Sand Castle, Fernando Coimbra’s intense drama set against the height of the second Gulf War, is one of many, many high-profile war dramas on the verge of release. There’s The Wall starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena, not to mention the Armie Hammer-led Mine, which chronicles one soldier’s desperate attempt at surviving on his lonesome in the Iraqi desert, battling sun, sand, enemy forces and crippling hallucinations.
For Sand Castle, it’s a little different. Headed up by Nicholas Hoult, Logan Marshall-Green and the Man of Steel himself, Henry Cavill, Fernando Coimbra and Netflix’s wartime thriller thrusts our three leading soldiers smack bang in the middle of a flashpoint. Dispatched on a mission to repair a crucial water line blown to smithereens by U.S. bombs, Coimbra’s military men find themselves under attack by a group of extremists.
Told through the lens of the vastly inexperienced Private Matt Ocre (Nicholas Hoult), Sand Castle presents an interesting, boots-on-the-ground account of the narrative surrounding the Iraq War, and the fact that Netflix’s latest original project is based on real events – screenwriter Chris Roessner drew inspiration from his own tour in the Middle East – indicates that the wartime thriller just might have a shot on this year’s awards circuit.
Here’s the synopsis, courtesy of Netflix:
Set in Iraq in 2003, Sand Castle follows a group of American soldiers in the early days of the second Gulf War. Bearing witness to the heat and the horror is the inexperienced Private Matt Ocre (Nicholas Hoult), who together with several fellow soldiers is ordered to the outskirts of Baqubah to repair a water pumping station damaged by U.S. bombs. But as Ocre discovers, in an atmosphere where resentment and anger fester, trying to win the hearts and minds of the locals is a task fraught with danger. It’s here, in the streets, squares and schools that he discovers the true cost of war.
Cavill, Hoult and Marshall-Green will report for duty when Sand Castle bows via Netflix on April 21st. Tommy Flanagan, Glen Powell, Beau Knapp, Neil Brown Jr., and Sam Spruell co-star.