Desert One (2020) - Rotten Tomatoes

Desert One2020

Desert One (2020)

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Critic Consensus: Comprehensive without getting bogged down in details, Desert One offers a fascinating look at a daring military mission that ended in defeat.

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In April 1980, the US government launched the Operation Eagle Claw, their response to the hostage crisis that was happening in Iran at that time. Helmed by the then-president Jimmy Carter, the Delta Force tried to rescue the 52 hostages that were detained in the U.S. Embassy and Foreign Ministry buildings in Tehran. The documentary film Desert One explores the different aspects of this failed mission through interviews with the hostages, soldiers, commanders, and even President Carter. Directed by Barbara Kopple.

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Critic Reviews for Desert One

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (9)

You can learn a lot more from your failures than your rah-rah successes. Barbara Kopple is of course a veteran [filmmaker] and does this brilliantly.

August 31, 2020 | Full Review…

[Barbara] Kopple is an impeccable documentarian.

August 24, 2020 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Director Kopple has obtained never-before-heard audio of communications between Carter and the military command, and it's absolutely chilling to hear the president's reactions...

August 21, 2020 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

There's a powerful sense of you-are-there excitement to a lot of this testimony, even if Kopple's emphasis on Operation Eagle Claw tends to emphasize the American side of things in a way that isn't justified by the film's 360-degree approach.

August 21, 2020 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

A terrifically dramatic and very emotional film.

August 21, 2020 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Desert One, a superb documentary by Barbara Kopple, snatches high drama from the jaws of devastating failure.

August 20, 2020 | Full Review…

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