A Glimpse of Hell (2001)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Docudrama  |   Release Date - Mar 18, 2001 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - Canada , United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Buzz McClain

Taut and compelling, A Glimpse of Hell is a based-on-fact story that doesn't feel like it was drawn entirely from dry depositions and courtroom testimony. Credit director Michael Salomon for keeping things moving and coherent; this is one of the rare military courtroom dramas that even civilian viewers will find suspenseful. Actually, only half of the film is set in the courtroom or Senate investigative chambers. The first half is a pretty vivid re-creation of what went on before the explosion, where we're introduced to the secondary characters -- many of them doomed -- without feeling like we're being set up to feel sorry for them later. Military buffs will enjoy looking for the occasional lapse in Navy correctness -- apparently, no Navy captain would ever call himself a "soldier" as Captain Fred Moosally (James Caan) does at one dramatic moment -- but others will simply get caught up in the inherent tension.