The day after they get the word they'll go home in two weeks, a group of soldiers from Spokane are ambushed in an Iraqi city. Back stateside we follow four of them - a surgeon who saw too much, a teacher who's a single mom and who lost a hand in the ambush, an infantry man whose best friend died that day, and a soldier who keeps reliving the moment he killed a civilian woman. Each of the four has come home changed, each feels dislocation. Group therapy, V.A. services, halting gestures from family and colleagues, and regular flashbacks keep the war front and center in their minds. They're angry, touchy, and explosive: can a warrior find peace back home?Written by
Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci appeared in Black Snake Moan (2006). See more »
When Marsh is in the kitchen during his welcome home barbecue, a part of the camera is seen in the mirror next to the sink. See more »
Will, what happened over there?
I don't really remember. You know. It's like a dream. Hazy dream.
Then tell me. I wanna know.
Do you? Wanna know what a blast wound looks like? What an OR in the desert smells like? What really happens to them? How they die? You really wanna know? You want us to come back like nothing ever happened. You don't want to get your hands dirty with the details.
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The War Inside, November 6, 2007 By Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews (TOP 10 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME) HOME OF THE BRAVE is one of those films that is difficult to critique: the message of how war permanently alters the minds and bodies of soldiers and their families is a meaningful one and one about which we need to be reminded. Irwin Winkler has made some good films (DeLovely, Life as a House, Guilty by Suspicion), but in this film he seems to be working against the script by Mark Friedman which has a tendency to oversimplify emotions and thus loses its impact.
The film begins in Iraq where each of the main characters is at least tangentially connected. Dr. Will Marsh (Samuel L. Jackson) is in a truck driven by Vanessa (Jessica Biel) and accompanied by soldiers Tommy (Brian Presley) and Jamal (50 Cent AKA Curtis Jackson) when a roadside bomb explodes, maiming the hand of Vanessa, killing Tommy's best friend, making Jamal witness unnecessary civilian deaths, and placing Will in an impotent position as a doctor. Flash forward to Spokane, Washington where each of these four wounded people try to piece their lives together in a world that loathes the Iraq war (not at all unlike the treatment of soldiers returning from the unpopular Vietnam debacle), trying to make sense of it all.
The problem with the good idea for a movie lies in the too traditional plot lines. The actors (especially Presley and Biel) give it their all, but credibility enters and the smoke rises and we are left with a misplaced patriotism. The message is strong: the delivery of it is shaky. Grady Harp
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