Decorated Iraq war hero Sgt. Brandon King makes a celebrated return to his small Texas hometown following his tour of duty. He tries to resume the life he left behind. Then, against Brandon's will, the Army orders him back to duty in Iraq, which upends his world. The conflict tests everything he believes in: the bond of family, the loyalty of friendship, the limits of love and the value of honor. Written by
The younger brother of co-writer and director Kimberly Peirce served in the military after 9/11. She IM'd him regularly from the day he landed in Iraq and learned what his everyday life was like. This gave her a window into the young men signing up, their training and aspirations, their experiences in Iraq, and what happened when they came home. See more »
When Sgt. King steals Steve's jeep the top is down. Sgt. King is in a hurry, yet when he shows up at his destination in the next shot, the top of the jeep is up. Jeep tops take at least 10 minuets of tedious work to put up, and it was sunny all day, so it could not have been put up due to rain. See more »
I'm a sergeant in the army and have served 2 tours in Iraq and am preparing to go a third time in December. This film was irresponsible and not balanced in it's portrayal. First off every single soldier has an 8 year commitment. However long your initial enlistment is (3,4 years etc) you then serve the remainder of your time as part of the IRR (indivdual ready reserve). Moreover every single soldier knows about stop loss. It wouldn't have been portrayed the way it was in the movie. He would have known about it ahead of time. They don't tell you the day you get out and make it a surprise. Especially as an E6 a staff sergeant. The combat scene was not realistic. Soldiers guarding a checkpoint WOULD NEVER leave it to chase a vehicle. That is general order no 1 every soldier is taught that from day 1 of basic training. Furthermore the portrayal of PTSD was not wholly accurate. The army has programs in place to treat it. The character played by Joseph Gordon Levitt would not have gotten a bad conduct discharge for breaking a window. He would have received punishment under the uniform code of military justice. For a bad conduct discharge there would have to be a pattern of behavior over a period of time and then every effort would be made to rehabilitate that soldier. The discharge would only come after that had occurred. Finally the scenes of the authorities chasing Ryan Phillipe is BS. The army does not pursue you if you go AWOl. For short awols the soldiers usually receive punishment under UCMJ. For long awols over 30 days the army drops them from the rolls and stops their pay and benefits. If you attempt to get a federal job your name is entered into a database as a deserter. Lastly the final scene is total nonsense. Assuming he was awol less than 30 days he would have been demoted at least 1 grade. He would not have kept his current rank. The soldier was portrayed as a coward. Bottom line. I know personally soldiers in my unit 1 in my squad who have been stop lossed and although they may complain EVERY one of them will do their duty honorably. This movie claims to be pro soldier but it does not portray our soldiers in an honest way and that is dishonoring the memory of all of our soldiers both alive and dead who have served and are still serving over there. Also in response to adx2-1's comment he is right about the policy. 90 days before deployment and 90 days after the unit returns to home station. And under the current dwell time policy it would have been at least a year before he returned. Although it is never stated how long it is suggested that it is less than a year.
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