A psychological study of operations desert shield and desert storm during the gulf war; through the eyes of a U.S marine sniper who struggles to cope with the possibility his girlfriend may be cheating on him back home.
Before leaving on his second tour in Afghanistan, Marine Captain Sam Cahill, a leader, an athlete, a good husband and father, welcomes his screw-up brother Tommy home from prison. He'd robbed a bank. In country, Sam's helicopter is shot down and all are presumed dead. Back home, while Sam wastes away as a prisoner in a remote encampment, Tommy tries to take care of the widow and her two children. While imprisoned, Sam experiences horrors unbearable, so when he's rescued and returns home, he's silent, detached, without affect, and he's convinced his wife and brother have slept together. Demons of war possess him; what will silence them? Written by
Jake Gyllenhaal learned of the death of his close friend Heath Ledger while he was in the middle of shooting a scene for this film. Gyllenhaal immediately walked off set, and returned to finish the scene two days later. He then took a longer bereavement leave before he was ready to continue with the rest of his scenes. See more »
The movie gives the location of the Marine Base as "Fort Mahlus". Only the US Army begins their bases with "Fort" (i.e. Fort Benning, Fort Bragg, etc). The US Marines begin their bases with "Camp" (i.e. Camp Pendleton, Camp Lejeune, etc). See more »
Music and Lyrics by U2
Produced and Engineered by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois (as Danny Lanois)
Additional engineering by Kevin Killen
Assistant engineer: Randy Ezratty
Published by Universal Music Publ. Int. B.V., administered by Universal - PolyGram Int. Publ.,
Inc. (ASCAP) / Blue Mountain Music Ltd (UK) / Mother Music Ltd. (Irl)
Courtesy of Universal-Island Records Ltd.
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
Just OK. Very well acted particularly by Gyllenhaal, Portman, and the two young 'uns, and a compelling tale of how war can mess up a family, but a little too melodramatic to hold much power for me.
There's also the misjudged Afghan side story, which is populated by cartoon characters. It might have worked better had we been kept completely in the dark as to the soldier's fate, to be put in the same position as the wife and brother. As it is we are simply sitting waiting for his inevitable (rather than hoped-for) return and we know any emotional investment during this buildup will be wasted. It feels almost tacked on - did they need to give Maguire more to do? He's the best I've ever seen him btw, but I didn't find him as convincing as the other two leads who had a more nuanced story to work with.
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