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This week's reviewed movie is:
In the Valley of Elah




Gene the Barber

Snick the Sidekick

Gordie the Barber


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 seeing.

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 the war.

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 human beings.

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Contents copyright 1999 - 2007 by the Barbershop Movie Review:
Gene Allen, Gordy Allen. and Snick Farkas.
Page created by Esther Trosow and design copyright 1999.
Last updated October 1, 2007.