Connect with us
MOSUL (L to R) Tarik Belmekki as "Youness," Qutaiba Abdelhaq as "Kamal," Mohamed Attougui as "Akram," "Adam Bessa as “Kawa," Mohimen Mahbuba as "Amir" and Is'haq Elias as "Waleed." Cr. JOSE HARO/NETFLIX © 2020.

Movie Reviews

‘Mosul’ review: Netflix war drama is a refreshing take on a familiar conflict

War may not change but the POV can.

Mosul on Netflix immediately lets audiences know what is in store. There is a chaotic gunfight complete with a person picking up a live grenade and throwing it back at his attacker. The war drama is set in the titular Iraqi city in 2017. Following the Nineveh swat team who are trying to save Mosul from ISIS, the film is based on true events and is in an Arab dialect unique to Iraq.

Title cards in the beginning foreshadow the over the top drama and action Mosul contains. The team asks a new member to join them within the first ten minutes. This seems surprisingly easy, until it becomes clear there is danger around every corner. This is a much more tension packed war movie than usual since death makes it easy to move up in seniority. 

Listen to the latest episode of the AIPT Movies Podcast!

Credit writer-direct Matthew Michael Carnahan for keeping the action more grounded than some may expect. This heightens the sense of danger while giving Mosul heart. What truly separates the film from others set in the same part of the world are its characters. Part of the allure of Mosul is the fact that it is people fighting for their homeland. They are not background characters or waiting for their American leaders. It is a refreshing take that puts the movie in a class by itself.

Mosul balance of action and drama makes for a well paced movie. The downtime between the action never is boring or seems like an attempt to pad the movie. Conversely, these moments are not used to add much to the story. The team – and by extension, the viewer – are kept in the dark as to the real purpose of the mission. This does manufacture drama since each encounter is unexpected. But it also negatively impacts a key dramatic scene since there is no added gravity to what the team is doing. 

Mosul is a tight war drama that provides its audiences a different perspective in a familiar setting. The story combines action and drama nicely. This is done well thanks to the more personal touch afforded to its characters. Things move along in a way that is tense and exciting.  There are some missteps along the way, but it is an interesting watch.

Mosul premieres on Netflix on November 26.

Join the AIPT Patreon

Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:

  • ❌ Remove all ads on the website
  • 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
  • 📗 Access to our monthly book club
  • 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
  • 💥 And more!
Sign up today

In Case You Missed It

Sick and disturbed: Daniel Hillyard and Doug Wagner unpack new series 'Plush' Sick and disturbed: Daniel Hillyard and Doug Wagner unpack new series 'Plush'

Sick and disturbed: Daniel Hillyard and Doug Wagner unpack new series ‘Plush’

Comic Books

DC Comics Preview: Batman #130 DC Comics Preview: Batman #130

DC Comics Preview: Batman #130

Comic Books

Captain Marvel #43 Captain Marvel #43

‘Captain Marvel’ #43 reunites Carol with the X-Men

Comic Books

DC Preview: The New Golden Age #1 DC Preview: The New Golden Age #1

DC Preview: The New Golden Age #1

Comic Books

Newsletter Signup