The Wall, B
Rated R, 85 minutes
The intense new psychological war film "The Wall" is a solid character study on knowing your enemies in battle. Harrowing and bloody, the film from "Edge of Tomorrow's" Doug Liman will have you on the edge of your seat and is a must-see if you enjoy war films.
When two U.S. Army snipers, Sergeant Isaac and Staff Sergeant Willams ("Godzilla's" Aaron Taylor-Johnson and WWE wrestler and actor John Cena, both excellent here) are pinned down by an Iraqi sniper (Laith Nakli), with nothing but a crumbling wall between them, their fight becomes as much a battle of will and wits as it is of lethally accurate marksmanship.
Liman's "The Wall" is a familiar yet taut thriller written by first-time screenwriter Dwaine Worrell and is a tight, lean film with only three characters set behind a small desert wall. It seems simple enough, but it's much more than that: it's about knowing who to trust, knowing your enemies and choosing your battles in a timely manner. Much of the talky second act revolves around Taylor-Johnson's (nearly unrecognizable with heavy Southern accent and covered in dirt) extended conversation with Juba, an Iragi sniper who's doing his best to gain the upper hand.
"The Wall" is lean, tight and bare bones in a very familiar way, but the sturdy, tour-de-force performance from Taylor-Johnson, in one of his better roles to date, it's he who carries the movie on his back until the exciting, action-packed and bloody finale that Liman stages well. It's nothing new, but it's still filled with many tense moments. Short and sweet, "The Wall," which shouldn't be confused with the Pink Floyd song in any way, is a worthy, gritty ride.