This somehow seems a lesser film than the sum of its parts. It’s a flat out anti-war film that ultimately lays it on a little too heavy. It’s a dark, brooding and earnest tale, that’s moralistic where it should be reflective. As such, it’s a film that will probably lose a lot of its intended audience.
Director and writer Paul Haggis wrote both Letters from Iwo Jima and Flags of Our Fathers, collaborating with Clint Eastwood. Both I think were much more effective it their intent.
Top shelf acting though, from top to bottom. Tommy Lee Jones as retired regular army man, Hank Deerfield, was nominated (but did not win) for Best Actor in this one. He’s good, but I continue to forget what an accomplished actress Charlize Theron is. Just wonderful. Josh Brolin, Jason Patric, James Franco, Frances Fisher, and Susan Sarandon all add to the credible cast.