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Stop-Loss - quick review

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Patrick Sun, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
    Likes Received:
    "Stop-Loss" shines a light on the extending of US military tours of duty of many in the military deployed in the middle east, and its effects on the soldiers who return home, only to be sent back against their desires. Director Kimberly Peirce returns with her first film since "Boys Don't Cry" (the film that put Hilary Swank on the map), and co-wrote the screenplay. Ryan Phillippe, Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Abby Cornish round out the main cast, and do a credible job in their roles.

    Sgt. Brandon King (Phillippe) returns home to Texas with his buddies Steve (Channing), and Tommy (Gordon-Levitt) after a recent dangerous firefight in Iraq which resulted in casualties and injuries. Steve and Tommy have problems re-adjusting to life outside Iraq. Brandon and Steve each look forward to life in the US after their current tour of duty end because it's the end of their enlistment, but they learn they've been declared "Stop-Loss" and basically pressed back into active duty and deployed overseas once again. Steve was going to marry his girlfriend Michelle (Cornish) before being Stop-Lossed, and Brandon doesn't want to go back overseas based on his experience over there. Brandon decides to call in a favor from a senator, and plans to plead his case, and Michelle offers to drive him to D.C.

    The film looks at the plight of the soldiers being stop-lossed and hard decisions they make should they elect to not return to the military, and it's not an easy or rosey future for the soldiers who fought bravely for their country during their tour(s) of duty, and no longer wish to fight after they return home. The film's pacing is very good, a credit to a tight screenplay that isn't afraid to cover most of the bases as it follows Brandon's search for a way out of being stop-lossed. Peirce's direction is also tight and personal, never flashy, allowing the story to unfold with a natural rhythm and pace.

    I give the film 3 stars, or a grade of B.

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