War Dogs

Rated 3.0

In the early days of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, two 20-something slackers, Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill) and David Packouz (Miles Teller) hustle their way into the international arms business, making hundred-million-dollar deals between bong hits and lines of coke. Todd Phillips’ direction is typically jerky and unsubtle, but his script (co-written with Steven Chin and Jason Smilovic, from Guy Lawson’s Rolling Stone article and subsequent book) follows the facts of Diveroli and Packouz’s true story fairly closely. And that’s enough—the mind-boggling chutzpah of these two sleazeballs (plus Hill and Teller’s strong performances) keep us watching in fascination. Packouz (who plays a bit part) comes off as more sympathetic, suggesting that he cooperated with the filmmakers more than Diveroli did. J.L.