A group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life, while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they've left the battlefield.
12 Strong tells the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down the Taliban.
In 2007 Prescott, Arizona, Eric Marsh of the Prescott Fire Department is frustrated fighting forest fires when the Type 1 or "Hotshot" front line forest fire fighting crews from afar overrule his operational suggestions to his area's sorrow. To change that, Marsh gets approval from the Mayor to attempt to organize an unprecedented certified municipal-based Hotshot crew for Prescott. To that end, Marsh needs new recruits, which includes the young wastrel, Brendan McDonough, to undergo the rigorous training and qualification testing for the most dangerous of fire fighting duty. Along the way, the new team meets the challenge and the hailed Granite Mountain Hotshots are born. In doing so, all the men, especially McDonough, are changed as new experience and maturity is achieved in fire-forged camaraderie. All this is put to the test in 2013 with the notorious Yarnell Hill Fire that will demand efforts and sacrifices no one can ignore.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
True stories are the one thing throughout the film industry that can't be known as being a dime a dozen because it seems as though almost half of the films nowadays are based on true events. Of that half, I'd say only about half of those stories are done with complete justice and care. So, it's really a toss-up when going into a film like this. With that said, Only the Brave is a fantastic presentation of these events and the men who risked their lives on a daily basis. Although it may feel a little slow at times, here is why I believe this is a film that's pretty much for everyone.
When you're trying to tell a possibly tragic story about people that may or may not have to give their lives in the wake of danger, it really does require some powerful and devoted performances in order to get the audience to emotionally respond to the events unfolding on-screen. From Josh Brolin to Miles Teller, to even Taylor Kitsch and Jennifer Connelly, I honestly thought this ensemble was one of the best of the entire year, with the standouts obviously being Brolin and Teller. Each and every one of the supporting roles gave their very best as well, making this a very believable and realistic team.
The premise of this film is relatively simple. A crew of firefighters is out to become the next crew of "Hot Shots," and they will do whatever it takes, which also entails hiring some fresh and willing talent. The film dives into their lives outside of work and really invests you in each one of their jobs. I was quite riveted throughout each one of the fires, and I loved how it didn't take it too seriously to the point of depression. With a nice blend of bickering and action, these characters were more fleshed out and likable than I was expecting them to be, which really added a level of intensity to the overall movie.
It really is the fact that this film has a terrific cast that really makes you feel for them when the climax occurs in the third act. I was not familiar with the events that occurred in real life, so I wasn't sure what to expect from the finale of this film. Although I feel there are some abrupt aspects about it, I feel as though it was handled with care and respected the families involved in the actual events. The final act of this movie is surprising in multiple ways and it did have me shedding a few tears by the time the credits started to roll.
In the end, Only the Brave is definitely a slow watch at times and its run time is slightly longer than the material needs it to be, but when it's slow it also takes its time to emotionally invest you in its characters, so it's sort of a catch-22. With terrific performances all around, direction that seems to be inspired, and sequences that will have you on the edge of your seat, this is a very well-made a memorable film that I can confidently say will be one of my favorites of this year. This movie is well-made in every regard and I highly recommend it to everyone.
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