In The Valley Of Elah
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Thriller starring Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron. After being informed that his son, Mike (Jonathan Tucker), has gone missing after his return from a tour of duty in Iraq, Mike's father Hank (Jones) travels to his son's military base to see if he can make any sense of his disappearance. Hank soon becomes frustrated by the lack of interest shown in the case by the military and the police, and with the help of Detective Emily Sanders (Theron), takes matters into his own hands. The pair begin to piece together the events that led to Mike's disappearance, making some interesting discoveries in the process.
Released to Buy:
09 May 2008
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In The Valley of Elah
By Kevin Baker, Blockbuster.co.uk
Sometimes finding the truth is easier than facing it
Academy Award winning actors Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron team up for deep and emotional thriller ‘In The Valley of Elah’. Written and directed by the man who brought us Crash in 2004, Paul Higgins delivers the story of a police detective who tries to uncover the truth behind his son's disappearance following his return from a tour of duty in Iraq.
Retired Sgt. Hank Deerfield (Tommy Lee Jones) gets a distress call from his son Mike (Jonathan Tucker) before Mike goes AWOL at the army base. The army plays him around, and the local authorities won't give him any attention either, they insist on Hank contacting the military police.
Then a burned, dismembered body is found near the military base. Mike's identity is confirmed. Whilst suppressing his grief and comforting his wife (Susan Sarandon), Hank is determined to find out what happened and who killed his son.
At first, since the murder appears to have happened within military grounds, the case is out of the police's jurisdiction. They believe it's a drug deal gone bad. A sharp observer, Hank convinces Detective Emily Sanders (Charlize Theron) it's a cover-up. Sanders opens an active investigation against her colleagues' scrutiny.
The circumstances lead Hank and Sanders to suspect a few of Mike's bunkmates, but there is not enough evidence to convince Sanders' superiors or the army to do anything. Frustration leads Mike to conduct his own investigations. What he finds shatters his own convictions.
A mystery at the core and inspired by true events, In the Valley of Elah is actually a complex social drama examining some tough issues that will without doubt generate debates and discussions.
I enjoyed this movie and I think it’s one of those war films that will work simply because its not directly about the war itself but the consequences and the conditioning of the soldiers that take part.
Without being too preachy the film gives us a clear direction and an important underlying message that serves to be both informative and intriguing. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
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