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Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Ben Foster
Woody Harrelson
Samantha Morton.
Directors
Oren Moverman.
Screenwriters
Alessandro Camon
Oren Moverman.
Running Time
113 minutes

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The Messenger
Oscar-nominated drama


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Plot
Assigned to a Casualty Notification unit, Sgt. Will Montgomery (Foster) is paired with disillusioned captain Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson). When he becomes close with the wife of a serviceman killed in action, Foster is faced with the fall-out of crossing an unspoken line.


Review
The Messenger
Despite grabbing two Oscar nominations, this directorial debut from Israel-born screenwriter Oren Moverman has languished on the UK distribution shelf for nearly two years. True, it’s no multiplex popcorn premise: locked-down US Army Captain Stone (Woody Harrelson) and his on-edge Sergeant, Montgomery (Ben Foster) notifying families of loved ones killed in action. Yet, gradually, The Messenger reveals a softer, more human film underneath. Montgomery starts a faltering romance with bereaved mother Olivia (Samantha Morton), while the two soldiers establish an awkward, endearing relationship. Shot through with a hazy morning light, buoyed by remarkable performances, The Messenger never really hangs together, but drifts with a dreamlike sadness that’s somehow suited to its characters: a broken, good-hearted film about broken, good-hearted people.


Verdict
A worthy addition to the canon of Iraq war films, The Messenger has a gentle humanity that creeps under your skin. Look out for a terrific Harrelson turn, too.


Reviewed by Andrew Male

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Messenger
Empire Star Rating

Good Messenger

Harrelson and Foster are great. Underrated film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lynnshep at 23:18, 23 February 2012 | Report This Post


Good Messenger

Harrelson and Foster are great. Underrated film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lynnshep at 23:18, 23 February 2012 | Report This Post



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