There’s no such thing as a truly anti-war film, Francois Truffaut once said. By depicting the adventure and thrill of combat, war movies can’t help but glorify their subject, fueling fantasies of spectacular, heroic violence. It’s a case where the sensational beauty of cinema works against our humanist impulses rather than for them. I’m not a fan of war movies as a general matter of principle. But in recent years, I’ve seen a couple of films with unique approaches to the war movie, and that bring humanity back into focus.

Originally published on Fandor Keyframe. For a full transcript visit Keyframe.

Kevin B. Lee is Editor in Chief of IndieWire’s PressPlay Video Blog, Video Essayist for Fandor Keyframe, and contributor to Roger Ebert.com. Follow him on Twitter.