Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Home of the Brave

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
5 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: R

Starring:
Samuel L. Jackson as Will Marsh
Jessica Biel as Vanessa Price
Brian Presley as Tommy Yates
Christina Ricci as Sarah Schivino
50 Cent as Jamal Aiken
Chad Michael Murray as Jordan Owens
Joyce M. Cameron as Grace Owens
Victoria Rowell as Penelope Marsh
Wes Deitrick as Older Vet
Jeffrey Nordling as Cary
Jhon Goodwin as Police Sergeant
Vyto Ruginis as Hank Yates
Nike Imoru as Dr. Barbara Jaric
Sam Jones III as Billy Marsh
James MacDonald as Ray

Special Features:
Feature Commentary by Director Irwin Winkler, Writer Mark Friedman and Producer Rob Cowan
2 Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French Language
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 106 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

"When a humanitarian mission in Iraq is derailed by an explosive ambush, a small band of American soldiers find themselves fighting for their lives. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, and Jessica Biel, this is the gripping tale of a jarring and chaotic battle which will leave these heroic soldiers forever changed, if they're lucky enough to survive. By turns electrifying and inspiring, 'Home of the Brave' is a riveting and hard-hitting look at the lasting effects of combat upon the courageous Americans for whom the scars of war can never truly heal."

"Home of the Brave" is rated R for war violence and language.

Mini Review:
"Home of the Brave" starts out like most war movies. You see the main characters clowning around, pining for home, and generally acting like they don't have a care in the world. Inevitably, those scenes paint giant bulls-eyes on certain characters and you know they're going to end up dead and wounded before the film is over. Sure enough, the main characters walk into trouble and are hurt or killed. It's all rather clichéd.

Where "Home of the Brave" departs from most war movies is that it follows the soldiers home and the bulk of the film is about the aftermath. We see the soldiers plagued by nightmares, mental illness, injuries, and other problems. They push away loved ones and have trouble re-adjusting to normal life. The treatment of war veterans is an important and sensitive subject, but it is rather unpleasant to watch in a film. You basically see over 100 minutes of the characters and their loved ones going through hell.

As for the performances, the cast does an adequate job. Samuel L. Jackson is his usual moody self. Brian Presley stands out as Tommy Yates, a vet struggling to find his place in society. Jessica Biel delivers one of her better performances as Vanessa Price, a soldier who lost her hand in a roadside bomb. Christina Ricci is prominently advertised as being in this movie, but she only has two scenes and is never seen again.

Unless you're OK with watching characters go through depression and mental anguish, I'd recommend avoiding "Home of the Brave." Much of the subject matter has been done before and done better elsewhere. The DVD cover makes it look like this is an intense war movie, but it's more of a character drama. Don't judge the DVD by its cover.

There's almost nothing here in the way of bonus features. A couple of deleted scenes are very minor and the feature commentary doesn't really make up for the lack of other features. It's a weak DVD presentation.

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