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
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 »
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 »
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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