Based on a true story, the feature film War Dogs (out on DVD in November) follows cocksure arms merchant Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill) and his "best friend" David Packouz (Miles Teller) in the world of international arms sales in the mid-2000s, after the Bush administration stopped handing out no-bid military contracts to Halliburton and other large firms and opened up the bidding process to small businesses.
The movie strikes a good comedy-drama balance while rehashing the recent history of the Iraq War in a surprisingly fresh and fun, though occasionally dragging, way. "War is an economy," Packouz explains at the beginning of the film, not a fight for freedom or anything else it's sold as. Anyone who doesn't admit that, he says, is either in on it or an idiot. By film's end, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that many other government endeavors work the same way.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "War Is Bunk".