To call “Battle: Los Angeles” (2011) formulaic would be an insult to Euler, Pythagorus, Heron and Col. Sanders. But what the hell do you want? It’s a war movie! You take the crack military unit loaded with stock characters, throw in some potential leadership tension, put them in a no-win situation, and (Gee whiz! Spoiler alert!) watch them not only survive, but win the war singlehandedly. The only difference in any of these movies since 1940 has been the location. This time Marines are battling an invasion of Santa Monica. Maybe that’s why all the critics got so pissed off.

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