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The Messenger 

Directed by Oren Moverman (Oscilloscope)

The daily life and work of Casualty Notification officers back in America is original and interesting. But Woody Harrelson’s role as captain Tony Stone, the veteran of this home-based unit, makes the movie. Going door to door to let families know of their losses over there is how he fights his war. The story’s downfall comes from staff sergeant Will Montgomery (Ben Foster), the injured soldier who bides healing time in this ironic post. Montgomery comes off as a copy of the hotshot hero of The Hurt Locker. For this film to have worked, it should’ve been kept simple and focused on Harrelson, his character falling in love with the widow (Samantha Morton). The blowback could’ve been written the same.
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Vol 26, No 42
March 14, 2019

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