Thursday, December 17, 2009


When a decorated Marine (Captain Sam Cahill - Tobey Maguire) goes missing overseas, his black-sheep younger brother (Tommy Cahill - Jake Gyllenhaal) cares for his wife (Grace - Natalie Portman) and children at home—with consequences that will shake the foundation of the entire family.

Contrary to the above synopsis and promotional trailers, this is not a movie about brotherly betrayal. It is about the horror of war and its impact on the soldiers and their families. What you don't see in the trailers but is a significant part of this movie is Maguire as a POW. After his helicopter is shot down, the military thinks and reports Maguire as dead but he is held captive and bruttaly tortured for 4-6 months.

5 FOR:
  1. Jakey in a towel, looking super hot (like he could look bad) with really sexy tattoos. Especially the one going up his neck.
  2. The two little girls are amazing, especially the older of the two, Isabelle. Tobey may have gotten the Golden Globe nomination but this girl was a scene stealer and dead on with her emotions and facial expressions. 
  3. Fine performances from all which include Mare Winningham and Sam Shepard.
  4. Insight into the war in Afghanistan we don't get to see or read about.
  5. Emotional and thought provoking without being melodramatic.
  1. A remake of a 2004 Danish film - we already have a remake of a film for a war that should have been over years ago (should never have been?) and is still going on.
  2. After seeing Precious then The Blind Side, seeing another movie where the main character is shut down and responds to questions, love and help with tight, strained lips and a blank look on their face is a bit frustrating, understandable, but frustrating. I guess the advice here is to not see the three films in the same week. 
  3. Our government doesn't do enough for our returning soldiers. They may heal their bodies but they don't heal their minds or souls -- they don't even acknowledge the damage.
  4. A strong, good movie but not one that needs to be seen in the theater. At home you can hit pause and replay during Jake's towel scene.
  5. Jake didn't drop his towel.


  1. I love this part of your blog.
    Succinct reviews. And all the parts I need to know....good acting.....Jake in a towel.

  2. I am really enjoying this 5 For/5 Against series too!!

    I think I will skip this one. The only reason I might see it is for the eye candy.

  3. 5/5 is one of my fav post you do....thanx, I was all thinking I had to see this one...but I think I will wait till dvd...thanx;)

  4. Great review...Ok.....then good I will wait for the DVD release...that is unless I feel the dire urge to see Jakey on the big screen....Love the 5/5 too!

  5. Thanks for the review Sean. This is not what i was expecting from this film at all.

  6. I like Jake and am tempted to see the film because of him, but the fact that Tobey Maguire is in it ruins it for me.

    In my opinion, Maguire is the 2nd worst actor to ever appear on screen in the history of motion pictures. The 1st of course is Robert Mitchum.

  7. you had me at Jake in a towel...

  8. I love the poster to this movie. What is the original Danish film like?

    And Jake doesn't drop his towel...then what is the use of seeing it at all? ;)


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