A psychological study of operations desert shield and desert storm during the gulf war; through the eyes of a U.S marine sniper who struggles to cope with the possibility his girlfriend may be cheating on him back home.
Before leaving on his second tour in Afghanistan, Marine Captain Sam Cahill, a leader, an athlete, a good husband and father, welcomes his screw-up brother Tommy home from prison. He'd robbed a bank. In country, Sam's helicopter is shot down and all are presumed dead. Back home, while Sam wastes away as a prisoner in a remote encampment, Tommy tries to take care of the widow and her two children. While imprisoned, Sam experiences horrors unbearable, so when he's rescued and returns home, he's silent, detached, without affect, and he's convinced his wife and brother have slept together. Demons of war possess him; what will silence them? Written by
Originally, Jake Gyllenhaal wanted to play Sam and Tobey Maguire wanted to play Tommy. Jim Sheridan did not feel Maguire was convincing enough to play the "bad" brother, so they switched roles. See more »
When Maggie is painting the kitchen and spills the bin on Sweeney, in one cut the paint is covering all of that portion of his clothes while in the very next there is a spot that shows parts of his shirt. In the very next cut (when he says "lets hug it out") the paint is covering the entire portion again. See more »
Just OK. Very well acted particularly by Gyllenhaal, Portman, and the two young 'uns, and a compelling tale of how war can mess up a family, but a little too melodramatic to hold much power for me.
There's also the misjudged Afghan side story, which is populated by cartoon characters. It might have worked better had we been kept completely in the dark as to the soldier's fate, to be put in the same position as the wife and brother. As it is we are simply sitting waiting for his inevitable (rather than hoped-for) return and we know any emotional investment during this buildup will be wasted. It feels almost tacked on - did they need to give Maguire more to do? He's the best I've ever seen him btw, but I didn't find him as convincing as the other two leads who had a more nuanced story to work with.
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