William B. from NINETY SIX, SC Reviewed on 1/12/2014...
Jessica Biel is great in this film as she is with all her movies I've seen in the last few years. Samuel Jackson also plays a great part.
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Jeremy G. Reviewed on 1/4/2011...
Must see, has heart!!
Edward W. from BIRMINGHAM, AL Reviewed on 8/25/2010...
Some soldier's stories can break your heart.
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When the walking wounded come marching home
Joseph Haschka | Glendale, CA USA | 11/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At an advance screening of HOME OF THE BRAVE, the studio flunky introducing the picture claimed that it's the only film that's been made of one of America's wars while the U.S. was still fighting it. Oh, wrongo bongo! I can offhand think of three made about the Vietnam debacle during the period of that conflict: A YANK IN VIETNAM (1964), TO THE SHORES OF HELL (1966), and THE GREEN BERETS (1968). Perhaps the politically correct might tend to forget these as none were anti-war, and the last, starring John Wayne, was unabashedly pro-U.S. involvement. How quickly we forget that there were two sides to that debate.
The first twenty or so minutes of HOME OF THE BRAVE, taking place in Iraq, is the introductory bit when we meet Will (Samuel L. Jackson), an Army medical officer assigned to a forward medical unit, and three Army enlisteds: Vanessa (Jessica Biel), a driver in a motor transport unit, and infantry grunts Tommy (Brian Presley) and Jamal (Curtis Jackson). While on a humanitarian aid mission, a military convoy carrying the four is caught in a vicious urban ambush that includes an explosive device hidden in the body of a dog.
The balance of the film takes place in Spokane, WA, after the four return to the home base of their respective national guard units. Vanessa is now minus her right hand. Will, who'd been tasked with providing initial trauma care to so many horribly maimed young soldiers (including Vanessa), now finds himself emotionally disconnected from his civilian patients, while at the same time having to deal with the hostility emanating from his anti-war, teenage son. Jamal is wracked with guilt; while in pursuit of the convoy's attackers, he accidentally killed an Iraqi woman while searching her home. During that same pursuit, Tommy had his best friend die in his arms after the latter was twice shot in the back by an insurgent gunman.
My screening's viewing audience was informed that Director Irwin Winkler thought the Iraqi war would be over by the time HOME OF THE BRAVE was released. Thus, it's perhaps not surprising that it doesn't overtly support or condemn our presence there since its appearance in American theaters was assumed to be after the fact. (Interestingly, one of the protagonists decides to return to Iraq for all the right reasons; reasons that may leave a lump in the viewer's throat.) Rather, it's an emotionally wrenching study of four average Americans left to cope in the normal world in the aftermath of violence. Each of the four principals gives an Oscar-worthy performance, as does the character of Will's long-suffering wife Penelope (Victoria Rowell), who discovers that life with hubby home doesn't meet long-harbored expectations.
Of course, just as the media doesn't consider news worth reporting unless it's of the bad sort, HOME OF THE BRAVE ignores all those war veterans, perhaps a majority of those who have served or are serving, who ultimately return home to take up where they left off without having hit too devastating a speed bump in their lives. In any case, whether you support or condemn our nation's current entanglement in that wretched toilet of a country, you must necessarily come away from HOME OF THE BRAVE with an admiration and sympathy for our uniformed men and women that serve there. And shame on you if you don't."
As a former solider, this move is irritating
Jason | Backwater, Alabama | 09/14/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Mere weeks away from learning that their unit has received orders to go home from Iraq, various soldiers go on a humanitarian mission and run into an ambush. Chaos ensues, and all receive an injury in one way, shape, or form. Weeks later they are all in Spokane, Washington and the four main characters (Vanessa - Jessica Biel, Will - Samuel L. Jackson, Jamal - Fiddy, and Tommy - Brian Presely) deal with piecing their lives together while many hate the war, and by proxy, hold that hatred against the soldiers involved in it. The rest is just a person-by-person experience of individuals coping with semi-related post-war lives.
Home of the Brave is controversial in that it's difficult for a movie-maker to relay a message that's very positive of the military life or the struggles of a soldier - and keep a job in Hollywood - but it's clear that the creators of this movie didn't even remotely try. They paint a bleak picture of abandoned, abused, and shell-shocked soldiers who drink uncontrollably, can't control their anger, and can't relate to the "civilian life" outside of the foreign world of the military. In that sense, Home of the Brave reminded me in many ways of The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. Pain often accompanies scars, but what doesn't always coincide mentally, however, is the visibility of those same scars. Outward appearances don't always convey the truth of trauma or mental difficulties.
