Soldier's Girl (2003) Poster

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6/10
Excessive
whenyoureyeburns18 March 2021
Lee Pace's acting here is wonderful, reminiscent of Jared Leto's Oscar-winning performance years later. On the negative side, while this is an older film now, the violence on display is truly disturbing and, though based on true events, almost feels like it's not cut from the same cloth as the rest of the film and almost overshadows the great performance(s) in the rest of the film.
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10/10
Still reeling from the shock of this film!
freejoyhart12 March 2021
I had the weirdest experience watching this film. I stumbled on it quite by accident, had never heard of Lee Pace or even Troy Graity (I'm embarrassed to say being the movie buff I am). And the only reason I watched it was because I had see The Keeping Hours on Netflix with Lee Pace, fell in love with him, and googled all of his movies to watch them all. Soldier's Girl came up first. As I started to watch the film I was looking for the actor (Lee Pace) I thought he might be one of the soldiers along with Graity's role, Barry Mitchell. But I couldn't find him. It wasn't until about 1/3 into the film that I figured out that Calpernia was Lee Pace. I'm not kidding!!! My jaw dropped. The actor I had watched in the film The Keeping Hours the evening before was nothing like this actor. OMG!!!! I was in shock. Of course by now, I am totally engrossed in this film, Soldier's Girl, and can't take my eyes off Calpernia. (Lee Pace? That's Lee Pace . . . you're f >>>ing kidding me??) I was totally engrossed in this film. Time stood still. And the ending? There are NO words. I knew nothing about this case. I didn't know about this true story. And yet, here I had stumbled into this weird paradigm, down the rabbit hole I went. It is not too much to say that the whole experience has totally changed me. It's almost as if the reality that I had perceived on Tuesday was completely different on Wednesday. I'm not being dramatic. I'm telling you the truth. Thank God for the art form of movies. They are so real and touch us in such deep ways. And thanks to the incredible acting of Jane Fonda's Son, Troy Garity and Lee Pace. I am forever changed!!!
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10/10
WOW, one of the best movies I've seen in a long time
steeleronaldr17 June 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I'm gonna be honest, I've read up on Soldier's Girl more than once and decided not to watch it. I took it as something completely different and kicking my own tush because of it. Had I known this was going to be a instant 5 star (my highest personal rating) I'd watched it long ago.

I respect transgenders and always have but never really got into them. This movie proved my thoughts wrong, should have years ago. I am gay myself so I have seen the hatred but not to the extent shown in this movie. I avoid homophobic people and my own dad was very homophobic. This movie proved so much yet shouted out more that I didn't know. The hatred that Barry Winchell faced was beyond tragic and the price he paid for living his life was extremely heartbreaking. The guilty didn't get the time I feel deserved and the instigator got a slap on the wrist.

Winchell is new to Fort Campbell and is bunked will Fisher a guy who drugs up to be the best. A short fused man who manipulates anyone in his way. When a night out to a transgender bar with the guys including Winchell a sudden romance between Winchell and a crossdresser begins. Fisher gets jealous and plans his revenge.

Can't go any further without spoiling it but I say that I've NEVER seen Shawn Hatosy play such a villain nor give such a performance. Lee Pace who plays Calpernia and Troy Garity who plays Barry gave such strong performances that you live their lives. Philip Eddolls gives an equally strong performance.

