Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
An American soldier struggles with an ethical dilemma when he becomes involved with a widow of a fallen officer.

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
3,384 ( 2,603)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Rampart (2011)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Set in 1999 Los Angeles, veteran police officer Dave Brown, the last of the renegade cops, works to take care of his family, and struggles for his own survival.

Director: Oren Moverman
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, Sigourney Weaver
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A partially idealized film of the controversial pornography publisher and how he became a defender of free speech for all people.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, Edward Norton
Defendor (2009)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Arthur Poppington, a regular man who adopts a superhero persona, known as 'Defendor', combs the city streets at night, in search of his arch-enemy, Captain Industry.

Director: Peter Stebbings
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Kat Dennings, Sandra Oh
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A retired military investigator works with a police detective to uncover the truth behind his son's disappearance following his return from a tour of duty in Iraq.

Director: Paul Haggis
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Jonathan Tucker
The Messenger I (2015)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

We all want to believe in life after death and imagine loved ones looking over us, feel their presence in a draft of air, or the faint essence of a familiar smell. It's what we crave, ... See full summary »

Director: David Blair
Stars: Robert Sheehan, Joely Richardson, Tamzin Merchant
Transsiberian (2008)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A Trans-Siberian train journey from China to Moscow becomes a thrilling chase of deception and murder when an American couple encounters a mysterious pair of fellow travelers.

Director: Brad Anderson
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer, Ben Kingsley
Game Change (TV Movie 2012)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This searing, behind-the-scenes look at John McCain's ill-fated 2008 presidential campaign follows the daring plan to add Sarah Palin to the ticket and the implosion that would soon follow.

Director: Jay Roach
Stars: Ed Harris, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson
North Country (2005)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States -- Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit.

Director: Niki Caro
Stars: Charlize Theron, Jeremy Renner, Frances McDormand
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at The Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in WWII.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Barry Pepper, Joseph Cross
Frozen River (2008)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Takes place in the days before Christmas near a little-known border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec. Here, the lure of fast money from smuggling ... See full summary »

Director: Courtney Hunt
Stars: Melissa Leo, Misty Upham, Charlie McDermott
Jarhead (2005)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, Lucas Black
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An attorney defends an officer on trial for ordering his troops to fire on civilians after they stormed a U.S. embassy in a third world country.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Guy Pearce
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Monica Washington (as Yaya Dacosta)
...
...
...
Dale Martin
...
...
Paul Diomede ...
Motorcycle Cop
Jahmir Duran-Abreau ...
...
...
...
Teenager #1 (as Brian DeJesus)
Edit

Storyline

While on a recent deployment to Iraq, US Army Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery is injured when an improvised explosive device goes off within close proximity to him. He is back in the States recovering from the more serious of those injuries, including one to his eye and leg. He has resumed a sexual relationship with his long time girlfriend Kelly, despite the fact that she is now engaged to another man who Will knows. With the few months Will has left in his enlistment, the army assigns him to the Casualty Notification Team in his area. Not having a background in counseling, psychology or grief management, he is unsure if he is well suited to this job. He is partnered with a career soldier, Captain Tony Stone, who teaches Will the precise protocol involved in the job. Tony tells Will, who quickly learns by on the job experience, that this job has its own dangers. As Will learns to adapt to the range of emotions of the next of kin, he is unprepared for the reaction of Olivia Pitterson, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 December 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mensajero  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$44,523 (USA) (13 November 2009)

Gross:

$1,108,684 (USA) (7 May 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Ben Foster appears in this film with Woody Harrelson. They also shared screen time together in Rampart (2011). See more »

Goofs

Captain Stone claims to have served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, but does not have a "combat patch" on his right shoulder. See more »

Quotes

Captain Tony Stone: I'd like to strap her on and wear her like a government issued gas mask.
See more »


Soundtracks

Good Vibrations
(1966)
Written by Brian Wilson, Mike Love
Performed by Brian Wilson
Published by Irving Music Inc.
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Message: War Is a Deeply Sad Affair
3 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After countless inert and strangely uninvolving films that have been released over the last few years and have used the war on terror as a backdrop for their action ("Jarhead," "Rendition," "Stop-Loss," more I can't even recall at the moment), 2009 produced two films that finally feel plugged directly into the tone the war has taken in our culture -- one of wearying sadness.

One of those films was "The Hurt Locker," and the other is "The Messenger," Oren Moverman's somber and haunting story about a troubled soldier back from the front lines who's assigned the task of notifying people about the deaths of their loved ones in the conflict. I can't vouch for the accuracy of either film, but I can say that both communicate the same emotions I feel when I see or hear first-hand accounts about what's going on overseas. I'm not enraged or galvanized into either pro or con positions -- I'm simply depressed by the meandering, pointlessness of it all and the human waste.

The acting trio of Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, as Foster's instructor in how to be a harbinger of death and especially Samantha Morton, as the widow of one of the dead with whom Foster strikes up a romance of sorts, are formidable, and the film feels authentic in its settings and in the people who populate them. If you had to label the film one way or another, you would definitely have to come down on the side of anti-war. But it's really too resigned and matter-of-fact for that label to fit, and that's what I like about it. It almost seems to be saying that being anti-war is beside the point. Wars are always going to exist, and to be opposed to them is a waste of time. What's most troubling to think about are the innumerable number of lives that are going to be snuffed out because of them.

In a film filled with terrific scenes, the one that haunts me most is the one set in Morton's kitchen where she tells Foster about the relationship she shared with her dead husband. Filmed as one long take, the scene is mesmerizing, and Morton is so good I can't imagine how she managed to go overlooked at end-of-year awards time.

Grade: A


20 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
wayyyy better than hurt locker cast away
Uniform Nitpicks B_Profane
Samantha Morton Julia-3
Excellent movie, but painful to watch. Dataman325
Realistic Eating patf128
Sound Quality on Netflix trueromance01
Discuss The Messenger (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?