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|Index||25 reviews in total|
I took my mother to see this film so that she may understand through a movie what I could not share with her verbally but what she has witnessed physically with me. This is not a war movie but a film of what war does to you and how it affects you after you are no longer in physical war but your mind stays in mental war and no one understands ( EMPATHY) except those there with you. After 3 combat tours I identified with things that went over a lot of peoples heads but the movie moved me and Dream Works did a spot on job with what we with PTS go through and why its so hard to deal with and maybe if everyone saw this film they could see the inner turmoil a soldier, a marine, a airman, and a seaman goes through after experiencing physical and mental trauma. Thank You for your service hits on all aspects from the ptsd sufferer to the spouses and all around them. this is a must see to spread compassion to all who served.
A mixer of war, drama and pure adventure. The movie is a ballance
equillibrium of all these aspects. The movie starts with the early war
actions of military personnel in iraq. But they return after war and
haunted by those memories.Those memories shattering their personal
life, their dreams and emotions, their surroundings...
This movie is a different genre movie..not a typical fast action or mysterious thriller movies...not an excellent dreamy sci-fi movie...rather it is a movie of true passion of life..A movie containing real life drama..real heart and mind...real flesh and blood..slow but steady..
Acting is superb.Most of the movie is full of nostalgic scenes of battlefield.They are true colour of life. Most members have acted well enough to visualize the full drama.
Critics may have many opinions of their own. I don't know what they will say about the film. But i have enjoyed the movie very much.Now it's your turn.
I viewed this movie at the suggestion of a family member who had served in Afghanistan. I'm glad I did -- it is a wonderful movie of the struggles of the modern, professional soldier. There were no "impossible" scenes of war or family life. Nothing was fantastic or even out of the ordinary. This could have all played out in your home town. This is the story of three fellow soldiers, comrades-in-arms, after their return to civilian life. The acting was realistic. The women who played the wives were totally believable. Well, so were the guys. The scenes not preposterous no crashing police cars, no hail of bullets from which the lead emerges unscathed. The audio was EXCELLENT (which is not true for any number of modern movies); The ordeals and anxieties of these vets kept the story line well within reason but perhaps a bit compressed. The Veterans Administration was painted in a horrid light to be fair, the counselors were seen as helpful but the staff as uncaring. I want to believe the point was made that the problems with the VA are systemic and from lack of funding hence the movie's title. The officer corps was condemned several times by buffoonery and indifference, not an uncommon theme in any movie dealing with the military. I believe it would have played better with more balance, one caring officer, for example. While heavy on coarse language, cursing, and graphic sexual profanity, it wasn't "over the top" for soldiers' "manguage." The very few sexual scenes were largely off camera. The "R" rating must come from the expletives and subject matter. I saw "Coming Home" soon after returning from Vietnam. That was an anti-war movie. This is not anti-war, but it is a political movie. This is a film about those veterans who are not supported by the psychological services of the VA. It impels the viewer to contact his elected officials to implore them to solve the problem.
"Thank You For Your Service" (2017 release; 108 min.) brings the story
of 3 guys returning home after serving in Iraq. As the movie opens, we
are in "Rustamiyah, Iraq", where we are at the tail end of a mission
gone horribly wrong. Shortly thereafter, the guys return home to
Topeka, KS. Sergeant Schumann is awaited by his wife and 2 young kids,
and he tries mightily to fit in. His other mates similarly encounter
issues, and all grow restless and desperate. At this point we're less
than 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would
spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how
it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the directing debut of screen writer Jason Hall, working from David Finkel's non-fiction book of the same name. The movie shines a light on a shameful episode of American society: in the last 15 years, we have send hundreds of thousands of young (mostly) men and (some) women to the Middle East, and when they return home, many of them struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, only to find that much needed help is mostly not available. The movie perfectly captures that is the administrative madness of the Department of Veterans Administration. The VA's shortcomings have been known for YEARS, yet seemingly nothing is being done about it. Meanwhile these veterans suffer (and worse). Miles Teller as Sergeant Schumann is outstanding (by coincidence, this is the second weekend in a row where Teller stars as a true hero--just last weekend I saw him in "Only the Brave"), as is (for me newcomer) Beulah Koale as the troubled Solo, and Haley Bennett as Schumann's loyal wife. But perhaps the most remarkable performance comes from Amy Schumer as the widow of of of the perished soldiers, MILES away from her usual comedy roles. CAUTION about the movie's trailer: is is completely misleading, as it makes it look very much "American Sniper" like, when in fact only about 10 min. of "Thank You For Your Service" plays out in Iraq (in that sense, the movie is similar in tone to the late 70s Vietnam war movie "Coming Home"). Also this: in recent weeks, there was separately a very prominent trailer in the theaters where Shania Twain presents (and plays) her song "Soldier" as being from this movie. Guess what: that song is NOT in the movie AT ALL, not even just a few seconds. Shamefully misleading again. (Instead, there is a powerful new Bruce Springsteen song, "Freedom Cadence", that plays over the movie's end titles).
