This is one of the best films of 2015.
From Aaron Fair, San Antonio, TX:
I saw “In The Valley of Elah” yesterday with my parents (being 16 I had to) and my brother. I thought it was one of the best movies I've ever seen. It was one of the few times people actually clapped at the end of a movie.
On our way out, I asked my parents if they liked it and my mom thought it was sad and my dad said it was just ok. Later on my father told me that it was at least better than “Crash,” another film I loved and another Paul Haggis movie. I asked if it made them think differently of the war, and my father answered that a movie wasn't going to do that....
My brother, who had come home for the weekend from UT, also thought it was great and immediately started telling his friends they should go see it.
So basically, the four of us went to go see a Tommy Lee Jones movie (he is a native of San Antonio), and only my brother and I seemed to have open enough minds to be affected by it. My mother never got past the dry impact of it, and my father said that he didn't go to the movies for anything other than to be entertained. Not only that, they are both conservative.
I tried explaining to them that no matter what your opinion might be, it was still worth seeing this movie if only for the points that it makes. And the way that it makes them is so much more powerful than anything Michael Moore could have done with his biased documentaries that are made mainly, it seems, to attack people.
So I guess this film really shouldn't be for older audiences at all. Maybe it should be geared towards young people who might be thinking of joining the armed forces. In which case, this film shouldn't be on a limited release, because it appeals to such a wide audience that usually are the ones who go to the movies the most.
Matt Zoller Seitz reviews and reflects upon Jesse Eisenberg's New Yorker piece about film critics.
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