7.4/10
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138 user 23 critic

Taking Chance (2009)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | TV Movie 21 February 2009
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Based on real-life events, Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, a volunteer military escort officer, accompanies the body of 19-year-old Marine Chance Phelps back to his hometown of Dubois, Wyoming.

Director:

Ross Katz

Writers:

Michael Strobl (screenplay) (as LtCol Michael R. Strobl USMC [Ret.]), Ross Katz (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2,390 ( 1,710)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Bacon ... LtCol Mike Strobl
Tom Aldredge ... Charlie Fitts
Nicholas Art Nicholas Art ... Nate Strobl (as Nicholas Reese Art)
Blanche Baker ... Chris Phelps
Tom Bloom ... Navy Chaplain
Guy Boyd ... Gary Hargrove
James Castanien James Castanien ... Robert Orndoff
Gordon Clapp ... Tom Garrett
Mike Colter ... MGySgt Demetry
Henry Coy Henry Coy ... Marine Driver (as GySgt Henry Coy)
Joel de la Fuente ... Ticketing Agent
Liza Colón-Zayas ... Ticketing Agent
Ann Dowd ... Gretchen
Tate Ellington ... A.V. Scott
Noah Fleiss ... Army Sergeant
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Storyline

In April, 2004, casualties mount in Iraq. At Quantico, choices focus on increasing troop strength or only replacing casualties. Lt. Col. Michael Strobl crunches numbers. Stung by his superior's rejection of his recommendation because he lacks recent combat experience, Strobl volunteers for escort duty, accompanying the remains Pfc. Chance Phelps, killed at 19. From Dover to Philadelphia by hearse, from there to Minneapolis and on to Billings by plane, and then by car to Phelps' Wyoming home - person after person pays respects. Kind words, small gifts, and gratitude are given Strobl to deliver to the family on this soul-searching journey. What are his own discoveries? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 February 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Taking Chance See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second movie Kevin Bacon has played a U.S. Marine. He played a JAG Marine officer in A Few Good Men (1992). See more »

Goofs

When asked to verify the remains, the camera jumps back in forth to the tagging of the remains which shows two completely different ID tags. See more »

Quotes

LtCol Mike Strobl: [Noticing Annie had typed "HOT soldier" into her phone] Actually, it's Marine.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Take The Highway
Written by Toy Caldwell
Performed by The Marshall Tucker Band
By Arrangement with Natural Energy Lab
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Good Movie That Honored the Brave Without Battle Scenes. Excellent Performance by Kevin Bacon.
1 June 2010 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

The 2000's decade redefined the war movie genre much because of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. And many times viewers tend to classified a movie as political or not, accurate or not, blood and guts versus contextualized and serious movies. In times when "Jarhead" or "The Hurt Locker" were so heavily criticized for having political statements (or not) on war, in "Taking Chance" you see something different. Here comes a movie that says more about bravery and honor to a duty than many war action movies. And its message sounds and appear better than movies made of Second World War, Vietnam War, any other war.

Based on a true story, the story follows LtCol Mike Strobl (Kevin Bacon), a military who volunteered to escort the body of 19-year-old Marine Chance Phelps back to his hometown of Dubois, Wyoming. While on journey he realizes his importance on this function and how people get touched by his gesture.

The main plot is very original, it's something rarely showed in movies. It was interesting to see all the procedures taken before the corpse be transferred by car and airplanes, all the service made by the military who washes the body, collects the personal objects and similar things. And there's also the views of the main character on what he's doing and the way he deals with the matter and the people he sees on his journey. One of the most memorable scenes is when all the cars made a straight line escorting Mike's car and the funeral car carrying Chance's body. All the cars lined up, slowly. A very good homage.

It's a good portrayal about the people who stood up for something sacrificing their lives for its country. Instead of showing up battle scenes, the movie opted to include a conversation between Bacon's character and a soldier friend of Chance about how he died saving everybody else. It's a very touching scene (and the best also). After that Mike has a brief conversation with a war veteran (played by Tom Aldredge) where he thinks he could be a better person or he could do more if he was fighting in Iraq. The old man replies that what Mike's saying is nonsense. And we must agree with that. He's doing a noble thing, a great thing for his country even outside of enemy lines.

It's a great movie and there's no political message, or military propaganda on the surface and not even behind it. And even if it had a political context it still would be a great movie. I don't know why people get so touchy and bothered about such statements and such views. After all, politics is one the basis of mankind, basis of a society and when it's included in a film it can make a film more interesting. If it had such things in "Taking Chance" it would drag the movie in other direction and anyway that's another story.

An incredible tour-de-force performance by Kevin Bacon, who really captured the essence of a Marine devoted to his duties, and also showed a good emotional side not trying to do such. He's powerful here. But I still think that Golden Globes and SAG Awards should award Brendan Gleeson for "Into the Storm" (different story but both contain war as subject). Gleeson playing Churchill was more difficult, he had a tough and heavy text to portray and the aged makeup to make him similar to the British leader. But that doesn't make Bacon's acting less visible or inferior. Watch it and you'll enjoy it.

One of the rare films of today that lacks of criticism, and it's great because of that. It certainly honors all the brave people on battles, risking their lives whatever the cause, whatever the cost. 9/10


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