With all that said, however, as a former soldier and family member of several generations of soldiers, I can say unequivocally that the image conveyed is hazy to say the least. To be more accurate, it's slanted politically, with hints and outright displays of ignorant anti-war rhetoric, and reeks of the same type of elitist comments made by John Kerry about the correlation between being in the military and a lack of intelligence or education.
While the biased, hyper-focus of the movie is on the troubled few, what's left out is the great majority who deal with their troubles without a comment or complaint. Therein exists the truism of bravery, courage, honor, and sacrifice of the majority, and perhaps it would do the Hollywood folks a bit of good to concentrate a little more on those stories, because I've heard several and I'm sure there are countless more."
When Will, Vanessa, Tommy and Jamal come limping home
R. Kyle | USA | 03/14/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The story opens with soldiers learning their unit only has two weeks to go before returning home. If you have a sinking feeling in your gut, you're right. The unit's attacked on a humanitarian mission and a near bloodbath results.
The unit does go home to Spokane, WA, but none of them are ready for the 'hearty welcome' and most don't get it, anyway:
Will (Jackson) is a doctor who can't relate to his family or his patients and has taken up drinking
Vanessa (Biel) lost her arm in that attack. She can't relate to her old boyfriend and is having a difficult job as a phys ed teacher.
Tommy (Presley) lost: * his girlfriend to a "Dear John" letter * his best friend in the attack mentioned above * his job when he returned home--oh and his sensitive boss asked: 1. did you shoot someone? 2. did you kill someone?
Jamal (50 cent) girlfriend won't talk to him. He's lost, bitter, and can't even get a discharge.
This is a worthy subject for documentation. The problem is the story's predictable, the dialog is toss-off in many points, and the whole message just gets bogged down.
If you like any of the actors, like war films, etc. give this film a look. In my opinion, "The Valley of Elah" tells the returning soldier story in a more real and better acted fashion.
Hollywood Propaganda sinks to a new low....
Rebdent | TEXAS | 12/22/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I couldn't even make it through this joke of a movie. Decent cast with the worst script ever laced with an agenda and biased outlook make this movie look like some crap that was made for TV by PBS or something. The basics of the movie are that EVERY soldier that goes to Iraq comes back either in a body bag or in pieces, ignoring the fact that more Marines have died in motorcycle crashes than in combat in Iraq. It portrays every soldier as some drunk lunatic fool. Of course that's what hollywood thinks anybody that enlists in a 100% VOLUNTEER army is, even though they constantly profess they are "against the war but support the troops". You'd be hard pressed to find many people that are pleased with how the conflict in Iraq has gone from the beginning but this movie is just nonsensical over the top garbage propaganda. The movie had plenty of potential if it would have been more realistic. Maybe then it would have been easier to write some decent dialogue for the cast to work with."
Inaccurate, left wing slanted, anti-soldier crap
Mike Edelstein | Ft Bliss/El Paso, TX , USA | 01/08/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Within the first 20 minutes I knew that this would be an overall terrible movie.
The "war" aspect of it is EXTREMELY inaccurate....M-16A2s currently in use are NOT fully automatic, a small squad of three soldiers would not go running from building to building nor EVER pursue 2 individuals through alleyways for hundreds of meters, and they would definitely NEVER leave a wounded soldier alone and say "Don't worry a medic is on it's way", and in an ambush two unarmored vehicles, or any for that matter, would split off the main group and drive off on their own. All this happens within 10 minutes of each other. As a currently soldier, I wanted to throw my size 10 boot through my TV.
And then comes the main point of this movie (wait, is there even a point to this nonsensical crap?) which is their return home and struggles with PTSD. Sadly, the American public is overall blind to what PTSD truly is, and this movie doesn't help. Not every soldier, even those with PTSD, struggle with their lives, violence, and alcoholism. It seems this movie was written by anti-American, anti-soldier, bitter individuals with a grudge against the Army. It portrays them as hopeless losers who can't function in society at all. So, sadly, this movie continues to add to the stigma of the wounded.
Aside from people like Mark Cuban and Stephen King, who think all soldiers are murders and rapists or uneducated idiots (seriously, look at what either of these two say!) I can't think of anyone who would watch this movie and enjoy it in the slightest. Even the movie Stop Loss, made by MTV of all companies, was far more accurate in depicting PTSD."