As the Gulf War winds to a close, American soldiers try to come to terms with the fact that they haven't seen any real action. When a map is discovered protruding from a most unsanitary body part of an Iraqi, three soldiers find that it leads to a stash of gold bullion hidden in a bunker by Hussein's army. The soldiers, Sgt. Troy Barlow (Wahlberg), "Chief" Elgin (Cube), and Pvt. Conrad Vig (Jonze), are busted by Special Forces Sgt. Major Archie Gates (Clooney), who orders a top secret mission in which the four of them will track down the gold and keep it for themselves. To accomplish this, he assigns Walter (Kennedy), a bumbling idiot, to distract television news reporter Adriana Cruz (Dunn) from following him. The foursome's journey seems simple enough, as Hussein's troops ignore the Americans due to the recently called truce. But as they manage to secure the gold, they begin to realize that there is more to the situation than meets the eye. It appears that Hussein's troops, still in control of the land, are slaughtering Iraqis who backed the leader's overthrow. When a woman is shot in front of her husband and daughter, Gates' morality compels him to fight for what is right. The ensuing events force the Americans to team with the victims in order for both to return to safety and maintain their possession of the gold.
George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube star in "Three Kings," the story of a small group of adventurous American soldiers in Iraq at the end of the Gulf War who are determined to steal a huge cache of gold reputed to be hidden somewhere near their desert base. Finding a map they believe will take them to the gold, they embark on a journey that leads to unexpected discoveries, enabling them to rise to a heroic challenge that drastically changes their lives.
Absurdly comic, highly kinetic, at times shockingly emotional, Three Kings begins when the Gulf War is over. Amid the partying and confusion, four American soldiers (George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube and Spike Jonze), determined to take home more than sand fleas, go off into the Iraqi desert to find millions in stolen Kuwaiti bullion. They are plunged into the heart of a democratic uprising that spins the day, and their lives, out of control. David O. Russell's unique tapestry of humour, violence and history makes Three Kings one of the best movies of the year. (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)