CINEMA: COURAGE UNDERDONE

A GULF WAR DRAMA ISN'T AS NOBLE AS IT PRETENDS

In the confusion of a nighttime armored battle during the Gulf War, Lieut. Colonel Nathaniel Serling (Denzel Washington) unleashes that bitterest irony (and reality) of modern warfare--friendly fire--and destroys one of his own tanks, killing his best friend.

On another day in the same theater, Captain Karen Walden (Meg Ryan), piloting a medevac helicopter, relieves a unit pinned down by a superior Iraqi force. In the course of this operation her craft is downed, and she and her crew fight off enemy attacks all night long. The next morning, though wounded, she stays behind to cover their withdrawal to a rescue...

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