
Logan Lerman … Norman Ellison
Jon Bernthal … Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis
Jim Parrack … Sergeant Binkowski
more »
Director: David Ayer—“End of Watch,” “Training Day” (writer)
Producer: Columbia Pictures
QED International
more »
Distributor: Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures)

Innocence: What makes a man a man? When is a job most important? What has to be sacrificed?

It’s April, 1945. The Second World War is drawing to an end. The Nazis are retreating, and Allied Forces are making inroads deeper into Germany. As they fight to close the war, missions are still being created to push the Germans back, rescue pinned down American soldiers, and take over occupied towns. Leading a charge is the tank Fury and it’s crew of five men. Sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt), the leader of the crew, Boyd “Bible” Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Trini “Gordo” Garcia (Michael Peña), and Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis (Jon Bernthal). They are joined by fresh-faced rookie Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), who has been in the army eight weeks and trained as a typist. Now an tank assistant driver, he must learn the ropes fast to what has been a steady crew for three straight years until their regular AD was killed in their last fight.

Fighting prejudice towards the “new guy,” and their anger against the Nazis, they roar their tank through Germany, completing a number of against-the-odds missions including destroying a very heavily armored Tiger tank, despite losing three of their own tank company. As the team bonds, they are forced into positions of choosing what is most important to them. Norman is faced with having to kill for the first time, and the pressure of having to kill in order to protect his tank crew no matter what. Characters are tested, personalities challenged, habits broken, death thrown in their faces, and the overall choice of how strong their team actually is.

This is a war film. Be warned, it is heavily violent, and filled with excessive amounts of death and carnage. The “truth of war” is something you don’t experience until you stand in the midst of it. Thankfully, many of us do not have to endure that experience, but this is a strong example of what it was like in war in the 1940s. This is brutality, in the everyday situations, that men had to make to protect their own lives, or else risk losing them. There are parts of “Fury” that remind me strongly of “Saving Private Ryan,” and these are both profoundly powerful, as well as truly shocking.

There are hundreds of deaths, most from machine gun, or rifle fire, but many others from tank cannon, grenade, hand-gun, or heavy artillery. Some men are run over by tanks, and others are shown hanged for war crimes. Many of these deaths are graphic, with a lot of blood and realistic end results. We see men lose limbs, parts of their faces, burn to death, get shot with multiple rounds, or stabbed. We see men dying, and post-death, in various stages of agony. All of this brings home the “truth of war,” and why each one of us should be grateful never to have to return to those days. It’s been done for us, by those brave souls who protected our homelands, at their own cost.

Like many war films, the language is coarse and heavy. There are numerous f**ks (over 100), s**ts, and other vulgarities and some profanities [“G**-d*mn” (20), “Oh J*sus” (1), “Oh G*d” (1), “Jesus Christ” (1)]. Some of these are used in moments of great tension, with life on the line, but many are not, as it laces daily conversation of American soldiers. As for sexual content, Norman Ellison is shown kissing a girl, and it is implied they have sex. This raises his standing in the group as he is seen to have “become a man.” Other than a couple uses of sexual dialog, there is nothing else in that area in this movie.

There are several themes to be raised in “Fury.” The characters, having been raised differently, with varying backgrounds and experiences, all describe war a different way. There is a strong theme of hatred towards the Nazis, and the Schutzstaffel (SS), the core group of Nazis heavily bonded to leader Adolf Hitler’s plans and prejudices. A common phrase used by the tank crew in moments of intense battle is “f**k you,” and it is directed towards any Nazi soldier that they have lined up in the sights at the time. This hatred and prejudice is born out of seeing their countrymen die each day at German hands. It is challenged when Norman arrives, with his natural empathy, compassion, and strong sense of justice, making him unwilling to callously kill an unarmed German prisoner. This mercy is broken up by his tank crew, who tell him that they will die if he’s not cold-hearted enough to shoot a prisoner or soldier, whether armed or unarmed, whether they are a seasoned veteran or young child.

