Intimate Enemies ★★★½

This is a grittily realistic and contemporarily relevant but rather conventional film about the Algerian War as seen from the point of view of a French platoon and how war changes people. Lieutenant Terrien (Benoît Magimel), the young and inexperienced main character, soon learns that his initial idealism and moral values are incompatible with the way the war is being fought. The disturbing scenes of war and torture stand in stark contrast to the beautiful but harsh Algerian (actually Moroccan) landscape in which the film is set. Director Florent Emilio Siri handles the material with skill, but the movie does not flow smoothly from beginning to end because of its episodic narrative. "Intimate Enemies" is well acted and free from weak performances, and the central characters are three-dimensional, although some of the war-movie stereotypes are present. Cinematographically, the film has a distinctive look that is reminiscent of old war movies.