The Tillman Story (2010)

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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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Credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Himself (archive footage)
Mary Tillman ...
Herself (as Mary 'Dannie' Tillman)
Russell Baer ...
Patrick Tillman Sr. ...
Philip Kensinger ...
Stan Goff ...
Bryan O'Neal ...
Marie Tillman ...
Kevin Tillman ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Sam Sako Jr. ...
Afghani boy


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


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 »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

23 January 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I'm Pat ___Tillman  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$52,185 (USA) (20 August 2010)


$798,940 (USA) (3 December 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


Pat Tillman: I'm Pat-fucking-Tillman.
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Powerful and extraordinary documentary
13 October 2011 | by (US) – See all my reviews

Quite extraordinary documentary dealing with the emotional and intellectual issues around Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan and subsequent Army cover-up. A film of insight, humanity, and righteous anger, but it never feels manipulative of the people or facts involved.

Like Tillman himself, it avoids simplistic answers and tries to look deeper. This isn't a propaganda piece, but a complex study of a family's grief, and how powerful organizations like the Army sometimes put their own image ahead of human honesty and decency.

Tillman himself emerges as a highly complex man – someone who didn't go off to war looking for glory, and indeed, tried actively just to be treated like any other soldier – a desire the Army refused to honor, even in death (Tillman had specifically, in writing. requested not to have a military funeral should he die in war, but the Army tried to bulldoze the family into one for PR purposes).

He believed the Afghanistan war was a righteous cause, but politically disagreed with the decision to go to war with Iraq, while fighting with honor and distinction. He was an atheist who respected and was curious about all religions, and whose public memorial was co-opted by public figures invoking the name of God, until finally his little brother – in an act of slightly drunken bravery - stood up to tell them all that wasn't who Pat was.

His family emerge as heroes of another kind, working tirelessly to discover the truth of what really happened to their son and why,all the while fighting an Army and political establishment that just wanted them to stand there mute, and look sad and grateful for the cameras.

Amir Bar-Lev is emerging as one of our best documentary filmmakers, and I'd urge you to also check out his earlier work "My Kid Could Paint That" and "Fighter".

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
So what is the conspiracy? mule_009-1
So Tillman is better than other vets because he was rich? 8Syx
Anybody think this move was hypocritical? imdanny21
Great tribute for Pat Tillman.... Roadghost69
Very amazing story and very heroic man Ghombie
Has this movie been released yet? jct129890
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