These soldiers deal with loss, grief, bitterness, and anger every day. It’s easy to lose your way with these emotions in telling a story. In “Fury,” however, it doesn’t stop with these. It takes us to the other side of mercy, love, and self-sacrifice. It’s not just shown in the Americans either, it is brought out in small portions among the German people, and to some small extent, the German soldiers. This is at odds, to many other WWII movies, where the Nazis are seen as the mechanical arms of Hitler, mercilessly killing anyone that stands in their way. We see empathy and are allowed to create an emotional connection to the Germans. We see the destruction done to them, to their civilians, and their towns. Overall, it balances out the film in such a way that you don’t leave the cinema hating a certain people group.

Lastly, this film does have references to religion in it. Shia LaBeouf’s character is nicknamed “Bible” for a reason. He’s a strong, God-fearing, Scripture quoting, church-going man, who believes in the power of prayer, and in seeing soldiers saved as they lie dying. He doesn’t waver in his beliefs, despite the light-hearted scorn of his fellow tank-mates, and they respect him for it. He states his belief in the Lord’s protection, and the crew are comforted and bonded through this stand.

Against the tradition of many Hollywood movies, this belief system and way of life is not shown to be corny and fake. It is a genuine part of his life, and has a true effect on everyone around him. Does he have a conscience for all the Germans he’s killing? No. But among his fellow soldiers, that heart of Christ comes out. Is he perfect? No. But he does what he can in a very difficult environment. Being a non-smoker and teetotaler, there is a wonderful scene towards the end, where they are facing life and death, that he shares a group drink with the crew. Some may say he sold out, but I think it shows a man who recognizes his position, and honors the men around him without guilt or shame. Overall, I came out of it having respect for the character, the movie’s references to religion, and for Shia LaBeouf as well.

This is a superbly made film, directed and written by David Ayer (“End of Watch”). The characters are wonderfully thought out, the dialog beautifully timed and delivered by all involved. If you are able to deal with the violent content and language of war, this is one of the strongest movies of 2014, dramatic and suspenseful.

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Moderate to heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—Strong Note: This is not A FAMILY FILM. I would not recommend anyone under age 18 to see this movie. Only adults with a strong moral understanding of war and its absolute carnage should see this film.

That said, I rank it right up there on the level of such films as SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. Overall, it is a story of the ravages on the spirit, as well as the physical, when young men are put into the arena of war time, self preservation and hatred. It depicts graphic images of death. It does not shrink from telling the story of men caught in the choke hold of violence at any cost. The horribly unspeakable effects are those which will follow them all the days of their lives.

Yet, it struck me straight through the heart and placed me smack dab in the middle of the stark realization of the price men pay to fight for each other, even to the death. Although many may disagree with me, it sent the absolute message that there will be scars too deep to heal the heart and soul when soldiers lose not the battle, but those they love. There are men and women today, in our own time, that are going through the same crises. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Sheri McMurray (Viet), age 61 (USA)
Positive—It is hard to pin this movie to a Moral Rating, as it fluctuates between Very Offensive and Excellent. There are some brief, crude, sexual comments; but the F-word begins with a flurry and lingers until near the end. However, in a battlefield you may able to excuse this for the sake of WWII realism; as even Ernie Pyle, whose personal communications were “colorful,” is quoted as saying, “I am sick and tired of that word f***. If I ever hear the f***-ing word again I’m going to throw up!”

It would be difficult to recommend this movie to a Christian audience were it not for a single phrase, quoted from Isaiah: “Whom shall I send…” It was presented at the perfect time and place to give it a lasting impact that nothing from a pulpit could match. It brought a tear to this old man’s eye.

There is one Christian character in the cast, and his interaction with the others was uplifting amidst the battlefield violence. The script, acting and cinematography combined like a symphony to place me in the midst of WWII chaos, and made it easier to accept why my father returned from the war an atheist. My only technical criticism is the assumption that bad guys can’t shoot straight.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Brian Schacht, age 67 (Canada)
PositiveNo other movie has captured the ugliness and beauty of the human soul to such a degree as this one, in my opinion. I believe that Christian films are so afraid to show how dark humanity can be that they completely miss the heart of Christianity—our desperate need for God’s grace. No one can really say what we would do in certain situations. We live in a bubble and are quick to judge others based on their behavior. This film was about real people going through an emotional roller coaster ride of guilt, shame, anger, fear, love, and finally the kind of hope that the criminal on the cross next to Jesus must have felt just before he died.

