11 October 2017 2:32 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

When a forest catches fire, professionals can’t drown it in water or put it out as they might a burning building. Instead, the goal is to contain the inferno by establishing a control line that the advancing flames cannot cross — a strategy of “fighting fire with fire” that falls to an elite group of so-called “hotshots,” who’ve been uniquely certified to approach the unpredictable beast.

Only the Brave” is the true story of one such handcrew, the Granite Mountain Hotshots, and their journey from a local Arizona firefighting team to the front lines of the Yarnell Hill Fire, one of the country’s deadliest wildfires. Picture “Backdraft” set against a backdrop of unspoiled American wilderness: It’s a gripping and powerfully emotional portrait of yee-haw heroism, pitting a squad of cocky, calendar-purty white dudes against an adversary with no creed or color, just an unquenchable appetite for destruction.

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- Peter Debruge

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