SGT. Will Gardner (2019) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • A troubled Iraq War veteran struggling to reintegrate into society sets out on a cross-country journey with the hope of reuniting with his young son.

  • Will Gardner tells the story about Iraq War veteran Will Gardner (Max Martini) who is suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) he sustained during a bombing that he and his platoon suffered while in combat. His injuries make it difficult for him to reintegrate into society so after a series of setbacks, he goes on a spirited motorcycle journey across America to pick up pieces of his life lost since combat. Martini (13 Hours, Captain Phillips) also penned the script and directs the film.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Soldiers returning home often end up fighting a bigger battle than they could have ever imagined. Sgt. Will Gardner is a gripping drama that tells the story of an Iraq War veteran Will Gardner (Max Martini). Will is struggling with the lingering effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) he sustained while his platoon was patrolling Iraq and came under heavy fire. As part of his struggles with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Will faces multiple haunting memories that have made his attempt to rejoin his post-war civilian life nothing short of a challenge, but he copes with the pain by reflecting on his life and his multiple attempts to better himself with his war buddy, Sam (Omari Hardwick).

    Like many veterans in this situation, Will feels forgotten and overlooked by society who only see him as a homeless drunk looking for a handout. When a local landlord (Robert Patrick) ridicules Will for not being able to keep up with his simple maintenance job, Will becomes determined it is time to retake control of his life and decides his next mission needs to be reuniting with his son, William Jr. (Leo Martini), who is now living with his ex-wife (Elisabeth Rohm) and her new husband (Dermot Mulroney). Will sets out on a cross-country motorcycle trip and befriends Mary-Anne (Lily Rabe), a woman trying to escape her boring nine-to-five life and becomes inspired with Will's journey.

    As he continues along his journey, Will meets Larry (Gary Sinise), a local bartender who not only understand his struggles but who also shows Will the respect and appreciation for his military service that Will is seeking. He continues his journey encouraged and working hard to confront his past by focusing on his goal of achieving peace and redemption.

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