In the Valley of Elah [Blu-ray]
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Hank Deerfield (played by Tommy Lee Jones) is a retired veteran and military police officer searching for his son who has gone AWOL. A detective Emily Sanders (played by Charlize Theron) becomes interested in the case and starts helping Hank outside of her job. When Hank's son's body is found, the search suddenly turns into a search for the murderer.
One of the many aspects I appreciated was that director Haggis did not turn this into a typical Hollywood crime thriller and also not turn it into a political propaganda piece against the war and President Bush. Instead he mixes the two plots together seamless and subtle, letting you decide for your self.
Tommy Lee Jones gives the best performance of his long career as he plays a quiet, emotionless war vet, but still shows tremendous amount of emotion. Just watching his face as he sits in a diner and listens to one of his retired friends tell him about plans to go visit his grandchildren is heartbreaking. We can almost see the internal emotional struggle as he realizes he will never be able to do that. Charlize Theron does a wonderful job as the detective, and despite her small screen time Susan Surandon plays the grieving wife of Jones to perfection.
This film is such a moving masterpiece on so many levels it is simply wonderful to watch. The quiet pacing of the film building up to the climax is captivatingly intense in its own way.Read more ›
Having been raised in the military as an Army brat -- and being a veteran myself -- I really love movies oriented toward military subjects, and this movie doesn't disappoint. In many ways, it's territory we've explored before in movies such as "The Caine Mutiny", "A Few Good Men", "Basic", "The General's Daughter", "Rules of Engagement" (another Jones movie), and many others. Why this one was castigated as being anti-war in any special way is totally beyond me.
We have a stellar cast in what is essentially a "Courage Under Fire" genre movie, a Rashomon scenario, wherein Tommy Lee Jones -- the father of a murdered vet -- tries to uncover the details of his son's murder with the help of an outcast female police detective played by Charlize Theron.
Jones is always a marvel to watch, and the supporting cast is also top notch: Josh Brolin, Jason Patric, Susan Sarandon, Francis Fisher (in a gutsy role for a middle-aged woman), as well as the lesser lights.
But in my opinion, Charlize Theron stole this show, hands down.Read more ›
Lanny Davis, upon whom Hank Deerfield is based, is, in fact, a 20-year veteran of the Army, 16 of those years with the Military Police. About a month after his son, Richard Davis, was reported AWOL, from his first 2-day pass following his return from six months in Iraq, Mr. Davis traveled to Fort Bragg, where he spent several days trying unsuccessfully to motivate a missing-person investigation into his son's disappearance by either Army or civilian authorities. Failing in that effort, he returned home.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I rented this movie after the strong recommendation a good friend, a retired Colonel; I was sorely confused and disappointed. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Bob Lewis
This grim and superbly casted film reminds its viewer that war isn't over when the boys come home. Too often, it gets inside the boys and lurches on in quiet, painful and sometimes... Read morePublished 9 days ago by David A. Baer
Good acting. I never know to what extent the plot's creative license has been stretched when it is "based on a true story. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
Wonderful movie with a strong story, strong acting all the way through the cast, but very strong on Tommy Lee Jones' part. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Don Carson
Tommy Lee Jones is an excellent actor.He played this role to a T.It is a very interesting story and shows what war does to a sensitive man and the pain the parents go through and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by paladin
How can you go wrong with Tommy Lee Jones and Shirley's Theron in the same movie!
Many touching and memorable scenes all through it!
Definitely not a feel good movie. Very well done, both the acting and the directing. Is vivid testimony of how poorly we understand what our Veterans have gone through and how... Read morePublished 5 months ago by owenr
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