Hart's War

Director:Gregory Hoblit
Writers:Billy Ray and Terry George
MGM Pictures; R; 125 minutes
Cast:Bruce Willis, Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard

Hart's War centers around the sad paradox of American racism in World War II. Blacks suffering under Jim Crow and domestic injustice enlisted to fight the Nazis while being assaulted by severe bigotry within the ranks. Despite Terrence Howard's compelling performance as a framed black officer, the film uses racism as a way of exploring the white characters more fully.

Irishman Colin Farrell stars as Lieutenant Hart. He's a silver-spooned Yale graduate who stumbles into the clutches of a German prisoner-of-war camp. Hart bonds with the sensitive Nazi commander (Marcel Iures) and immediately displeases the highest-ranking American officer in the camp, played with fittingly impassive precision by Bruce Willis. After violent crimes occur, Hart ends up defending Howard's character in an edgy court-martial case.

While it boasts a handful of action scenes, Hart's War focuses on the bleak reality of POW existence and the myriad interpersonal conflicts among the prisoners.