In all this movie teaches the viewer a whole new level of hate and the aftermath of hate crimes. I just wished they added a bit more for the trial and how it was handled. I highly recommend this movie for all it's worth.
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7/10
A Tragic Movie
Ahmad_pilehvar31 May 2020
A real Tragic movie based on true story. I hurts my feeling & I think a innocent guy just killed because of some maniac person & most dramatic part of this movie was the scene that the girl just find out he boyfriend was killed suddenly.
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10/10
I re-watched it twice more.
kindheart000-23 December 2019
I loved this movie. I loved the acting, the way it was presented, the special care given to the topic, the actors (esp. Troy and Lee). Those who warned re: how emotional it is were right. I ugly-cried, no, sobbed, and I won't spoil and say why. It was done 18 yrs ago and here we are more backward than when this was made.
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5/10
Great acting, but TOO sadistic for normal people!!!
ohlabtechguy9 January 2019
Just saw this on the net.....had never heard of it. As the ending grew close, I had a horrible feeling it was going to be tragic, so I hit pause, rushed to Wikipedia to look up the plot, and just as feared, the ending was as I predicted. Only sadistic people could derive any entertainment value out of these types of movies with hideously brutal endings. A drama could win every award in the books, but still not have any entertainment value, as is the case with this movie. I am 58 and gay. I DO NOT want to see tragic, sadistic endings to gay themed movies EVER. The military life depicted in this movie was also sad and reduced human beings to pathetic creatures that allowed themselves to be subjected to degrading verbal and physical abuse. This entire movie presented a sad commentary on human beings. Not fit for entertainment....except in documentary form.
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9/10
Great
85122226 October 2014
Greetings from Lithuania.

"Soldier's Girl" (2003) is a very good picture, important one (back in 2003 that was a bit fresh and provocative material), terrificly acted TV movie. Based on a true story it tells story of love, surroundings, jealousy and human stupidity. The standout in this movie is Lee Pace performance - both leads are great, but Lee Pace work in here is Oscar material.

Overall, "Soldier's Girl" is simple, beautiful, sad and realistic story - if you like wonderfully acted, simple and very well paced stories, "Soldier's Girl" is not to be missed.
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10/10
Love it!
jigesh010212 May 2014
The best transgender-themed movie I have watched!

I like it a lot!

I am not yet a transgender but I am planning to start transitioning.

This is the first movie featuring Lee Pace, who is an actor in many successful movies even now!

Lee Pace is not an actual transgender: he is a man so the character looks more "man" than what a male-to-female transgender usually looks like but the movie tells its story all right!

I love the part where the guy starts fooling around with her throwing cold drinks on her. It seemed more "real".

I cried at the end. I hate it that it was based on a true story, which made me even more sad :(

Stop the hate!
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10/10
Powerful and Devastating
asrai-dust22 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
After seeing Lee Pace's performance in The Hobbit: DoS, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I decided to have a better look at other works he has previously been involved with. Soldier's Girl really stuck out to me the moment I read the synopsis.

The movie is very powerful, almost soul-crushing yet stunningly beautiful, and the acting is all spot on. I was too young to know of these events as they happened, as well as being from the UK. It focuses on the relationship between Calpernia Addams and Barry Winchell, how their worlds become intertwined, and how their life dreams are realised and begin to knit together, before being tragically snatched away.

"Opening up to the makers of the film was cathartic, and their telling of the story is an absolutely beautiful tribute to the wonderful man Barry Winchell was. I am very proud of the team I got to know and the finished film." ~ Calpernia Addams I also love the focus on the military's stance on LGBT issues, and the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy (which ended around 2011). The messages within the movie are very thought provoking, and really made me feel sad at how little the human race has actually progressed over such a long period of time. Out-dated policies, a lack of education, closed-minds and stereotypes: all creating many heart-breaking stories and truly unnecessary issues such as this, and it just went on for far too long. It STILL goes on.

"Since DADT ended in 2011, persons who are openly homosexual and bisexual have been able to serve, but those who are transgender are still excluded as subject to a medical disqualification." ~ Wikipedia source.

I really can't fault any of the acting, and both Troy Garity (Barry Winchell) and Shawn Hatosy (Justin Fisher) were both amazing in their roles. The transformation of Lee Pace into the character of Calpernia Addams is both subtle and stunning, and I feel he really did serve the role much justice. He managed to really tap into her character, and into her circumstances, and the results are truly wonderful and it makes the portrayal all the more devastating. I really wish that the film and crew had received more awards, and was much more well known, and it really SHOULD have a UK release! Calpernia Addams speaks about the movie and a little of the back-story briefly on her website, which I think is very important for everyone to read.

