7.1/10
67,753
243 user 236 critic

In the Valley of Elah (2007)

Trailer
0:32 | Trailer
A retired military investigator works with a police detective to uncover the truth behind his son's disappearance following his return from a tour of duty in Iraq.

Director:

Paul Haggis

Writers:

Paul Haggis (screenplay), Mark Boal (story) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lee Jones ... Hank Deerfield
Charlize Theron ... Det. Emily Sanders
Jason Patric ... Lt. Kirklander
Susan Sarandon ... Joan Deerfield
James Franco ... Sgt. Dan Carnelli
Barry Corbin ... Arnold Bickman
Josh Brolin ... Chief Buchwald
Frances Fisher ... Evie
Wes Chatham ... Corporal Steve Penning
Jake McLaughlin ... Spc. Gordon Bonner
Mehcad Brooks ... Spc. Ennis Long
Jonathan Tucker ... Mike Deerfield
Wayne Duvall ... Detective Nugent
Roman Arabia ... Private Robert Ortiez (as Victor Wolf)
Brent Briscoe ... Detective Hodge
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Storyline

In Monroe, Tennessee, Hank Deerfield, an aging warrior, gets a call that his son, just back from 18 months' fighting in Iraq, is missing from his base. Hank drives to Fort Rudd, New Mexico, to search. Within a day, the charred and dismembered body of his son is found on the outskirts of town. Deerfield pushes himself into the investigation, marked by jurisdictional antagonism between the Army and local police. Working mostly with a new detective, Emily Sanders, Hank seems to close in on what happened. Major smuggling? A drug deal gone awry? Credit card slips, some photographs, and video clips from Iraq may hold the key. If Hank gets to the truth, what will it tell him? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes The Truth Is Best Left Buried See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent and disturbing content, language and some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was originally a potential starring vehicle for Clint Eastwood, who directed Paul Haggis' screenplay for Million Dollar Baby (2004). Eastwood turned it down, despite liking the script very much, and recommended his friend Tommy Lee Jones for the role of Hank Deerfield. See more »

Goofs

When Sanders is looking at the murder scene in the daylight, the shadows are diffuse when looking towards her from the car and there is a large shadow between her and the car. The next shot from behind her shows brighter sunlight with sharp distinct shadows, and the shadow between her and the car has disappeared. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Spc. Gordon Bonner: What are you doing? Get back in the fucking vehicle man! Mike, get back in the fucking vehicle. Let's go, Mike, now!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Jason Patric does not appear at all in the end credits. Since he plays a pivotal role in the film and is seen in many of the scenes, it seems odd that he is uncredited for this role in this film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Miss Representation (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

This Mess
Written by Joel Byrne
Performed by Wolf & Cub
Courtesy of 4AD Ltd/Remote Control/Dot Dash Recordings
See more »

User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Poetic and Not Very Political.
30 September 2007 | by Movie-JaySee all my reviews

This movie is just about perfect. I love how it starts as a genre movie and then transcends into something deeper and soul-searching. Some people just don't like Paul Haggis, but I'm not one of them. I think he's very smart here; he has no political point of view, he handles Charlize Theron perfectly, and the movie forces everybody to think about the troops in a way that isn't simply political rhetoric. I love that Tommy Lee Jones feels the way so many dads do. He's never been better. Watching the police work happen is interesting on it's own, but I like that Charlize Theron is just out to do the job correctly and just shrugs off the chauvinism coming at her from her department. The movie could've gone somewhere with that, but instead just quietly lets us in on it and moves on.

There have been many very good movies the last few years about Iraq-related themes, but I don't think there is a film that captures the feeling of the national mood as good as this one. It's drained of melodrama and just sort of moves forward on really good performances of the whole cast, who all act according to their natures instead of because of stupid plot requirements.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Death and Dishonor See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$133,557, 16 September 2007

Gross USA:

$6,777,741

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,541,790
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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