"Thank You For Your Service" opened wide this weekend. The Friday evening screening where I saw this at here in Cincinnati was attended okay but the small theater was by no means close to a sell-out. No matter. "Thank You For Your Service" is one of those all-too-rare movies that is actually a good movie, while also bringing a powerful and important message/reminder. What have we come to as a society when we do not provide much needed help and support to the hundreds of thousands of troops that have served our nation with honor and bravery? I readily recommend that you check out "Thank You For Your Service", be it in the theater, on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.
'THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE': Four Stars (Out of Five)
A war biopic about U.S. soldiers returning home from service in Iraq, and trying to adapt to normal civilian life again. It was written and directed by actor turned first time filmmaker Jason Hall, and it's based on the non-fiction novel (of the same name) by David Finkel. The movie stars Miles Teller, Beulah Koale, Haley Bennett, Joe Cole, Scott Haze and Amy Schumer. It's received mostly positive reviews from critics, and it's also performed very modestly at the Box Office as well. I found it to be a pretty well made war drama, that effectively deals with the subject of PTSD.
The film begins with Sergeant Adam Schumann (Teller), Tausolo Aieti (Koale) and Will Waller (Cole) all returning home from Iraq. Schumann returns with severe depression, to his loving and supportive wife Saskia (Bennett), and their daughter. Waller also returns with severe mental issues, to find that his fiancée has left him with their daughter. Aieti returns to a pregnant wife, grateful to the military for what they've given him. We later learn that all three soldiers suffer from more horrendous PTSD issues than are even first apparent, and they quickly become life threatening for them to have to deal with.
The film is pretty dark and depressing, and it's also very hard to watch (at times) because of it. There's definitely very little humor in it, or even exciting war action scenes (if that's what you're looking for). I think this is a good thing though, because it allows the movie to focus solely on PTSD, and how it deeply changes our heroic soldiers. Teller is great in the lead (like always), and Koale (who I've never heard of before this) gives a more than decent supporting turn. Like I said, it's definitely not a fun time at the movies, by any measure, but it's also definitely worth checking out.
We actually saw this by mistake. We thought we were headed for Last Flag Flying. With Thor opening at the time, I suppose it wasn't surprising that there were only a half dozen of us watching this one. Enormously moving, without being maudlin, it opened our eyes to the impact of PTSD, how a single awful incident can cause it, and the uselessness of the VA which is clearly overwhelmed. Caught up in the drama, seeing Amy Schumer in a small tragic role did shock you out of it: which is not to criticize her performance or her right to diversify her roles. If she does it more frequently, it might not be so startling. The odd thing is the sermon at my church that morning was all about forgiveness: forgiving past wrongs to free you of years of pain and rancor, but particularly forgiving yourself. When Adam is able to free himself of guilt by facing those he feels he hurt, he starts on his road to recovery. This was an important statement for our times that should be seen by many but will actually be seen by few: the producers knew that in advance and made in indie on the cheap. I hope they make back some of the cost. Most people would rather rattle off the praise Thank you for your service, than spend a dime to experience what it means.
There tend to be two kinds of films when it comes to war and the
military: the kind where you have the against-all-odds soldiers
achieving the impossible to protect the freedoms that we enjoy every
day and the "war is hell" stories that paint a bleaker picture of pain,
fear, and loss. Just like with most storytelling, both are right, both
are wrong, neither are right, and neither are wrong. Much like a
painting done by different artists, the more perspectives that are
given on a particular subject matter give those that consume that
subject matter a more complete picture. In the matter of Jason Hall's
take on David Finkel's book "Thank You for Your Service," there is a
little bit of both and a little bit of neither.
Miles Teller plays Sergeant Adam Shumann, who is returning from a particularly rigorous tour of the Middle East that involved loss and damage to some of his compatriots. Along with Solo (Beulah Koale) and Will (Joe Cole), they each bring their own parts in their shared adventures home with them with varying results and one thing in common: darkness.
"Thank You for Your Service" is a film that actually works on a few different levels for me. Going in, I was worried that its message would borderline on a political statement or venture into the territory of caricature, but it doesn't do either of those things more than it has to. This is a gritty, honest, and in-your-face look at what happens to our young men and women that put their lives on the line in the middle of nowhere on a completely different continent than they have ever known not only on the battlefield but also the aftermath on how they deal with the families they have been without for way too long, the lives they left behind, and a system that is so overwhelmed and understaffed that they cannot get the help they need in a timely manner. Teller keeps his performance in the pocket as he should and lets his co-stars have their moments as well. Shumann is a man who suffers on his own not because of his pride but because of his love and concern for those around him to not have to carry the burdens he does, and Teller's work with Haley Bennett as his wife, Saskia, is nothing short of pure and palpable. Koale also embodies his role well as a young man who believes that the Army "saved his life" while trying to fight off a level of PTSD that cannot simply be ignored. There is also a very impressive turn here by Amy Schumer (and yes, you read that right) as the widow of one of the soldiers in her unit who wants answers and cannot find them. It is nice to see her stretch her dramatic chops in a way that I have not seen before without me going "oh, it's Amy Schumer so, there's THAT". She truly is impressive here, and I hope to see her do more challenging roles down the road.
