DVD The Messenger [DVD] [Canadian] (DVD 6955050),
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The Messenger [DVD] [Canadian]
Region 1 USA/CA (
An Iraq War veteran who just narrowly escaped death in combat struggles with his new post at the Casualty Notification Office while anticipating his upcoming discharge in this military drama starring Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, and Samantha Morton. Will Montgomery (Foster) has spent his fair share of time in army hospitals, and with just three months to go before returning to civilian life, he discovers that his girlfriend back home (Malone) has decided to move on with her life. Crestfallen, Will discovers that his latest hope for a fresh start will be training to work for the Casualty Notification Office under the mentorship of senior officer Tony (Harrelson). As someone who had a close brush with death himself, Will isn't sure that he's the man to tell families that their own loved ones will never be coming home. Thankfully, in between his assignments, Tony offers a sympathetic ear and the two men form a bond that will ultimately help them to readjust to "normal" life. But once you've been in the thick of it, any true hope for a "normal" life after the military is just wishful thinking. Later, Will is drawn to the grieving widow (Morton) of a fallen soldier, a development that forces him to ponder the ethical dilemma of starting a relationship with a woman in such a vulnerable position.
Steve Buscemi, Woody Harrelson, Eamonn Walker, Jena Malone, Samantha Morton, Ben Foster
"Mr. Harrelson, using his natural affability as a mask for his character's pain and insecurity, has never been better."
New York Times
"Morton makes for a richly complex Olivia....Foster's Will carries the film..."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "This heart-rending tale also is a mesmerizing one because of several superb performances, particularly those of Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "This is a writer's picture, no less than a visual experience that approaches its subject as tactfully as the messengers do."
"[E]motions are used sparingly, with the director's restraint allowing the marvelous central cast -- Foster, Harrelson and Samantha Morton -- to breathe, filling the silences with indelible characters whose humanity makes room for humor and hope as well..."
Los Angeles Times
"Foster, arrestingly implosive, plays Will as quietly undone by his war ememories....Harrelson gives Tony and electric dark-hearted vitality and rage." -- Grade: B+
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[Harrelson] once agains shows his skills as a superb dramatic actor....His full-out emotional range here ranks as a career pinnacle."
Ranked #10 in Rolling Stone's "The 10 Best Movies Of 2009" -- "The fireworks here are implosive."
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