"I can only hope that no other person ever has to work so hard to justify their relationship with someone else, in the wake of a murder, to a public with mostly every wrong idea about them possible." ~ Calpernia Addams
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There needs to be more movies about transgender people.
ampink7-603-5559168 April 2014
This movie is a fantastic account of a true story that ends in an unfortunate tragedy. There are thousands of other stories out there but we rarely see them make it to film unless transgender characters are being portrayed as weirdos, perverts or victims of assault and murder. Being transgender isn't easy and takes a lot of courage because this is a very scary and uneducated world. Things will continue to be this way until we start painting a new image of transgender people One that shows them as people with courage; one that shows the human element. We are people to. We have feelings, loved Ines, siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and lives just like everyone else. The only problem is, we are not yet allowed to live those lives to the fullest. Not until the walls of oppression and discrimination are broken down and we are allowed to coexist in this world with everyone else. Isn't it about time for us to be free as well?
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7/10
Love, Intolerance, Cruelty, Manipulation and Cowardliness
claudio_carvalho1 April 2013
In 1999, the soldier Barry Winchell (Troy Garity) joins the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army in Kentucky and shares a room with Justin Fisher (Shawn Hatosy) in the barrack. Fisher brings Winchell to the Visions Club, in Nashville, considered club of deviants by his superiors, and Winchell befriends the travesty Calpernia Addams (Lee Pace) that performs in the club. Soon they start seeing each other and fall in love with each other.

When Sergeant Carlos Diaz (Andre Braugher) nominates Winchell as the Soldier of the Month, the jealous Fisher spreads rumors on the base telling that Winchell is a fag. Further, he manipulates the homophobic new comer Calvin Glover (Philip Eddolls) against Winchell. On July, Fourth, the coward Glover has a violent outburst against Winchell while he is sleeping with tragic consequences.

"Soldier's Girl" is a heartbreaking story of love, intolerance, cruelty, manipulation and cowardliness based on the true story of the soldier Barry Winchell. The movie is impressively well made for a television movie, with a perfect direction of Frank Pierson.

However the performances are the best in this movie, highlighting the acting of Lee Pace with an outstanding performance. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
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8/10
Heartbreaking true story
lain630 March 2012
Soldier's Girl is a very disheartening film. It should also be noted that it was directed by Frank Pierson, who wrote Cool Hand Luke, and Dog Day Afternoon.

The film is about Barry Winchell, who upon recently joining an Army division in Tennessee is befriended by a fellow trainee named Justin. Justin then brings Barry to a drag-queen performance club where Barry is stunned by the beauty of Calpernia, a transgender female performer at the club.

After some initial apprehension, Barry and Calpernia eventually become a couple. While Justin himself even seems to be sexually active with some of the other transgender females at the club himself, Justin then begins to spread rumors throughout the Army division that Barry is a homosexual. Justin socially engineers an entire scenario against Barry, eventually leading to a very unfortunate sequence of events. The fact that it is based on a true story gives it even more of an emotional impact.

A things about the film is the acting of Troy Garity. He portrays Barry to be such a likable person. It becomes so easy to like Barry's character, which is what makes the the events that transpire so difficult to accept.

Shawn Hatosy also does a solid job in his portrayal of Justin. Since Justin apparently was heavily medicated throughout the film, and claims to have had "ADHD", it is easy to see that he did the necessary research in order to portray Justin's character.

Aside from being a very controversial film on its own, the film brings into question the "Dont ask, don't tell" policy. While the policy seems to have recently been abolished, the entire concept of hate crimes against sexual minorities is portrayed in the film. The thing that is particular though in this film, is that it portrays hate crimes against someone for simply being with a sexual minority.

We should all remember the story of Barry Winchell. He did nothing wrong.
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6/10
sad
a-morita198822 March 2012
The movie is the most tragic ever. Barry is in the army society and he train himself as a soldier, but he gradually become attracted by Scottie , a transgender guy since he went to the homosexual show club. His roommate, Justin are getting frustrate about Barry's act.

