7.2/10
30,631
93 user 216 critic

The Messenger (2009)

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An American soldier struggles with an ethical dilemma when he becomes involved with a widow of a fallen officer.

Director:

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Monica Washington (as Yaya Dacosta)
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Dale Martin
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Paul Diomede ...
Motorcycle Cop
Jahmir Duran-Abreau ...
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Brian Adam DeJesus ...
Teenager #1 (as Brian DeJesus)
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Storyline

While on a recent deployment to Iraq, US Army Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery is injured when an improvised explosive device goes off within close proximity to him. He is back in the States recovering from the more serious of those injuries, including one to his eye and leg. He has resumed a sexual relationship with his long time girlfriend Kelly, despite the fact that she is now engaged to another man who Will knows. With the few months Will has left in his enlistment, the army assigns him to the Casualty Notification Team in his area. Not having a background in counseling, psychology or grief management, he is unsure if he is well suited to this job. He is partnered with a career soldier, Captain Tony Stone, who teaches Will the precise protocol involved in the job. Tony tells Will, who quickly learns by on the job experience, that this job has its own dangers. As Will learns to adapt to the range of emotions of the next of kin, he is unprepared for the reaction of Olivia Pitterson, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

4 December 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mensajero  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$44,523 (USA) (13 November 2009)

Gross:

$66,637 (USA) (22 April 2016)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the boating & fishing scene, Woody Harrellsen's character yells out "Charlie don't surf!" The line originated from the 1979 film Apocalypse Now, set during the Vietnam Conflict. It was spoken by Robert Duvall's character during the film's surfing scene. See more »

Goofs

Ben Foster isn't wearing a Combat Infantryman Badge when notifying Steve Buscemi but has it adorned at the next notification of Olivia Pitterson at the clothesline. There shouldn't be an exception to wear his dress greens without it. Also it is made clear that Foster served as a mechanic in Army, and never served as an infantryman. Combat Infantryman Badges are only awarded to infantrymen. Foster would have been awarded The Combat Action Badge. See more »

Quotes

Olivia Pitterson: Did you ever loose anybody?
Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery: Yeah. Friends, over there. My father, during peace time, drunk driver.
Olivia Pitterson: Did they catch him?
Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery: No, my father was the drunk driver.
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Connections

References Apocalypse Now (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Drought
(2003)
Written by Brian Herweg (as Bryan Herweg), Trevor de Brauw, Larry Herweg,
Laurent Schroeder-Lebec (as Laurent Lebec)
Performed by Pelican
Published by Pelican Songs LLC
Courtesy of Hydra Head Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
NOT a war movie; NOT a movie about an ethical dilemma
25 October 2009 | by (Northern NJ) – See all my reviews

I was fortunate enough to see this at the recent NY Drama Critics showcase, where both the director (Mr. Moverman) and a co-star (Woody Harrelson) participated in after-show Q&A. First of all, the film is superb - but the summaries I've seen so far do not do justice to what the movie is really about. Sure there are ethical dilemmas, sure there are soldiers who have returned from Iraq. But the great strength of this film is its focus on individual human beings and their reaction to humans' most important concerns: life, death and love. Oren Moverman - accomplishing this so beautifully, accurately and subtly in a small-budget film - is to be congratulated. Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster and Samantha Morton are all magically on the same wavelength in their performances. And the writing (by Camon and Moverman) acknowledges the fact that reasonably intelligent people might be watching... people who don't need every little detail spelled out. Oh yes - I should mention that there's a lot of humor interspersed throughout. The result of all this? The people you meet in this film will stay with you for a very long time - and you'll be glad for that.


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