7.1/10
32,363
93 user 217 critic

The Messenger (2009)

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An American soldier struggles with an ethical dilemma when he becomes involved with a widow of a fallen officer.

Director:

Oren Moverman
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Foster ... Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery
Jena Malone ... Kelly
Eamonn Walker ... Colonel Stuart Dorsett
Woody Harrelson ... Captain Tony Stone
Yaya DaCosta ... Monica Washington (as Yaya Dacosta)
Portia ... Mrs. Burrell
Lisa Joyce ... Emily
Steve Buscemi ... Dale Martin
Peter Francis James ... Dr. Grosso
Samantha Morton ... Olivia Pitterson
Paul Diomede ... Motorcycle Cop
Jahmir Duran-Abreau Jahmir Duran-Abreau ... Matt Pitterson
Gaius Charles ... Recruiter Brown
Brendan Sexton III ... Recruiter Olson
Brian Adam DeJesus ... Teenager #1 (as Brian DeJesus)
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Storyline

While on a recent deployment to Iraq, US Army Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery is injured when an improvised explosive device goes off within close proximity to him. He is back in the States recovering from the more serious of those injuries, including one to his eye and leg. He has resumed a sexual relationship with his long time girlfriend Kelly, despite the fact that she is now engaged to another man who Will knows. With the few months Will has left in his enlistment, the army assigns him to the Casualty Notification Team in his area. Not having a background in counseling, psychology or grief management, he is unsure if he is well suited to this job. He is partnered with a career soldier, Captain Tony Stone, who teaches Will the precise protocol involved in the job. Tony tells Will, who quickly learns by on the job experience, that this job has its own dangers. As Will learns to adapt to the range of emotions of the next of kin, he is unprepared for the reaction of Olivia Pitterson, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

4 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El mensajero See more »

Filming Locations:

New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$44,523, 15 November 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$66,637, 24 April 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The soldiers in the film wear a unit patch with a large "22" on it. This is a fictional unit. The actual 22nd Infantry Division was a "Phantom Division" that never actually existed. It was created in World War II to fool German intelligence. The patch created is different from the one in the film, though. See more »

Goofs

When notifying Olivia of her husband's death, Captain Stone tells her, "You're listed as the NOK on your husband's forms." NOK is an acronym meaning "Next-of-Kin". Casualty Notification Officers are instructed not to use acronyms when making a notification, as the Next-of-Kin might not understand them. See more »

Quotes

Olivia Pitterson: Did you ever loose anybody?
Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery: Yeah. Friends, over there. My father, during peace time, drunk driver.
Olivia Pitterson: Did they catch him?
Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery: No, my father was the drunk driver.
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Soundtracks

Hot House
Written by Jonathan Edelstein
Performed by Fiasco
Courtesy of Fiasco
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Unusual and sensitive
1 December 2009 | by dzlz105See all my reviews

I will not reiterate the plot of The Messenger; it has been done exhaustively already. The relevant facts, to me, are: This movie is a work of art in which the intentions of the director, writer, cinematographer and actors are all united. The actors, especially leads Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton, give subtle, nuanced performances. The plot is not cookie-cutter; you cannot guess what is going to happen at every turn. It is serious at its core but is not devoid of humor.

Lately, I have been happier with the older movies I see on cable than the movies showing in theaters. This is the exception.


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