The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara

Director: Errol Morris
Year Released: 2003
Rating: 3.0

Documentary filmmaker Morris allows former Secretary of Defense McNamara to offer advice to anyone willing to listen about what mistakes he felt he made and offer arguments as to why he chose to do the things he did. The "real" McNamara slips away from Morris' grasp rather easily and Morris overdoes the visuals at times, but the pieces that do sneak through are illuminating: McNamara admits that if we'd lost World War II he would have been tried as a war criminal and (once again) stands behind his decisions for handling the Vietnam debacle. It's markedly inferior to Peter Davis' brilliant Hearts and Minds, which to my mind is the definitive cinematic attack on America's involvement in Vietnam, but the focus of this film is more on correcting future mistakes than rigorously debating old ones.