The Afghanistan War drama The Kill Team arrived in theaters with little fanfare in 2019. Only a handful of people actually saw it during its initial run. Now, The Kill Team has appeared among the most popular movies on Netflix, which may finally give it the wider audience that it deserves.
The Kill Team was directed and written by Dan Krauss, who based it on his 2013 documentary of the same name. The story loosely adapts the Maywand District murders, a series of disturbing incidents in which U.S. soldiers murdered innocent Afghan civilians seemingly for sport. Nat Wolff stars in the film as Andrew Briggman, with Alexander Skarsgård as Sergeant Deeks, Adam Long as Rayburn, Jonathan Whitesell as Coombs, Brian “Sene” Marc as Marquez, Rob Morrow as William Briggman, Osy Ikhile as Weppler, Anna Francolini as Laura Briggman, Oliver Ritchie as Cappy, Tunji Kasim as Sergeant Wallace, and Taz Skylar as Sergeant Dawes.
Now, it’s time to share three reasons why you should watch The Kill Team on Netflix.
HBO fans won’t be surprised to hear that Alexander Skarsgård gives a great performance in The Kill Team after watching his starring turns in True Blood and Succession. But even when he played the vampire Eric Northman, Skarsgård wasn’t as intimidating as he is here as Deeks.
Deeks isn’t the kind of guy who needs to puff his chest and yell to make his men fall in line. It takes surprisingly little for Deeks to convince most of his team that killing random citizens is not only an acceptable thing to do, but it’s also the right thing to do. Human lives have no value to Deeks, and even the mission in Afghanistan doesn’t matter much to him. All he wants or needs is an excuse to kill the people that he has deemed his enemies.
Only one member of the squad, Andrew Briggman, actively refuses to go along with Deeks’ murderous plans, and he’s openly appalled by the entire thing. From Briggman’s perspective, it’s a completely terrifying experience because he knows that if he reports the team’s murderous habits, then the next body lying in the desert may be his own.
This isn’t a story that offers easy answers, or even an appealing solution for Briggman. All he wants to do is serve his country, but Briggman learns too late that he’s stepped into a metaphorical minefield, and he may not be able to escape without betraying the men he served alongside before Deeks joined the team.
Perhaps the most insidious thing about Deeks is that he’s not satisfied until everyone in the unit is on board with his endless slaughter, including Briggman. Deeks tries all sorts of psychological manipulation, and even threatens Briggman’s parents, William (Rob Morrow) and Laura Briggman (Anna Francolini).
Briggman’s will is pushed to its breaking point as he faces peer pressure from his unit and Deeks to give in. You’ll have to wait until late in the movie to see how that plays out, but the tension between the two leads is electric.
Watch The Kill Team on Netflix.