A behind-the-curtain look at the propaganda machine

By Owen Gleiberman
August 26, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT
Donald Lee

Why make a documentary about a subject as well-covered by the media as Pat Tillman, the Arizona Cardinals star who put his football career on hold to join the U.S. Army Rangers? Because after Tillman was killed (by friendly fire) in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004, the way his tragic death was lied about, by both the Bush administration and the military, became a study in the evils of American political image manipulation. Amir Bar-Lev’s morally incisive The Tillman Story unravels the deceptions—and the deep dishonor—that inflated life-size valor into fake superheroism. B+