Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
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

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Internet's Own Boy: The Story Of Aaron Swartz, The
4 Star Empire Rating
A Walk Among The Tombstones
4 Star Empire Rating
Wish I Was Here
3 Star Empire Rating
Grand Seduction, The
2 Star Empire Rating
Keeper Of Lost Causes, The
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating

The Messenger
Oscar-nominated drama


submit to reddit


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

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

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


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Rogues Gallery: Powers Boothe
Sin City's Roark talks us through his most memorable baddies

Richard Attenborough: In Celebration
Saluting a man who made a lasting impact on cinema and beyond…

Exclusive: Luc Besson Talks Lucy
'There is no bullshit with Scarlett Johansson'

Video: Daniel Radcliffe Talks What If...
On Gordon Ramsay, swearing and date movies

The 24 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes
An exhaustive chronology of George Lucas' post-release tinkering

Film Studies 101: A Film Buff's Guide To Movie Movements
Everything you need to know about cinema's key groups

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)