In the Valley of Elah
2007
When an exemplary soldier disappears after returning from Iraq, his concerned father -- a retired sergeant -- works with a gutsy police detective to investigate in this drama based on actual events.

Amy Austin: “It ruled.”

Inasmuch as a movie about topics as somber as war and death can "rule", this one did (kind of like saying that Schindler's List "ruled"). But rule it does, as it takes a serious look at the heavy price of war that is paid by *everyone*... all without a single bullet fired or bomb dropped anywhere -- in fact, with barely a cumulative moment of combat to be seen in the whole length of the film. And even more poetically, it does so with nary a political stance or moral indictment, but with sheer patriotism and humanity. Admittedly, I was surprised to see Susan Sarandon playing wife to Tommy Lee Jones in a film about war -- I suppose it should have been some kind of tip-off... but her supporting role was introduced with such fluid subtlety that, "Was that Susan Saradon?" only entered my head as an afterthought to her very brief first scene. And, as it turns out, the marriage of these two actors unfolds into a perfect synthesis of the dichotomous study of human nature in wartime that follows, because there really is no glorification and no villification here -- no black or white -- just a disturbingly realistic portrayal of people coping in complex and confusing times and situations... including a few poignant micro-studies in gender and race/ethnicity issues along the way, assisted by the fine acting of Charlize Theron. I highly recommend it.

− October 19, 2008 • more by Amylog in or create an account to reply

Want to join the discussion? Log in or create an account to reply.

write your own review of In the Valley of Elah


Other Movies from 2007

Zebraman

Lori Lancaster says, "It ruled." Go »

Children of Men

Scott Hardie says, "It ruled." Go »

Romántico

Scott Hardie says, "It was ok." Go »

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Scott Hardie says, "It was ok." Go »

The Darwin Awards

Scott Hardie says, "It sucked." Go »

The Mist

Scott Hardie says, "It sucked." Go »