Where to start?? What a great movie! While this takes place in the current time, it did echo the more heartwarming movie tropes I remember from earlier decades.
It reminds us how family, even when we disagree, are still family and why it's important to have great empathy rather than hate or criticism for your fellow human beings. The main character experiences an unimaginable loss, and along with his daughters must come to terms with that loss as best he can while moving through shock, guilt, regret, and confusion...to somehow remain despite the heartache a stable father for his young girls. On his journey, his bonds with his brother, whose life and political views vary greatly from his own, get a brief examination, reflecting sibling rivalry, disappointment, guilt, disagreement and love... All of the things many of us have experienced in our own family situations. However, I'd point out that this brief section alone is quite a normal occurrence in any family life, so I'm not sure how to quantify any of the comments on here that this was somehow a political movie or a movie with an agenda? All characters have an agenda! All plot and all fiction, even fiction that imitates life has an agenda. This is not a political movie. And beyond that brief exchange between siblings which even in its harshness was filled with love, any war and politics seemingly involved are viewed by the characters only through a lens of career commitments, grief, family ties, and ultimately love. John Cusack not only starred in this movie, he produced it, and if anyone is even a little acquainted with John's politics--as I am--you can't help see that he was playing this role from a staunch belief, hope, and support of HUMANITY and in no way from a political grandstanding viewpoint.
This is not a light, breezy movie, but it's one of the best movies about grief, commitment, parenthood, and love that I've seen in ages. Outstanding acting from Cusack who has a knack of making you forget it's even him (a gift) and both the child costars are exceptional! The music is wonderful too, and I understand it was written by Eastwood. A very well done film on every level and well worth your time. Enjoy but don't forget the tissues, you'll need them!