Directed by Clint Eastwood
Like many Eastwood flicks over the last several years, I felt something was off. It was not the lead actor, as Cooper is terrific. It wasn’t the writing, although more could’ve been made of how post-deployment PTSD affects ALL returning military personnel – and poor Sienna Miller has some mighty ham-fisted, “poignant” dialogue to act her way through. The story is pretty good, even while it has a bit of a hard time deciding if it wants to be “Enemy At the Gates” or ‘Deer Hunter”. I think what it boils down to, and what makes a Kathryn Bigelow or Stephen Spielberg war flick so much more affecting than an Eastwood war flick, is their ability to take you to a psychological and internal place that feels as unsettling and uncomfortable as the surroundings the character is living through. Not so, this film. But it is a tense, much needed look at the intra-psychic jumbled mess our men and women are returning home to. For that reason (and because it is an artfully crafted film) it’s worth seeing.
Originally reviewed on 1/16/2015