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The Ottoman Lieutenant

A love story set amid World War I turmoil in Turkey never comes to life

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In the mid-1910s, a headstrong American nurse named Lillie (Hera Hilmar) joins a medical mission in the wilds of Turkey. It proves a dangerous place to be, to least of which, two handsome men are fighting for her affections. One is Ismail (Michiel Huisman, Game of Thrones), a dashing Turkish lieutenant; the other is an American doctor (Josh Hartnett). Joseph Ruben’s romance sets this love triangle against many warring factions: Christians vs. Muslims, Turks vs. Armenians, men vs. women, despair vs. hope, the old ways vs. the new ways, the whole of World War I — and yet the enterprise feels flat and predictable. The actors struggle with hokey dialogue. (Sir Ben Kingsley has a small role, and unsurprisingly, he takes to his bed with ether.) There is some nice scenery, but horse rides at sunset can’t propel this forward. Starts Fri., March 10. AMC Loews Waterfront.


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