MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 926 this week

The Messenger (I) (2009)

7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 25,920 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 89 user | 212 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

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

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 16 Aug 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 02 Dec 2012
 
a list of 49 titles
created 11 Mar 2013
 
a list of 31 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 43 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Messenger" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Messenger (2009)

The Messenger (2009) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Messenger.
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Cold Mountain (2003)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the waning days of the American Civil War, a wounded soldier embarks on a perilous journey back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina to reunite with his sweetheart.

Director: Anthony Minghella
Stars: Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

HEAD IN THE CLOUDS is a sweeping romantic drama set in 1930's England, Paris, and Spain. Gilda Bessé shares her Paris apartment with an Irish schoolteacher, Guy Malyon, and Mia, a refugee ... See full summary »

Director: John Duigan
Stars: Charlize Theron, Stuart Townsend, Penélope Cruz
Dear John I (2010)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A romantic drama about a soldier who falls for a conservative college student while he's home on leave.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried, Richard Jenkins
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.

Director: Anthony Minghella
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe
Casablanca (1942)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Set in unoccupied Africa during the early days of World War II: An American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A Jewish man has a wonderful romance with the help of his humour, but must use that same quality to protect his son in a Nazi death camp.

Director: Roberto Benigni
Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 1941 Hawaii, a private is cruelly punished for not boxing on his unit's team, while his captain's wife and second in command are falling in love.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A manipulative Southern belle carries on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner during the American Civil War.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Life of a Russian doctor/poet who, although married, falls for a political activist's wife and experiences hardships during the Bolshevik Revolution.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin
Atonement (2007)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit. Based on the British romance novel by Ian McEwan.

Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband's aristocratic position in 18th-century England.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story recounts the early life of Genghis Khan who was a slave before going on to conquer half the world including Russia in 1206.

Director: Sergey Bodrov
Stars: Tadanobu Asano, Amadu Mamadakov, Khulan Chuluun
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Monica Washington (as Yaya Dacosta)
...
...
...
...
...
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:

19 February 2010 (Brazil)  »

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

At various stages in development, Sydney Pollack, Roger Michel and Ben Affleck were all attached to direct. Writer Oren Moverman was finally asked to helm the project after all these fell through. See more »

Goofs

SSG Montgomery should have at least two service stripes on his left sleeve, in addition to the missing Overseas Service Bars. Each service stripe denotes 3 years of service and he'd likely have at least 2 of them. See more »

Quotes

Captain Tony Stone: One more thing. You do not touch the Next-of-Kin. Avoid physical contact, unless it's a medical emergency, like they're having a heart attack or something. You're representing the Secretary of the Army, not Will Montgomery, so in case you feel like offering a hug or something... don't.
Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery: [sarcastic] I'm not gonna be offering any hugs, sir.
See more »


Soundtracks

A Time for Romance
Written and Performed by Daniel May
Published by Revision West
Courtesy of Marc Ferrari / MasterSource
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Restrained and ambitious
7 August 2010 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

THE MESSENGER is by far and away one of the best works of art that addresses the deep tragedy behind the current U.S. war in the Middle East that I've seen. THE MESSENGER is an attempt by Director Oren Moverman and screen writer Alessandro Camon to place themselves between the ears of two career soldiers who serve a vital place in U.S. Army Special Services, Casualty Notification teams who inform the families of soldiers that their family member has been killed in battle. As someone who remembers full well the devastating feeling you got in your insides when you saw these teams turn up at the quarters of friends and their families when my own father was serving in Vietnam in the late 1960s, I found the film an important effort.

Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery (Ben Foster) is a Iraqi war veteran recovering from a battlefield wound who is reassigned to a State Department and United States Army Casualty Notification team, which is led by Captain Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson). Montgomery is also facing an impending breakup with his girlfriend Kelly (Jena Malone), who is playing him off against a wealthy, established suitor. When he is assigned to Stone's team, he is at first resentful. The military decorum which is demanded of the Casualty Notification Team is very exacting, with learned routines that come from a spit and polish military professionalism that requires a distance that is extremely difficult to attain.

What follows is a series of well connected vignettes, in which the younger soldier is asked to stride this nether world between the jaundiced, dry-drunk outlook of the seasoned bearer of bad news, Captain Stone. Stone is a bitter man with some frustrated ambitions of his own, which are revealed late in the film. Obsessed with sexual victories and teeter tottering between professional sobriety and complete emotional collapse, Stone is far from a steady colleague mentor. Encounters between he and Montgomery go into emotional roller coaster as each man learns to accept the other on his own terms while acting out an extremely trying professional military role.

In short time, Montgomery comes into contact with the widow of a soldier who sparks his interest, and becomes torn between professionalism and attraction to the young widow Olivia Pitterson (Samantha Morton). Montgomery is forced to grow into himself, despite his outward cynicism, and in short time begins to mentor his mentor, Captain Stone. The story has an open ending, with Montgomery seeking to be part of the life of widow Olivia as she is seeking to reestablish herself in New Orleans. No morals are offered, and this is the true strength of the work as a whole. There isn't much humor to be found here, but watch for the scene where a bender fried Montgomery and Stone attend the wedding reception of the woman who has broken Montgomery's heart. The lampoon of upper middle class phoniness is priceless.

The beauty of THE MESSENGER is that it does not fall into the usual pro war or antiwar camps that film making in an era like our own are usually so encumbered with. The film makers are ambitious and restrained. I have no idea whether the plot line is itself "contrived" as some here have argued, which I have to say is a rather ridiculous critique given that movies are rarely anything but "contrived", and this is particularly true of the genre we call the war film. Some who have written here seem to believe that the film discredits the "professionalism" of those who do the work of Stone and Montgomery, as though "professionalism" were itself some sort of fetish that protects one from emotional or mental illness generated by both war time trauma and the mystique of military culture. Such are the times in which we live, ideological blather is rampant.

THE MESSENGER is important because, in the words of that great Vietnam war era politician, the late President Lyndon Baines Johnson, it is art, it shows us who we are, not who we say we are, not who we think we are, but who we are as a people, and as a political culture. At various moments, it is clunky. But it is an early effort to give some true definition about what the debacle in Iraq has done to our culture, and to the people who are expected to do the dirty work of the empire's war machine. It is a rare gem in mainstream contemporary U.S. film making.


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Uniform Nitpicks B_Profane
wayyyy better than hurt locker cast away
Samantha Morton Julia-3
Excellent movie, but painful to watch. Dataman325
There's No Crying In Baseball -- Absolutely Not in the Military nuke_houston
Is it true that only in Iraq war that U.S. troops don't have enough sex Paramita1
Discuss The Messenger (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?