War Party

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  • R
  • 1989
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 6.3  (711)

War Party is a dramatic movie from 1988 that follows the story of four young men who have grown up together in the American Southwest and are embarking on a journey of self-discovery. The movie features a stellar cast that includes Billy Wirth, Kevin Dillon, and Tim Sampson, all of whom deliver compelling performances. At the heart of War Party is the story of two brothers, Nate and Zeke, who are members of a Native American tribe living in New Mexico. Nate is a meek and sensitive young man who has always felt out of place in his own community, while Zeke is a rough-and-tumble troublemaker who seems to relish in stirring up trouble. Despite their differences, the brothers share a close bond and are determined to make something of their lives.

When Nate is accepted into a prestigious college on the East Coast, he sees it as an opportunity to escape the confines of his small town and make a name for himself. Zeke, on the other hand, is less enthused about the prospect of leaving home and is grappling with a sense of aimlessness as he attempts to figure out what he wants out of life.

As the brothers prepare to leave for college, they are joined by their two friends, Tim and T.J. The four of them embark on a road trip across the Southwest, determined to make the most of their last summer together. Along the way, they encounter various characters and obstacles, including a pair of drug dealers and a group of rowdy frat boys.

As the journey progresses, the group becomes increasingly divided along various fault lines. Nate and Tim, who are both more introverted and bookish, begin to clash with Zeke and T.J., who are more interested in pursuing a more hedonistic lifestyle. The tension reaches a boiling point when the group stumbles upon a group of Native Americans who are participating in a traditional war dance. Zeke, who has always felt a deep connection to his heritage, insists that they stay and join in, while the others are more hesitant.

What follows is a powerful exploration of identity and self-discovery, as each of the characters is forced to confront their own feelings of displacement and uncertainty. Despite the film's relatively simple plot, there is a richness to the characters that makes them feel real and fleshed out. Each of the four main actors brings a unique perspective to their roles, and there are moments of real emotion and vulnerability that resonate long after the film has ended.

War Party is a film that deftly walks the line between being an intimate character study and a more expansive exploration of the American experience. It is a coming-of-age story that feels both timely and timeless, exploring themes of racism, cultural identity, and the search for meaning in a postmodern world. While it may not be a well-known film today, it is one that is definitely worth seeking out for fans of 80s cinema, Native American culture, or just great storytelling in general.

War Party
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (711)