7.1/10
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94 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:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kelly
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Colonel Stuart Dorsett
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Monica Washington (as Yaya Dacosta)
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Mrs. Burrell
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Emily
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Dr. Grosso
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Paul Diomede ...
Motorcycle Cop
Jahmir Duran-Abreau ...
Matt Pitterson
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Recruiter Brown
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Recruiter Olson
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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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

4 December 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mensajero  »

Filming Locations:

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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At various stages in development, Sydney Pollack, Roger Michel and Ben Affleck were all attached to direct. Writer Oren Moverman was finally asked to helm the project after all these fell through. See more »

Goofs

Captain Stone claims to have served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, but does not have a "combat patch" on his right shoulder. See more »

Quotes

Captain Tony Stone: All I ever wanted was to get shot at. Is that too much to ask for, on the battlefield? A battle?
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Connections

Featured in The Hour: Episode #7.130 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Home on the Range
(1904)
Music by Daniel E. Kelley (uncredited)
Poem by Brewster M. Higley (uncredited) (1873)
Traditional
Performed by Willie Nelson
Recorded by John E. Messensmith
At Maui Media Lab, Paia, Hawaii
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
'The Messenger' is powerful and engaging film.
11 January 2010 | by See all my reviews

Brilliantly acted film depicting two soldiers whose job it is to inform families when loved ones are killed in battle. Harrelson has never been better and Foster more than matches him all the way. It's emotional and engaging and genuinely painful at times. I had always thought how hard it must be to carry out such a job but had never really considered just what psychologically damage it could do long term to the person doing it. Harrelson depicts a man who has been doing the job far too long brilliantly and Foster in turn shows just what it can do to you initially. It's a perfect blend and the chemistry is excellent from start to finish. Deserves a much wider release and is with out doubt one of the best films of last year.


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