FIND MOVIES
Movie List
Loading ...
or
Find Theaters and Movie Times
or
Search Movies

In the Valley of Elah

A 90-minute Oscar wanna-be
By PETER KEOUGH  |  September 12, 2007
2.0 2.0 Stars
INSIDEinthevalleyofelah[1]
IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH: No social or political problem too complicated.

No social or political problem is so complicated that Paul Haggis can’t reduce it to a glib, manipulative, 90-minute Oscar wanna-be. Post traumatic stress disorder and the consequences of the war in Iraq are more clear-cut subjects than racism in LA, so he needs only one story line to hammer home his simplistic conclusions. Tommy Lee Jones puts in a simmering performance (say what you will, Haggis brings the best out of actors) as Hank, an Army vet whose son has gone AWOL while on leave. Playing detective, Hank studies his son’s corrupted video files for clues, an activity that affords Haggis some gratuitous Blow-Up indulgences. When the case intensifies, Hank testily teams up with local cop Emily Sanders (Charlize Theron), and the solution proves more tendentious than suspenseful. Few will deny that the war dehumanizes, but Haggis’s suggestion that everybody who comes back is a sociopath won’t win many friends.
  Topics: Reviews , Celebrity News, Entertainment, Movies,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY PETER KEOUGH
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BUFFET DINING: THE 15TH BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL  |  March 19, 2013
    "Copraphagy" is a key word at this year's Boston Underground Film Festival at the Brattle.
  •   REVIEW: GINGER & ROSA  |  March 19, 2013
    Sally Potter likes to mess around with form and narrative.
  •   UNDERGROUND CINEMA: THE 12TH BOSTON TURKISH FILM FESTIVAL  |  March 12, 2013
    This year's Boston Turkish Film Festival includes works in which directors ponder the relationships between the secular and the religious, between men and women, and between destiny and identity.
  •   REVIEW: A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III  |  March 12, 2013
    In Roman Coppola's sophomoric second feature (his 2001 debut CQ was promising), Charlie Sheen shows restraint as the titular asshole, a dissolute ad designer and solipsistic whiner who's mooning over the loss of his latest love.
  •   REVIEW: UPSIDE DOWN  |  March 14, 2013
    Had Ed Wood Jr. directed Fritz Lang's Metropolis , he couldn't have achieved the earnest dopiness of Juan Solanas's sci-fi allegory — nor the striking images.

 See all articles by: PETER KEOUGH