The ending is coursed by the stereotypical way of thinking. In the military, the gay manner is not accepted and educate them that is the worst things of male behavior, so that makes them become confuse about gender identity. They are brainwashed the muscularity and what they should be. The matter is ambiguous because Barry did not think him as a gay first of all, and Justin seems to jealousy of Barry, so there is no exact line to define the homosexuality. However, they were in the environment where regard it as an enemy strictly, so this course the tragedy.
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7/10
Government policies Warning: Spoilers
Very sad ending. Why must sexual-minorities have to be the victims all the time?? The movie is about a boy in a army, struggling about his sexual identity. But through the training and the way he was taught, he was really confused. Although this movie is based on a true story, and military training vs. sexual-minorities are arguable, but the reason the boy was killed doesn't necessary have to be because he was homosexual. The killer just wanted some reason to blame him. I personally think the reason could be anything, for his looks, etc. anything that is making him less appealing. But a great movie that portrays how a government policies has to be fixed.
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9/10
An Important Movie
epic50421 March 2012
I definitely felt "Soldier's Girl". It reminds me in almost every way of the discrimination caused towards African American's at one point in time. Except, it's somehow more baffling that America didn't learn from its past mistakes and tried to bar an entire group of people, until very recently, who were interested in protecting their country like everyone else, from being able to express themselves freely in the army.

"Don't Ask Don't Tell" is a really unintelligent policy. The fact of the matter is, somewhere along the line, someone may find out that one of their dorm mates may not be heterosexual. Completely on accident. And once this happens, the amount of harassment and abuse they will face could be insurmountable. Especially when you realize there are no rules to stop this and no one to run to, because these homosexuals aren't even supposed to exist. When you think about it, it's sad, and in some cases, disturbing.

"Soldier's Girl" does a great job of showing the audience what can happen. There are accurate and powerful performances by the two leads and the supporting cast, and the movie is just long enough to get its point across without making you over-analyze it.

Overall, this movie comes highly recommended. I think everyone should watch it at least once.
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8/10
Soldier's Girl
tuc3247521 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Soldier's Girl is a human drama film based on the true events of the life of Barry Winchell who served as a private in the 101st Airborne Division. He was killed by a fellow private Glover who beat him to death which was said to be initiated by fellow soldier and roommate Justin Fisher. The event of his murder circulated around the time that he began a relationship with a transgender performer Calpernia.

The film follows the strong prejudice and discrimination towards sexual minorities in the military. The film signifies the presence of the policy "Don't Ask Don't Tell" that was told to be for the security of homosexuals but also became more of an important drive to practice homophobia. The event covered by the film in itself has a very violent nature, it explores that homophobia doesn't stop as a prejudice, but extends its hand to violent discrimination.

Through Winchell's soft and gentle personality, the film succeeds in presenting the contrast between his very "standard male masculinity" of his exterior and his emotional side. His characteristics presents a certain warmth and loyalty as a person but also as a military private. This characteristic also helped establish the same mood to his relationship with Calpernia. The film portrays the relationship between the two as if it was a natural and succeeds in the genuine chemistry and love that both have for each other. It does not give a technical or clear definition and explanation of what Winchell's sexuality is and this enables the film to focus on their interaction as humans and love for each other that greatly contributes to their chemistry and depth of their relationship. Over all the film balances maintaining its commitment to sending a political message but also the emotional aspect of the characters in the film.
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8/10
Beautiful Love Story
tuc7183621 March 2012
Since Soldier's Girl is based on true story, I was very shocked about the storyline. I could not believe Calvin killed Barry, and he did not show any sense of regret. Also, there are some issues in this film need the society to focus on. I think this film is trying to tell people that do not discriminate homosexual in the society. Since Sarah is transgender, Barry's sexuality is being questioned. Nobody can really know what Barry's sexuality is, and he accepts Sarah as a woman. I think the army should not discriminate homosexual, so the tragedy will not happen in Barry's case. This make-up of this film is fantastic since Sarah's breast was made by cosmetic. I think it is definitely deserve for the Best Make-up Award. This film is only appealing for adult because there are some violent scenes in the end, so it is too scary for kid to watch it.
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8/10
Very Touching Film
myflyingjellybean19 March 2012
This is the story of a soldier, Barry Winchell, and his girlfriend, a trans gender showgirl named Calpernia Adams. Barry is a private soldier in the airborne infantry and kind of had a very masculine image among the group. Barry, who is not gay, has little personal conflict when deciding to be with Calpernia and his friends from the infantry especially Fisher cannot not accept the fact that he is in love with a man. This movie made me cry when I watched it. The acting is superb, and the characters are realistically complicated and not at all watered down. The relationship between Barry and Calperina is lovingly drawn, and I really felt their connection throughout the film. This is such a sad movie because Barry was basically killed for being in love and because of the wrong assumption and hatred from his bunkmates.
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6/10
A very touching story
Gil_Rinion19 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Soldier's Girl is a very touching story and it is made even more emotional because it is based on a true story. The acting in the film was very well done and it was very believable. It is a very well done love story rarely seen in Hollywood.

