In the Valley of Elah

Rated R 121 minutes 2007

In Paul Haggis' feel-badder, a retired military man (Tommy Lee Jones, looking old) discovers to his horror that times have changed, when he and a friendly police detective (Charlize Theron) investigate the mysterious stateside disappearance of his son, a soldier just returned from duty in Iraq. Chalk up another laborious, ham-handed civics lesson from the writer-director of Crash, who spoils a decent socially conscious detective story by piling on his trademark beautiful images of ugly things -- a sure sign that middle-class America is in distress. The acting is solid (Jones, Theron, Susan Sarandon, Wes Chatham) but the preachy, pedantic writing is a mess. Haggis' patronizing homage to the poor, deluded, dumbed-down grunts spends too much moolah to produce a load of booshwah. The title? Forget it.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.inthevalleyofelah.com

Director: Paul Haggis

Writer: Mark Boal and Paul Haggis

Producer: Paul Haggis, Larry Becsey, Darlene Caamano Loquet, Steve Samuels and Patrick Wachsberger

Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Susan Sarandon, Charlize Theron, Jason Patric, Jonathan Tucker, Brent Briscoe, Joseph Bertot, Josh Meyer, Victor Wolf and James Franco

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In the Valley of Elah

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