I found myself going through the same emotions and asking myself what I would do if put in this situation. I believe that I would probably have the same response that Paul had at times (Romans 7:21-25):

“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Brady Mayo, age 48 (USA)
Positive—This was the best movie I have seen in a long long time. Over a day later, I am still swimming in the emotions and heart struggles presented by this film. I loved the characters presented and how they loved and depended on one another and the pride they showed by doing a gruesome job to the best of their ability—for all the right reasons.

This movie touched my heart. It even preached to my soul about what kind of Christian I am versus what I need to be to the outside world, the way one of the characters showed his unerring faith in God. I will watch it again I am sure—and very soon. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—C.M., age 33 (USA)
Positive—Although I have already submitted a comment on this movie, I just encountered a capsule review of it that must be shared: “Still there is a certain nobility and dignity in combat soldiers… They are rough and their language gets coarse because they live a life stripped of convention and niceties. Their nobility and dignity come from the way they live unselfishly and risk their lives to help each other.

They are normal people who have been put where they are, and whose actions and feelings have been molded by their circumstances. There are gentlemen and boors; intelligent ones and stupid ones; talented ones and inefficient ones. But when when they are all together and they are fighting, despite their bitching and griping and goldbricking and mortal fear, they are facing cold steel and screaming lead and hard enemies, and they are advancing and beating the hell out of the opposition.” The uncanny thing is that it was written by Bill Mauldin, in 1945.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Brian Schacht, age 67 (Canada)
Positive—I went to this film as a favour to my husband and a certain curiosity as to how one of the actors had found Christ while making this film. I am 63 next week and cannot bear profanity, violence, gore, death in any shape or form. The first scene was all that, with the exception of this totally beautiful white horse… that was unbridled, unsaddled and set free. This set the tone of what was to come. I was mesmerised all the way through be the sheer reality of war and what it does to the human soul.

However, redemption grew all the way through as well and innocence, fruit of the Spirit coupled with wonderful chunks from the Bible grew in their intensity and had their incredibly profound affect in the closing scenes. This film is a must.

Yes, hide your face if you are squeamish—yes, almost every other word is a profanity, but I found myself praying that people who would never set foot inside a church would have their lives totally turned round through this film. A must—these are the sort of people that Jesus could so easily have lived with and died for.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Veronica, age 62 (United Kingdom)
Positive—This movie was spot-on and accurate in its realism and reality. Yes, the theater of war is anything but pleasant, yet this movie shows that even with the harshness of the realities of the horrors of what man can do to one another because of sin, there is a strength that comes from the Lord to overcome.

The language reminds me of being on any military base.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jack G., age 58 (USA)
Positive—“Fury” is one of best war movies I have seen, and was the best film in 2014. (Other excellent war films: “Saving Private Ryan,” “Paths of Glory,” “Attack,” “Breaker Morant.”) While I could have done without the vulgarity and the coarse sexual content, it did not obscure the tension among the men between duty and the longing for a normal life. In the opening scene, Sgt. Collier (Brad Pitt) ferociously kills an SS officer; a few minutes later, we see Collier excusing himself from his tank crew so that he can compose himself. Collier, who speaks fluent German, is determined to eradicate the SS, but he also longs for a peaceful life. He loathes the bloodshed, but knows that he must kill to fulfill his duty to his men and his country.

