Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Movie Review: In the Valley of Elah

This incredible movie was solidly acted by Academy Award winning stars Tommy Lee Jones, Susan Sarandon, and Charlize Theron. A former criminal investigative officer works with a female local police officer to find his AWOL son who supposedly returned from Iraq. They meet with opposition from the military and male dominated police bureaucracy every step of the way.

This thought provoking movie asks the question, if a war stripped you of your humanity, and all wars do to some extent, what would happen if your humanity didn’t return when you came home? We all know that there is a time period of readjustment when a soldier returns from battle. We all hear about soldiers who commit suicide or other crimes after active duty. Some soldiers require therapy for this readjustment.

In this movie, the son and his squad were asked to do something extremely inhumane in the course of duty and then had to cope with it. Find out why being a soldier can be the toughest job there is. Be thankful that you never went into the military, or feel validated if you did by seeing this movie. If you think your job is tough, see this movie and you might never complain again.

This movie was difficult to watch because a parent is conducting the investigation and is emotionally involved. So it is sad as well as interesting. But, the movie is also tight and compelling and gives a strong anti-war message. (But, you do see naked recruits in the shower.) I give it

**** of five stars.


Doug said...

These kinds of movies always upset me, so I end up not watching them, though Tommy Lee makes it tempting (as do the naked recruits).

Sue said...

I know what you mean. Killing Fields was like that. But it was a really great movie. And there were the naked recruits.

Sh@ney said...

Is this an old movie Sue...I love Tommy, he is such a great actor!
But I dont recall seeing this one!

Sue said...

No it is not an old movie. That is old enough to have come out on dvd; probably 2007.