Mosul review – a relentless, raw experience of war in Iraq

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: November 26, 2020 (Last updated: February 10, 2024)
Mosul review - a relentless, raw experience of war in Iraq


Mosul is a relentless experience of war in Iraq, showing the desperate lengths the soldiers go for freedom.

Mosul is the directorial debut of Dark Waters, 21 Bridges, and Deepwater Horizon writer Matthew Michael Carnahan, starring Waleed Elgadi (A Hologram for the King), Adam Bessa (Extraction), Thaer Al-Shayei (Inside Man), and Suhail Dabbach (The Hurt Locker), Mosul is an action war movie showing the fight by an elite SWAT unit fighting to liberate an Iraqi city from ISIS militants.

Mosul follows young police officer Kawa (Bessa), who gets saved by Jasem’s (Dabbach) SWAT unit, getting recruited along the way, with the unit knowing he wouldn’t have anything to be bargained against. We follow Kawa as he starts to learn the ways of the unit, seeing how they operate, learning their mission, and seeing just how much has been taken from these men, as he joins the endless fight against the ISIS militants striking fear into the city.

Mosul uses the true story of the elite SWAT unit that people in the Iraq city fear, fighting the ISIS militants to show us the bleak everyday life of the people in the city and the desperate battle to try and end the conflict, which is leaving bodies lying in the streets, buildings destroyed and families torn apart. We get to see the story told to us through the eyes of the rookie joining the team, which clearly reflects how we are looking to learn the procedures they go through on a daily basis to survive and fight, seeing the decisions they are forced into. The story will show us the raw environment these men fight in, bringing to life the relentless battles they are forced into.

Mosul comes from producers the Russo brothers which will draw in the audience, but the performance from Suhail Dabbach in the leading role commands every single scene. Adam Bessa gives us a glimpse into how difficult it would be for a young man thrown into this world, the only one he has ever known, but not wanting to cross the line within.

Mosul is a film that doesn’t hold back on the action, the street war scenarios are relentless and raw throughout, never letting us take a breath from what we are seeing, using the environment to add to the sequences, with the city truly looking like we are in one of the most war-torn cities in the world. This will be an eye-opener for anyone who has turned their head to the conflict, as we will learn just want it means to the men desperately fighting for their people’s freedom.

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