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
Several times throughout the movie, Captain Stone notifies next of kin of deceased soldiers without first getting positive confirmation that they are, in fact, the soldier's next of kin. Casualty Notification Officers are required to make sure that the person they are addressing is actually the next of kin before making notification. This is not a mistake that a professional like Captain Stone would make. See more »
The Messenger is being overshadowed by other war films like The Hurt Locker, yet it is different and a great film. It has a very slow pace, but it has some incredibly powerful scenes and some amazing acting. Woody Harrelson is getting Oscar buzz for his performance, and he does deserve it. He has had a great year, with this and Zombieland. As great as he was, though, Ben Foster is just as great. Samantha Morton is probably better than both because she possesses a subtle and powerful gesture that only she has. I have only seen her in one other film, Synecdoche, New York, and she plays completely different types of personalities in both. Here, she is very quiet, but she is able to portray the reason why Foster's character is intrigued by her. The job that Stone and Montgomery (Foster and Harrelson) have is very difficult to do, and this is the first film to portray a job like that that I have seen. The director and writer did a great job. One of the flaws is that by the ending the film has no real directional focus, and this is a flaw in the screenplay. However, still a great film that should be seen not just for Harrelson but for the entire cast. Don't let the subject matter turn you away
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