It is always very difficult to portray the realities of war, without indulging in too much graphic violence or blood and guts, yes this film has this, but in moderation and well filmed. Loyalty in war is essential and Brad Pitt's character is not only a leader by example but very loyal to his team and his orders. His team as ever in a good war movie are a bunch of misfits but who are exceptional at the tasks they perform. Losing one of the team early on, the replacement is a very young and inexperienced boy who is given little latitude in learning the skills necessary for survival. Quickly he starts to earn the commanders respect and trust eventual making his first kill when it really counts.
The film does give an insight into the life of the innocent who are caught in the middle of the fight but you are very quickly brought back to reality and the futility of war and moving on to the next mission. The climax is not to be missed. I watched this on TV but in the cinema I believe it would have many times more impressive. It is also important that you don't always need the heavyweights for a succesful casting, Brad Pitt is excellent but his relatively unknown ( to me ) co stars were superb.