(I) (2009)

Critic Reviews



Based on 32 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
This is a fully felt, morally alert, marvellously acted piece of work. Despite the grim subject, it's a sweet-tempered movie, with moments of explosive humor-an entertainment.
No movie can convey the truth of war to those of us who have not lived through it, but The Messenger, precisely by acknowledging just how hard it is to live with that truth, manages to bring it at least partway home.
Its truths are personal. It means to shake you. And does.
There's nothing drab about the tormented place these men take each other to. You'll want to go along.
Moverman adopts a functional directing style that gives full rein to the actors' impressive performances.
Nobody plays angry like Ben Foster, but compassion is something new for the actor, who softens his crazy-man shtick to deliver a complex and moving performance in The Messenger.
The movie does an uncommonly sensitive job probing the psychologies of blocked men, less so the urges of a widow who needs more than comforting words.
Village Voice
What really resonates is the complex tale of camaraderie between two men whose only hope of avoiding self-destruction is to let down their guard--which is, of course, against protocol.
Together, under the assured direction of first-time feature filmmaker Oren Moverman, these three actors tell a story that is at once hard-hitting and bizarrely gentle.
Foster and Harrelson always stick to the Army's orders about what to say and how to behave. After a while, The Messenger starts to feel equally dogged about following a pat script.

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