Greater film critics and better-informed military geeks than me will point out more plot holes and historical inconsistencies than met my eye in "Fury" (trailer). I only had to suspend belief in what I know to be true once in the entire movie, but it was at a key point - the final battle scene. The suggestion that five Americans buttoned up in a broken down tank could have waged an all-night battle against a battalion of crack SS troops is the stuff of Sgt. Rock comic books. In reality, the SS would have taken out the tank inside of five minutes. It also didn't help that the script resorted to a cringeworthy "Sarge, I'm scared"/"I'm scared too, kid" exchange - a shopworn war movie cliche if ever there was one.
All of that can be forgiven, though, because "Fury" isn't based on a true story, and it otherwise delivers what I expect from a big budget Hollywood war movie starring Brad Pitt: great acting and terrific special effects. The fact that Pitt is a pretty boy actually works against him when it comes to his craft, because people get so caught up in his good looks that they can't or won't take him seriously as an actor. Pitt and his immediate supporting cast - especially Logan Lerman - offer performances in "Fury" that would be worthy of Oscar consideration in a movie with a stronger script. "Fury" also recreates the meatgrinder reality of the World War Two battlefield as well as any movie since "Saving Private Ryan", which was widely praised by WWII veterans for its accurate portrayal of the horrors of mechanized war.
The quality of the acting and action are best summed up by two people who - like me - are not professional movie critics. My friend Terry DiMonte said of Pitt, "The first time you see him on the screen, you think 'There's Brad Pitt', but for the rest of the movie he's Sergeant Collier." My wife, Danielle, said the 2 1/4 hour duration of the movie felt like 45 minutes.
If you go to "Fury" looking for pinpoint historical accuracy and cliche-free dialogue, you'll leave disappointed. But as an entertainment vehicle with convincing performances and smothering intensity, it more than holds its own.