Home of the Brave (2006)

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Published on: 2008.07.16

I’d been told by some that Home of the Brave was an anti-war movie. Others said it was apolitical. Most people hadn’t heard of it at all.

According to online sources, it grossed less than $60,000 in the box office, which is understandable since the studios pulled it from the theaters early for some reason.

It also had several irritating mistakes (“goofs”) that bothered me, and much of it seemed like it was filmed by the same people who film “TV movies.”

One goof was when a soldier is killed, his goggles are shown flying off his helmet. But in the next cut, as his body hits the ground, the goggles are securely attached to his helmet.

But what made this movie worth seeing for me was the acting. Samuel L. Jackson delivered a riveting performance that should have earned him at least a nomination for an award, but didn’t. Jessica Biel was better than I’d ever seen her. Brian Presley was more than believable (although the actor cast as his father could not have been related to him in any way). Even 50 Cent wasn’t half bad.

Christina Ricci’s character was likable, and I was surprised when that storyline died immediately. Just as we were getting interested in her story, we saw no more of her. Interesting.

In the end, it turned out that the movie didn’t give me anti-war feelings, and I didn’t get that message from it. Of course, all four of the main characters — soldiers back from Iraq — were heavily screwed up in some way or another, which could lead one to believe that every single soldier who returns is badly scarred for life. (Which isn’t true — I have friends and relatives who’ve returned without these problems).

Still, the film is an interesting look into four people’s lives, and how civilian life in the U.S. just didn’t make much sense when they returned from temporary active duty in the war zone.

I’m glad I didn’t pay $8 to see it, but I’m also glad I rented the DVD (almost completely devoid of special features). It’s worth a watch, if you haven’t yet had your fill of war films.

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IMDb: Home of the Brave
Wikipedia: Home of the Brave
Rating: R
(war violence and language)
Length: 106 min (1:46)
Director: Irwin Winkler
Genre: Action / Drama / War
My Rating: 7 of 10
Family Friendly: There are brutal war scenes early in the movie, and intense emotional scenes later in the film. “Language” got the film its “R” rating, but honestly, I only noticed it a couple of times.
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MAIN STARS:
Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Biel, Brian Presley, 50 Cent, Christina Ricci, Chad Michael Murray, Victoria Rowell

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