Structure: 3/5 | Entertainment: 4/5
An Iraq war film that thankfully focuses more on character development rather than heavy-handed political messages (and consequently becomes more meaningful than other offerings in this genre). The Main Character throughline (SSgt. William James) is the focus of the piece (matched with a strong performance by Jeremy Renner) and is a wonderful example of a steadfast Main Character who finds his justifications torn down act by act to where he is left with a meaningful dilemma: should he stay home or return to where he is most needed? Less obvious, but no less important, is the Impact Character throughline (Sgt. JT Sanborn played by Anthony Mackie). In Sanborn we get to watch a confident soldier of action devolve into one of confusion and doubt; adopting an attitude of selfless self-destruction, thanks to James’ influence. Sanborn’s throughline was not developed as much as it probably should have been, but at least there is a taste of it. A brilliant drama.