Director: Irwin Winkler (De-Lovely)
Screenplay: Mark Friedman
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson (Snakes on a Plane), Jessica Biel (The Illusionist)
A better title would be "Home of the Made-for-TV Movie"--You'd have to be from the "home of the brave film critics" to sit trough this laundry list of post-traumatic syndrome clichés. Three Iraq veterans return to face a civilian world that doesn't understand and personal demons that won't let them forget the ungodly carnage they lived through. But nothing is new or unique, no dialogue is incisive, no action is memorable.
The film does remind us about how unfair the whole Iraq invasion is to the soldier, who not only must suffer the damages to limb, life, and psyche but must also face a hostile electorate which carries little of the respect and patriotism that welcomed soldiers back from WWII. In this way, director Irwin Winkler achieved a success: He catalogued the suffering of the returning soldier, be he a surgeon experiencing the horror of failure to heal or a female grunt losing a hand and learning to live with the clumsiness.
A work of art should be unique in some way, often in its vision of its subject. Home of the Brave says nothing new to a populace awaiting insights into a war that still makes no sense. In that regard both fictional soldiers and real audiences remain largely clueless about the Iraq dilemma. Perhaps President Bush could help—I don't think so.