This is a film that I hope can been seen as a conversation starter on a subject that needs more light shown upon it because it does so in a very respectful way that is not too preachy or overly stated. It has a strong statement and is not afraid to let its message be put out there. "Thank You for Your Service" is a rare film that people from all walks of life and opinions can go to and see it for what it is and in doing so can hopefully open a dialog that needs to be continually had from multiple levels.
I spent a fair amount of the first part of this movie being aggravated.
I eventually realized that it was some of the characters that were
aggravating me, but that the movie itself was really very good.
First and foremost is the acting. There is not a weak or even mediocre performance here. All the actors are truly first-rate, and give riveting performances. (I couldn't tear myself away to get a refill of my popcorn. lol) Some of the men pull off the very difficult task of making you care about them - not necessarily like, but care about them - even though they are, in some ways, not very likable. If you are a guy it's hard not to watch this movie and wonder if you could have gotten through what they get through in Iraq.
The directing is also very good. The action/interest never flags.
For me, it was impossible not to compare this movie to Deerhunter, Michel Cimino's masterpiece about the effects of the Vietnam War on those who returned from it. The scope here is very different, much more intimate. There are no elaborate wedding festivities, and the hunting scene does not have the scenic grandeur of the deer hunts in the earlier movie. There are no terrifying scenes of torture of American soldiers, such as the cages lowered into rat-infested waters or the roulette game that gave me nightmares for days after I saw Cimino's film. I suspect this movie did not have that sort of budget. But, if it does not scare you as much, it nevertheless conveys equally well the inability of three American soldiers to settle back into civilian life here at home
Part of that - and these were the parts that aggravated me - is because they do foolish things, and try to remain faithful to worthless conceptions of courage and manhood, conceptions that are clearly blamed on the military. (The scene in the VA where the army officer tells the two soldiers there seeking help to go back home so that they won't make his outfit look "weak" had me cursing out loud at that bastard.) A fact of war is that we send far more men into combat than we have men capable of the philosophical detachment and reasoning to separate themselves from culturally-induced ideas that are actually unhealthy. One of the repeated themes in the movie is that these soldiers need to learn how to talk about what happened to them and how they feel about it, but no one considers how American society in general and the military in particular tell men NOT to do this and shame them if they try. Most of the women counselors we see at the VA can't figure out how to get men to talk about their experiences and feelings in a way that does not make them feel unmanly. The men there can't handle such feelings themselves, and just turn or walk away. Between that and the legendary bureaucratic inefficiency of the VA, you are left wondering which battle is harder for them: facing ISIS in Iraq or trying to get the care they deserve back here at home.
This movie left me deeply moved, indeed shaken. But that is because the acting was so good, and the direction so effective. The two airheads down the row from me spent much of the movie on their IPhones or chatting, but I couldn't take my eyes, ears, or mind off it for a moment.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw "Thank You For Your Service", starring Miles Teller-War Dogs, Fantastic Four_2015; Haley Bennett-The Magnificent Seven_2016, The Equalizer; Beulah Koale-Hawaii Five-O-2017_tv, The Last Saint and Amy Schumer-Snatched, Seeking a Friend For the End of the World. This is a movie that focuses on soldiers returning from the Iraqi war and their difficulties in trying to integrate back into civilian life. Miles is the leader of his squad in Iraq, with Beulah as one of his men. Miles is in an incident that causes him to be replaced on his next mission and the guy that replaces him gets killed in action. Miles feels terribly guilty and when he and Beulah return to the States, they both have PTSD-Beulah was on the mission that the soldier died on. Haley is Miles' wife and Amy is the wife of the soldier that died in Iraq. The problems getting the help they need from the VA is frustrating-they are told that the wait for services can be anywhere from months to even years. Some vets commit suicide. Most have nightmares. It is a powerful story that makes you wish that there was something that you could do to help them get the help they need, right now.During the end credits, there is a Bruce Springsteen song played called 'Freedom Cadence'. It's rated "R" for violence, language, drug use and sexual content- brief nudity-and has a running time of 1 hour & 49 minutes. I don't know if I would buy it on DVD-one viewing was enough-but it would be a good rental, well worth seeing.
This is an excellent film and ought to be seen by civilians and
military alike. My brother, who served in Vietnam has had PTSD for
decades that seriously has hampered his life. Very sobering. At the
same time his bonding with his buddies, as show beautifully in this
film, is also a highlight of his life.
What is disturbing is not the film, although it's a very 'adult' subject, but the trend I've seen with ratings where a bunch of 1's show up, seemingly coordinated to drag a rating down. I've noticed this trend with movies that don't just show the heroic aspect of war, or with films that question certain societal values relating to gays, women, racial questions, etc. It's politics and our cultural divide effects not directly related to the art of a film. i look at how the voting breaks down, not just the one summary number, especially when alongside excellent reviews like here and with critics. When solid reviews exists along with a bunch of 'awful' ratings (1's), it strongly suggests to me that 'trolls' have been at work. A shame when creative artistic expression is such a target.
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