The dramatic elements in the film are handled very well and you sometimes wonder how people can act the way they do. in fact the dramatic tension when Barry is being beaten is incredibly strong. I am usually not affect by violence but because of the situations and the reasons behind this attack coupled with the fact that the story is true cause me to be greatly moved.

I would recommend this film to you if you like dramatic movies. this movie is definitely not for the faint of heart and is not a good uplifting movie. It is however incredibly good at getting its point across.
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8/10
Tragic Story in US Army
tuc3504319 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This film is about a soldier falling in love with a transgendered female performer at a club. He met her in the club and got addicted to her at the first sight. They then kept a secret relationship between each other. However, homosexual people are banned in the army. The main character, Barry, refused to admit that he had a transgendered partner and struggled very hard. Meanwhile, his roommate Fisher, had a special feeling toward him. His trans phobic feeling is hidden in his heart, at the same time he is jealous of the couple being in such a good relationship. He manipulated Glover, who also had a bit of psychological problem, to show his strength by hitting Barry. At the end, Barry got hit seriously by Glover and died.

This film strongly criticizes the American law of banning homosexuality in the army. At the time of when this movie was made, homosexuality was still banned, until recently President Obama abolished the regulation. Personally, I think the original intention of this law is to avoid any relationship among the soldiers in the army, as all of them are male. However, it turns out to be discrimination in some way. Homosexual people can be as strong as the other soldiers and should be treated the same.
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A tragedy in military
tub8209218 March 2012
Soldier's Girl is a drama film in America which was released in 2003. The film was directed by Frank Pierson and produced by Showtime. I like the movie because of the plot and the amazing acting skills of the main character, Barry. In the film, Barry is a straight man who fall in love with a transgender female. In the meantime, he is a private of the United States Army. Since the rumors are spread out by Barry's roommate, Fisher, Barry starts to face some verbally abused and physically abused in the military which gives him a huge pressure.

I think this film would satisfied the fans of this genre because it shows some problems such as harassment and abused that people who have relationship with transgender usually face in the real society. Moreover, it is not easy to predict the plot and the ending of the film. Since the setting is in a military, it is really difficult to imagine that a straight handsome man would be killed by other private. The camera angle is really outstanding. The director show the blood on the wall instead of showing the whole fighting and killing scenes. Also, the storyline is outstanding. Sometimes, the film is like a comedy but sometimes it is like a tragedy. These days, not only transgender people themselves but also the people who fall in love with transgender people would be discriminated by the public.

All in all, this is a tragic film. Barry does not treat transgender people unequally; however, he is treated unfairly and discriminated in the military. I think the society should accept these people since everyone is born in different way.
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"Full Metal Jacket" Meets "The Crying Game".....
southwest3210-156-40097026 September 2011
And actually not terribly far from the quality of either as well... I rented this definitely out of my box of what I typically watch. I saw the material, and decided to go out on a limb, subject matter wise. I certainly was not expecting a movie that would have gotten raves if released at theaters. I honestly would say that the two leads displayed Academy worthy brilliance. Perhaps MORE than some nominees of recent years.

