"... 'Endgame' is the fifth episode on Iraq from producer Michael Kirk, and it's perhaps the darkest, most damning piece of the bunch. ...
"'Endgame' is a chess term referring to how a closely played game comes down to a few pieces, requiring tact, guile and strategy on the part of the players to bring it to a close one way or the other. Unfortunately the U.S. invasion of Iraq has not been closely or well-played, and like a kibitzer in a chess post-mortem, 'Frontline' lays out where the strategy went wrong all along. It draws heavily on interviews not with political operatives with axes to grind, but the actual military leaders involved.
"... 'Frontline" continues to tell the truth to power. Its next season can't come soon enough."
"Frontline's new documentary presents a timeline of the Iraq War punctuated by ill-prepared leadership, rushed military decision-making, and needless political snafus. That's a now-familiar litany of disaster, but Endgame adds to the record with first-hand concessions from some of the retired Army generals who planned and executed the war. Their candid interview -- particularly one with retired Army General Jack Keane, the Army's second in command during the 2003 invasion -- drive the film and provide a new perspective on its military and political failings. …
"No matter what you think of the war, 'Endgame's' exploration of how we're fighting it by the seat of our pants is deeply discouraging. How to end a game that never had a gameplan in the first place?"
"... The program is hard to follow at times, but has the cumulative effect of one of the great documentary films: This is Frontline at its most effective and emblematic. ...
"In just one hour, it distills much of what's going on in Iraq and presents it in such a way that the viewer gets a genuine feel for what's happening on the ground. If you see only one program this summer about the war in Iraq, make it Endgame."
"The latest 'Frontline' is another reminder of why this PBS mainstay is indispensable. The program, titled 'Endgame,' looks at the U.S. surge in Iraq with context and detail rare for television. ..."
"… [T]he hour is a terrific summary of the violent insurgency in Iraq, the misjudgments and the spin of the Bush administration, the Iraqis inability to take over security and the likelihood the newest policy, The Surge, has of succeeding. ...
"With 'Endgame,' it isn't too late for Americans to better understand what happened and is happening in Iraq." "
"... If 'Endgame' were a newspaper story, it would be called a clip-job (a phrase from the era before computers): just take the clippings from past stories, roll in a few fresh quotes and, voilà, weekend feature story.
"As such, 'Endgame' has both the virtues and the vices of the genre. It's a primer for people who haven't been following Iraq. But it offers little new and has been gapped by recent developments that it doesn't mention. ..."
"Endgame amounts to a scathing indictment of the leaders of the coalition forces in Iraq, both civilian and military. Those interviewed include a long list of former military officials, some of whom are remarkably candid about serious mistakes that were made."
"… a smart way to spend an hour if you're actually interested in why the war is unfolding the way it is."
"... [L]ike [Kirk's] other films, it benefits from the participation of a number of high level military and government advisers, and a calm retelling of recent history of the conflict in a manner that's full of context and eventual dismay."