When he meets Pvt. Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) for the first time, he sees a naive innocent young man whom he wishes can avoid the war. Collier must protect Ellison, but he must train him to survive myriad battles with the SS. The relationship between Collier and Ellison is shown when they encounter two German women, an aunt and her teenage niece, in a second floor flat. Having hours earlier executed two German soldiers, Collier decides to use his few moments of rest to simulate a family seated at the breakfast table. Collier washes, shaves, brings food for the aunt to cook, drinks coffee, and reads the paper at the table. Meanwhile, Ellison, relatively refined—he reads and plays the piano—develops a quick relationship with the niece. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—James, age 61 (USA)
Neutral—A good and brutal war fiilm, coming from the perspective of a tank team which usually are ignored in most war movies. The plot wanders though, and your left empty-feeling in the end, with noting accomplished.

The film does not shy away from the realities of war and what was happening in WW2. Brad Pitt once again takes on the leader role of a bunch of vets out to kill a bunch of Nazi’s. In fact, you could almost replace him with his character in “…Basterds,” and they’d be twins. The action simply takes place around a tank, instead of having panning shots of mass soldiers. In fact, it demonstrates how the tanks were used and how they help the soldiers get across a battlefield.

It’s made more intense because the tank is more compact and you see how each person had a role and their perspective from each station. It’s very claustrophobic. There is a tank battle in the middle of the film that is shot so well you’re on the edge of the seat wondering who is going to survive.

One of the problems though with the film is that is seems to meander and wander for most of the film and doesn’t really climax or have a proper climax. The bloody end battle still keeps you thinking they will make it out and continue the mission. And that’s the way of the whole film. There is no point to it, almost. It’s just one assignment after another. Perhaps if they had put the story around one of the battles that mattered, the movie would have more impact in the end. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Rtms, age 40 (Canada)
Negative—Poor film making, no vision or purpose, needless plot twists—like the entire scene in the apartment with the two German women—senseless situations-let’s fight 300 German soldiers while we very well have been able to retreat on foot safely to our lines. This is a poor attempt at drama. Brad Pitt is a ridiculous cartoon character of a leader.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Keith, age 59 (USA)
Negative—I realize war is a horror and “Saving Private Ryan” did a good job of confirming that in mainly the first several minutes of the film. This should not be left out of a war film, lest we forget, but Fury’s war horrors are gratuitous. After watching ~50 minutes I left the theater, as I could no longer tolerate the extremely graphic scenes. Unlike most movies that briefly give a glimpse of the reality of war, this movie returns to give you several glimpses or a full picture.

It was interesting to see how the Christian in the tank was portrayed as that isn’t something you see in many war movies, but I couldn’t tolerate the continual graphic scenes any longer. By the way, I am a RN with many years of experience, so I’m not new to graphic “scenes.”
—PGS, age 54 (USA)
Negative—I rented this movie on iTunes to fill the time on a long flight. This is the first movie in a long time that I’ve had to turn off because of its content, and I’m a 37 year old male with a gun collection and a shelf full of WW2 books, and I’ve seen pretty much every recent WW2 movie. I’m the target audience!

Here’s my problem—this movie is the WW2 version of “Platoon” or “Full Metal Jacket”. It’s just a glorfication of how absolutely terrible man can be, with pretty much none of the redemption. From the murder of surrendered prisoners to two men sharing the same prostitute to guys shouting that “this is the best job I ever had” as they kill, I don’t understand how a “Child of the Light” could stomach this much darkness. I do not recommend.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Hal, age 37 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I’ve seen the previews, but judging that the movie had Brad Pitt and Shila Buff in a war-scenario, I wasn’t going to subject myself to what was going to be a massive cussing-spree. Apparently I was right, as other reviewers have pointed out. I’m also glad that I didn’t subject my mind to the rape scene that they also mentioned. I realize that some directors want to portray the “realities of war” in their films, but what good would it be to portray the protagonists as villainous rapists? I makes me sick that “little” scenes like the one mentioned are in the film that are treated with apathy. That also goes for the violence, which I can understand is a response to evil Nazi attacks, but to depict men killing other men in a film for two hours borders on glorifying the act, not preventing it from occurring in the future. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: none / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Luke, age 31 (USA)

Sorry, no other viewer comments received yet. If you have seen this movie, PLEASE share your observations and insights with others to be posted here. GO