The intensity of the acting was just overwhelming. This one is something you just can't forget after the credits roll. The director, Frank Pierson, has made many cable movies for HBO/Showtime and such, and they are every bit was worthy as the best that is offered at theaters. Do yourself a favor and rent anything this man has directed for cable. He is easily the finest in that realm that ever was or will be.
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1/10
some things are difficult to show in movies-
kim-de-windter9 September 2011
yes, it is difficult to portrait a transsexual woman in a movie.

yes, most people will never get close to the whole subject.

and, yes, most people don't understand the concept of being transsexual, which is understandable, we deal only with things that concern us personally. so, im no expert either.

and i get, that its hard to cast someone for the lead, but without the proper lead the whole movie is doomed to begin with.

the crying game had a very good lead with jaye davidson, and that made it a great movie. transamerica had a very good lead with felicity huffman.

unfortunately this movie does not. its tedious, boring and badly researched, but the material could have made a good film
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10/10
A Film That Grows Stronger in Impact with Age
gradyharp10 April 2011
SOLDIER'S GIRL was released in 2003, a landmark, brave film that stirred a lot of controversy as well as a lot of plaudits for the superb work of cinema that it was. The story was written by Ron Nyswander ('Philadelphia', 'The Painted Veil', 'Mrs. Soffel' etc) and the director was Frank Pierson, also aligned with many important films as both writer and director ('Dog Day Afternoon', 'Cool Hand Luke', 'A Star is Born', 'Truman', 'Citizen Cohn', 'Presumed Innocent', etc). Obviously made on a low budget, the corners were cut where they should have been, not on the quality of the cast or the impact of the story. It was and remains a brilliant film.

Barry Winchell (Troy Garity) is a sensitive, quiet soldier who is manacled by a homophobic roommate Justin Fisher (Shawn Hatosy). Justin takes Barry to a nightclub where the performers are 'guys in drag' as a challenge to understand Barry's somewhat subdued nature. There Barry observes performer Calpernia Addams (Lee Pace) and despite the negative atmosphere Justin has created, Barry connects with Calpernia. Calpernia is working to get the money to have her final transgender surgery: the reason she works in the club is to make enough to pay the bills and save for her surgery. Barry and Calpernia become a couple despite all the cautions they fully see. Barry's fellow soldier's do not understand how Barry can be attached to a 'freak' and despite Barry's love for Calpernia and Calpernia's protective outlook for Barry, the relationship is tested daily. Barry is ostracized by his soldier 'friends' and in a brutally honest scene, Barry is beaten to death by Fisher. How Calpernia endures and the fate of the perpetrators is decided leads to the ending of the film.

In performances as real and powerful as those of Lee Pace and Troy Garity and yes, even Shawn Hatosy, the spectrum of the many permutations of the film are brilliantly delivered. All are excellent, but the extraordinary work by Lee Pace (who has since become a very important actor in many films) deserves as many awards as possible. The story is tough but exceptionally important, especially the manner in which it reveals the psychosocial and physical makeup of transgender people. The film is at once a stunning love story as well as an exposé of man's inhumanity to man and the rigid impact of the military still bound by ancient and crude rules of behavior. This is a film to see repeatedly for many reasons, not the least of which is that it has become a banner film for transgender citizens. It is based on a true story, a fact that makes it all the more painful to see.

Grady Harp
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10/10
Surprisingly entertaining
reneweddan27 September 2010
There were a few factors that led me to this movie: Lee Pace, the guy from Alpha Dog (Shawn Hatosy), and the plot.

All throughout the movie, I found myself completely entranced by the performances and the truth behind the story.

It's one of those movies you know you'll have to use Wikipedia to read about every detail about this tragic story.

This film is unique as it doesn't take the perspective of the trans-gender (although the narrator is) but rather of the victim. It is interesting, compassionate, and tragic.

If you have an open mind and you are willing to accept those as they are, then this film will amaze you.

Extremely well done, and I'm glad this helped Lee Pace launch his career, and Troy Garity was excellent, I hope he finds some luck.

Great film... but tragic, not for the faint of heart.
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