In the Valley of Elah is based on
parts of a true story that appeared in Playboy Magazine,
leading the way for the movie.
It focuses on the Iraq war and a retired
Army sergeant, Hank Deerfield, played by Tommy Lee Jones.
It's wrapped in a slick murder mystery
that makes Tommy Lee shine -- who, as the father, only wants
to know what happened to his son.
It also shows sending someone off to battle
can make natural-born killers.
I found this powerful story well worth
Not unlike in Crash, Mike Haggis
complicates the ordinary with overlying subplots in this dark
tale of an AWOL soldier.
Strong performances by Tommy Lee Jones
and Charlize Theron save what would have been a rather typical
detective tale that dissolves into political commentary.
Still, Haggis does a lot with very little,
despite his heavy-handedness.
In the Valley of Elah is a quiet but heavy movie about a father who
investigates into his Iraq vet son's mysterious death.
His son was killed after returning from
This story is based on a true one, and
is a psychological thriller about post-traumatic stress disorder.
The film uncovers some truths about the
conflict in Iraq, and makes an obvious point of how war dehumanizes