In these dark and terrifying political times, it’s deeply reassuring to see a U.S. General defying the orders of the White House in times of war. That was sarcasm, and luckily Netflix’s new movie – starring Brad Pitt as a fictionalized version of Army General Stanley McChrystal – uses satire to balance the nightmare of American politics with humor.

In War Machine, from Animal Kingdom director David Michod, Pitt plays Glen McMahon, a cocky, anti-establishment U.S. General who fakes a bad connection with his superior over video chat to avoid admitting he refused orders. Charming! McMahon, who speaks in the newest trailer with a low growl not unlike Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raine, barks that he’s only in Afghanistan to win the war. Pitt brings something unique to this character though: McMahon’s awkward running, which looks like he’s gently stepping over wet cement while attempting to prove his masculinity with his stiff, muscled frame. Pitt spoke about creating the “pencil leg” run in his recent GQ cover story:

The run to me was important because it was about the delusion of your own grandeur, not knowing what you really look like. All pencil legs, you know. Not being able to connect reality to this facade of grandeur.

The latest trailer features some new footage with Ben Kingsley as Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan, Topher Grace, RJ Cyler (Power Rangers), John Magaro (Orange is the New Black), and Anthony Michael Hall. Here’s the full synopsis:

In a film for our times, writer-director David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) recreates a U.S. General’s roller-coaster rise and fall as part reality, part savage parody – raising the specter of just where the line between them lies today. His is an anti-establishment, pro-soldier exploration in the form of an absurdist war story of a born leader’s ultra-confident march right into the dark heart of folly. At the story’s core is Brad Pitt’s sly take on a successful, charismatic four-star general who leapt in like a rock star to command NATO forces in Afghanistan, only to be taken down by his own hubris and a journalist’s no-holds-barred expose. War Machine addresses the debt we owe to soldiers to question the purposes to which they are being directed.

War Machine will hit Netflix and open in limited release in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on May 26. Get liberated by the new poster below (or not):


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