Fury (2014)

In early April 1945, the Allies make their final push into Nazi Germany, encountering fanatical resistance. Don “Wardaddy” Collier, a battle-hardened U.S. Army First Sergeant in the Second Armored Division, commands an M4 Sherman “Easy Eight” tank nicknamed Fury and its veteran crew: gunner Boyd “Bible” Swan, loader Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis, driver Trini “Gordo” Garcia, and assistant driver–bow gunner “Red,” all of whom have fought together since the North African campaign. Red is killed by a German anti-tank shell, which went through his head hitting the gun mantlet. Red is replaced by Private First Class Norman Ellison, a young clerk typist from V Corps.

As Fury moves deeper into Germany, Norman’s inexperience becomes dangerous: he spots but fails to shoot Hitler Youth child soldiers who ambush the platoon leader’s tank with a Panzerfaust, killing its entire crew; later, he hesitates under fire during a skirmish with anti-tank guns. After the battle, Don finds a captured German soldier wearing a U.S. Army coat and gives Norman his revolver, ordering him to execute the soldier. When he refuses, Don wrestles the revolver into his hand and forces him to pull the trigger, killing the prisoner and traumatizing Norman.

With Don now the acting platoon leader, the tanks capture a small town. Don and Norman search an apartment and encounter a German woman, Irma, and her younger cousin, Emma. Don pays them in cigarettes for a meal and some hot water so he can shave. Norman and Emma bond and, at Don’s urging, go into the bedroom for sex. Later, as the four sit down to eat, the rest of the crew drunkenly barges in, harassing the women and bullying Norman until Don rebukes them. They are called away for an urgent mission but, as the men prepare to leave, German shells hit the town, killing Emma and further traumatizing Norman.

The platoon receives orders to capture and hold a crossroads to protect the division’s rear. En route, they are ambushed by an SS Tiger tank, which manages to destroy three U.S. tanks with its superior firepower and armor. Fury destroys the Tiger by outmaneuvering it and firing into its thinner rear armor. Unable to notify his superiors because the radio has been damaged, Don decides they must complete their mission rather than risk going back. Upon arriving at the crossroads, the tank is immobilized by a landmine. Don sends Norman to scout a nearby hill, from which he sees German soldiers approaching. Don identifies the Germans as a Waffen-SS battalion on their way to attack the division and decides to stay, informing the others they are permitted to leave if they want to. Norman volunteers to stay with Don and one by one the rest of the crew decide to stay and fight.

The men disguise Fury to appear destroyed and hide inside. While they wait, they give Norman the nickname “Machine” to show their acceptance of him and share their last bottle of liquor. Using the tank as cover, they inflict heavy casualties with small-arms fire over the course of a single day. Grady is killed by a Panzerfaust that penetrates the turret, Gordo is shot while unpinning a grenade and throws himself on it to protect the others, and a German sniper kills Bible and severely wounds Don. Norman wants to surrender, but Don warns him he will be tortured and killed if he does. Out of ammunition (except for Wardaddy’s revolver) and surrounded, Don orders Norman to escape through the floor hatch as the Germans drop Stielhandgranate (potato-masher) grenades into the tank. Norman slips out just before they explode, killing Don. Norman tries to hide in the mud underneath the tank as the survivors move on, but is spotted by a young soldier who decides to not say anything, sparing Norman’s life.

The next morning, Norman crawls back into the tank, covers Don’s body with his jacket and arming himself with the revolver. The hatch opens and Norman prepares to fight, but realizes that his attackers are Americans. They inform Norman that the surviving Germans were too weak to harm the division. As Norman is declared a hero and driven away, he looks back at the tank and numerous dead SS troops lying around it while the rest of the force continues their march into the heart of Germany.