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In the Valley of Elah (Blu-ray)

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Product Overview

Mike Deerfield returns to the U.S. after his tour of duty in Iraq in abruptly goes missing. His father Hank (Tommy Lee Jones), a spit-and-polish ex-MP from the Vietnam era, goes looking for him. What he finds goes to the heart of American combat experiences in the Iraqi conflict.

Academy Award-winning Crash filmmaker Paul Haggis teams with Oscar-winning actors Jones, Charlize Theron, and Susan Sarandon in a probing and powerful look at a nation and the young soldiers it sends into battle. Hank's quest lays bare a tangled web of cover-up, murder, mystery and profound revelation about the personal costs of war.


Studio Warner
SKU 206709109
UPC 085391189978
UPC 14 00085391189978
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 2/19/2008
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  2.40:1
Cast & Crew
Barry Corbin - Actor
Charlize Theron - Actor
David Garrett - Executive Producer
Frances Fisher - Actor
Gregory S. Hooper - Art Director
James Franco - Actor
Jason Patric - Actor
Jo Francis - Editor
Josh Brolin - Actor
Laurence Bennett - Production Designer
Mark Boal - Based On Story By
Mark Isham - Original Music By
Paul Haggis - Producer
Paul Haggis - Screenplay
Paul Haggis - Director
Roger Deakins - Cinematographer
Susan Sarandon - Actor
Tommy Lee Jones - Actor
Nominee (2008) Oscar, Tommy Lee Jones, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Winner (2007) Venice Film Festival, Paul Haggis, SIGNIS Award
Nominee (2007) Venice Film Festival, Paul Haggis, Golden Lion Award
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review The last scene of In the Valley of Elah may be the most ridiculously ham-fisted and over-the-top moment in all of 2007's supposed prestige cinema. This image is so blatant and cheesy that it makes one wonder whether director Paul Haggis' success with Crash was some kind of fluke. In fact, the film as a whole raises that question. Crash was not the most subtle film, but its clever structure and finely tuned character moments camouflaged many of its weaknesses. The same cannot be said of In the Valley of Elah, which takes two hours to make an oh-so-obvious point: war dehumanizes human beings...The effective scenes in In the Valley of Elah are the character-based ones - the quiet instances when fine actors like Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, and Susan Sarandon are allowed to perform...The film's title comes from the location of the Biblical struggle between David and Goliath, and could be symbolic of a number of things. But, like a lot of other elements in this movie, using "The Valley of Elah" as a symbol is a jumbled association. The more one thinks about it, the less sense it makes. Less consideration is necessary to make the same deduction about the movie as a whole.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 7
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review Paul Haggis' "In the Valley of Elah" is built on Tommy Lee Jones' persona, and that is why it works so well. The same material could have been banal or routine with an actor trying to be "earnest" and "sincere." Jones isn't trying to be anything at all. His character is simply compelled to do what he does, and has a lot of experience doing it. He plays a Vietnam veteran named Hank Deerfield, now hauling gravel in Tennessee. He gets a call from the Army that his son Mike, just returned from a tour in Iraq, is AWOL from his squad at Fort Rudd. That sounds wrong. He tells his wife, Joan (Susan Sarandon), that he's going to drive down there and take a look into things. "It's a two-day drive," she says. He says, "Not the way I'll drive it"...Those who call "In the Valley of Elah" anti-Iraq war will not have been paying attention. It doesn't give a damn where the war is being fought. Hank Deerfield isn't politically opposed to the war. He just wants to find out how his son came all the way home from Iraq and ended up in charred pieces in a field. Because his experience in Vietnam apparently had a lot to do with crime investigation, he's able to use intelligence as well as instinct. And observe how Theron, as the detective, observes him, takes what she can use and adds what she draws from her own experience.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 10
Product Attributes
Video Format Blu-Ray
Claudia Puig, USA Today A rare blend of emotional content and intelligent material that makes it simultaneously gut-wrenching and thought-provoking.
Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter A deeply reflective, quietly powerful work that is as timely as it is moving.
Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly ...the first Hollywood Iraq movie to remind me of a Vietnam film like Coming Home...
Shawn Levy, Portland Oregonian Transcends politics and forces us to consider just what it is we ask of young people who answer the call to duty
Tamara Straus, San Francisco Chronicle effective, disturbing and - a rarity for Haggis - subtle exploration of the stateside war story.

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