Steven Sheehan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Following on from his last film A Hijacking, one that was filled with similarly complex moral scenarios, Tobias Lindholm follows up A War. With the two titles so closely matched you tend to think this may be part of a trilogy of some sorts. He also co-wrote The Hunt which again presented a convoluted situation, so it just as likely his approach will always layered with a multitude of angles.
His handheld, in the moment style continues here, joining a Danish military company as they patrol Afghanistan. The potential death of one of the men while in action leads their commander to make a call that allows their escape but leaves devastation behind them. One half of the film embeds us into their world out in the barren sand lands before a far more sterile, examining court trial unfolds back home in the second hour.
Lindholm gives us a lot to chew over in a well paced and thought out drama. From the struggles of how families cope alone while their partners are on tour, how accountability for war field actions extend into the family home, the welfare of solders versus civilians, responsibility under pressure, to the level of guilt they should carry...the writing and performances allow us to continuously see both sides of the arguments.
The United States and the UK are often seen at the forefront of the 'War on Terror,' so it is easy to forget nearly fifty countries assisted in the coalition effort. Seeing a Danish take on the war reminds of us that wider network without placing it under a political banner. Lindholm combines both the war and courtroom elements together with narrative ease, never losing its edge or ability to accuse and defend those involved.