7.8/10
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27 user 73 critic

The Tillman Story (2010)

Pat Tillman never thought of himself as a hero. His choice to leave a multimillion-dollar football contract and join the military wasn't done for any reason other than he felt it was the ... See full summary »

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5 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself - Narrator (voice)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Mary Tillman ...
Herself (as Mary 'Dannie' Tillman)
Russell Baer ...
Himself
Patrick Tillman Sr. ...
Himself
Philip Kensinger ...
Himself (as Lt. General Philip Kensinger)
Stan Goff ...
Himself
Jason Parsons ...
Himself
Bryan O'Neal ...
Himself
Marie Tillman ...
Herself
...
Himself
Kevin Tillman ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

Pat Tillman never thought of himself as a hero. His choice to leave a multimillion-dollar football contract and join the military wasn't done for any reason other than he felt it was the right thing to do. The fact that the military manipulated his tragic death in the line of duty into a propaganda tool is unfathomable and thoroughly explored in Amir Bar-Lev's riveting and enraging documentary. Written by Sundance Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

a mystery. a cover up. a crime. one family will risk everything for the truth.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

23 January 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I'm Pat ___Tillman  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$52,185, 22 August 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$798,940, 5 December 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

During the closing credits, it is stated that Pat Tillman's mother, Dannie, "now arranges funerals at a Catholic cemetary." The correct spelling is cemetery. See more »

Quotes

Mary Tillman: We have been asked over and over again, 'What can we do for your family?' And it makes me sick. It's not about our family. Our family will never be satisfied. We'll never have Pat back. But what is so outrageous is that this isn't about Pat. This is about what they did to a nation.
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Connections

Referenced in Maltin on Movies: Unknown & Cedar Rapids (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An American Tragedy
12 February 2011 | by See all my reviews

I would have given this documentary a 10 except for the fact I had already read Krakauers book "Where Men Win Glory" which goes into greater detail on exactly what happened that fateful day when Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire. The book also covers much more of what shaped Pat Tillman in his years growing up in New Almaden, California. The movie does hit you with more of an emotional punch than the book does, because it compacts the idiocy into 90 minutes rather than over the course of a week to read the story. Both will leave you very angry at our government.

The Tillman Story paints a picture of an All-American boy who doesn't exactly fit the mold. He isn't a Christian; in fact he is an atheist. He is not a dumb jock, but a very intelligent young man who reads Norm Chomsky, a progressive intellect. He is not arrogant but caring. He married his childhood sweetheart. He enlisted in the Army Rangers after 9/11, along with his younger brother. The movie covers all of this and does it very well. The movie stands out for contrasting Pat Tillman who was no flag pin patriot, with all of the flag waving leadership that was looking for hero's in order to promote the war effort. They started with Jessica Lynch which is portrayed at the start of the film as just a propaganda stunt to cheer up the home front. Tillman became disillusioned after that and made the comment that the Iraq war was "probably illegal as hell". He enlisted to fight in Afghanistan not Iraq, but when he had the opportunity after his Iraq tour to get out of the Army, and play football again, he turned it down in order to honor his commitment.

Where the movie doesn't get it quite right is in giving the audience a better perspective just how badly mistaken the Rangers were in shooting at Tillman. They weren't more than 20 yards away from him when he was shot. The book goes into great detail on this, whereas the documentary tries to show it but it doesn't jump out at you.

The movie is at its most persuasive in exposing how ridiculous the higher up general's were in explaining away why they were not informed about what happened. "We knew nothing" is just as alive in the American army as it was in Germany in WWII.

This is a documentary that should be watched by all American's but of course it won't. It presents too many uncomfortable truths about our military, our leaders, our American culture, and our attitudes. We want nice tidy endings like in the movies but in real life our hero's aren't all like John Wayne. They are better actually. Wayne never even served in World War II. What a contrast. Tillman is the guy you would really want in the foxhole next to yours. He was a true leader and a true patriot and he had a wonderful family and a wonderful wife. They aren't very many Pat Tillman's in our country but we were fortunate to have him if only for a short time. It is too bad he was so ill served by his commanders.


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