Rated 3.0

Four Israeli soldiers in a tank referred to as The Rhino are ordered to escort a platoon of paratroopers for a sweep of a bombed-out town during the early days of the 1980s Lebanon War. They soon find amid the accompanying atrocities and daily grind that issues of right and wrong often take a back seat to the powerful magnetism and sudden knee jerks of pure survival. This “war is hell” debut from writer-director Samuel Maoz wants to be a sort of Das Boot meets HBO’s Generation Kill. It is extremely hard to watch at times, impossible to ever forget, and alternately mesmerizing, tragic, sad, confusing, frustrating, contrived and clammily intense. The crew personalities and dynamics are more muddled than searing, but the concepts of experiencing war mostly from behind the sweating walls and through the viewfinder of a clanking metal beast, and that humanitarian acts can surprisingly emerge in the bowels of savagery, are still quite amazing, even though the film’s execution is far from sublime.