As part of the 2007 New York Film Festival's selections "Redacted" finds Brian De Palma ("The Black Dahlia") trying too hard yet not hard enough with a didactic antiwar polemic loosely based on a March 2006 incident when U.S. troops raped and killed a teenage girl south of Baghdad. The story is presented as a faux docudrama culled from a video diary by hopeful filmmaker and U.S. soldier Angel Salazar (Izzy Diaz). With a cast that looks like they were rescued from an off-off-off Broadway production of a Sam Shepherd play, De Palma's cinema verite approach-complete with voice-over narration-reeks of an unskilled flavor that belies the director's impressive resume. Stereotypical characters, lame attempts at shock, and amateur actors doom "Redacted" to throwaway status-- a sadly unpolished movie about an important subject.
Rated R, 91 mins. (C) (Two Stars)